Holiday gîtes, cottages and villas in France
If you're undecided about your holiday destination for next year, how about a few days in France? You
don't need to venture too far to enjoy a holiday, with Normandy being just over (or under) the Channel. There are a
variety of gîtes, cottages and villas around Normandy for you to select from - and an assortment of towns to discover too.
If you're undecided about which part of Normandy to visit, let me show you our top 5 towns to visit.
Our top 5 towns to visit during a holiday to Normandy
Shown in the photo above, Rouen is one of France's most ancient and historic cities. The capital of
Upper Normandy, Rouen was severely damaged during World War 2. Rouen has its soaring Gothic cathedral, beautifully restored medieval quarter,
excellent museums and vibrant cultural life - this town has to be one of Normandy's most engaging destinations.
Caen is the capital and largest city of Basse Normandie. This town was the home to William the Conqueror 900 years ago.
One of Caen's features are the ramparts, and walking them gives you a fantastic view of the city and the 14th century facade of the nearby church of St-Pierre.
The Renaissance stonework has survived intact at the church's east end.
You can walk through the castle walls and visit to the former Exchequer which dates from shortly after the Norman conquest of England.
The Caen Memorial is the second most popular museum in France, after the Louvre, and is well worth a visit during your holiday in Normandy.
The museum gives you an hour-by-hour account of D-Day.
Caen has some great markets to explore too, with the Friday market on the Fosse St-Julien, and a Sunday market at Place Courtonne. You can stock up on
local specialities, such as Calvados and regional cheeses.
Cherbourg is one of the popular entrances into France, with ferries arriving from various UK terminals.
Should you decide to take your holiday in the area around Cherbourg you won't have too much driving to do to reach your holiday accommodation.
When you arrive by ferry at Cherbourg you'll witness The Transatlantic Terminal - an Art Deco building built in 1933, and which is an architectural masterpiece.
You can visit the "Cite de la Mer", a huge aquarium, set in the restored Transatlantic Terminal. You can also see an ocean diving area and a former nuclear submarine,
the 'Redoutable' as well as the various species of fish and sea creatures.
Take a trip to the Fort du Roule, which provides a glorious view of the port. You can also visit the Musee de la Liberation, which commemorates D-Day and the
liberation of Cherbourg in the Second World War. Cherbourg has markets too, which are held in front of the theatre every Tuesday and Thursday morning. before heading off to
your gîte you can pop into one of Cherbourg's hypermarkets.
Regarded as many as the best preserved old port in Normandy, Honfleur is an attractive seaside location - although Honfleur does lack a take a beach; because the silt from the River Seine has caused the sea to withdraw.
The port is still in use for both pleasure craft and fishing boats that tie-up alongside the pier nearby. During your holiday around Honfleur you'll be able to
buy fresh fish direct from the boats or from stalls on the pier.
Honfleur is the home to France's only wooden church - St Catherine, which was built in the 15th and 16th centuries during the Hundred Years War.
The church looks out over a square, with small streets branching from the square. You can wander down these side streets and find exclusive
boutiques and shops. There are plenty of places to dine out in Honfleur, with numerous cafes, bars and restaurants lining the harbour.
A little gem in the Normandy countryside, Alencon is one of the lesser known towns in Normandy. Alencon isn't a popular tourist
destination, but that doesn't mean this shouldn't be a place to spend a holiday. In fact, the lack of tourists around
these parts could well be described as a good thing! For those wanting to get away from the tourists, Alencon offers you
a drop of real France: located in Lower Normandy, Alencon offers you rich history, architecture, produce and traditions.