Things to do in
Normandy

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Our most recommended things to do in Normandy

Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey Ticket & Self-Guided Tour

1. Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey Ticket & Self-Guided Tour

Discover one of the world's first UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a visit to Mont-Saint-Michel abbey. Explore the site with a self-guided tour aided by an information booklet and learn the fascinating history of the site entirely at your own pace. The worship of Saint Michel was introduced on the holy mount in 708 and it became one of the most important places of medieval pilgrimage. Benedictine Monks began building an abbey here in the 10th century.   The abbey has withstood the assaults of man, time, and the elements. The heroic resistance of the mount to English attacks during the Hundred Years’ War (14th and 15th centuries) made it a symbol of French national identity.  Monks left the abbey in 1790 and it was listed as a historic monument in 1874. The whole site has been returned to its former glory thanks to ongoing restoration work.

Normandy: Les Jardins d'Etretat Self-Guided Visit

2. Normandy: Les Jardins d'Etretat Self-Guided Visit

Visit the Les Jardins d’Etretat which combines classical gardening methods with neo-futuristic architectural vision. Discover a complex of seven gardens, each of them with their own character, purpose, atmosphere, range of plants, and sculptures. Appreciate the natural beauty of Normandy embodied in plants of different forms and shapes representing the waves of the English Channel, oyster farms, rock formations, and arches of the Alabaster coast. Les Jardins d'Étretat is also an open-air museum of contemporary art, which features a unique collection of objects. In addition to the permanent collection, explore the various temporary exhibitions of contemporary sculpture. The modern art collections are in the architectural core of the garden and represent its artistic integrity. Step out on the main terrace of Les Jardins d'Étretatwhich provides a panoramic view of the ocean and Etretat Cliffs. Iconic artist Claude Monet spent many long hours at this place working on his series of paintings. Explore the garden at your own pace. At the entrance, you will receive an information plan which will help you to discover each part of this wonderful site.

Giverny: Monet's House and Gardens Guided Tour

3. Giverny: Monet's House and Gardens Guided Tour

Escape the busy city and visit the enchanting home and gardens of the famous impressionist painter Claude Monet. Stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens with your knowledgeable guide and learn more about the flora as well as the importance of the gardens in Monet's paintings.  Meet with your small group (max. 9 people) and your guide before entering the gardens. First, visit the water garden with the water lilies that inspired many of his paintings and then the 'Clos Normand'. Your guide will point out different species of flowers and features of the garden. As you wander through the gardens and visit Monet's house also learn more about Claude Monet's life, and why he became the master of impressionism.  At the end of the tour, you can stay longer to stroll on your own or take a look in the big gift shop before you exit. From early spring till the first days of November, Monet's gardens are a fairy of colors and fragrances. Feel free to ask your guide about the picturesque village of Giverny and what more there is to see.

Mont Saint Michel: Walking Tour & Optional Abbey Ticket

4. Mont Saint Michel: Walking Tour & Optional Abbey Ticket

Explore the village of Mont Saint Michel, located on a picturesque tidal island, with a licensed local tour guide. First, meet your guide and take the shuttle bus to the village, where you will learn more about its history during a 2-hour walking tour. Walk the narrow cobblestone streets of the village along the Grande Rue on the way up to the Abbey. See the parish church of Saint-Pierre, surrounded by a cemetery, housing a silver statue dedicated to Saint-Michel. Stroll along the ramparts and enjoy the beautiful views of the coast and a stunning panorama over the bay. Choose to include an entrance ticket to the Abbey, to explore it at your own pace.

Day Trip to Mont-Saint-Michel from Paris

5. Day Trip to Mont-Saint-Michel from Paris

Depart Paris and travel by luxury air-conditioned coach to the amazing fortified city of Mont Saint-Michel off the Normandy coast. Sit back and relax and get stunning views of the countryside along the way. Stop for a break at a nearby village that dates back to the days of the Normans, and stroll the winding streets and narrow pathways to find the best views of the bay. Continue to the mouth of the Couesnon River, where Mont-Saint-Michel was built on an islet just a few hundred meters from the mainland. Explore the fantastic architecture and remarkable monuments of the walled city at your own pace. Climb along the ramparts to make your way up to the abbey at the top of the town. Built in the 11th century by William of Volpiano, the monument has played a vital role in the history of the commune and feudal society it represents. Depart Mont-Saint-Michel in the late afternoon and drive back to Paris to get dropped off at the starting point.

Half-Day Trip to Giverny from Paris

6. Half-Day Trip to Giverny from Paris

Enjoy a half-day trip to the former home of Claude Monet, one of the most famous painters of French Impressionism. Located in the tiny hamlet of Giverny on the banks of the River Seine, 50 miles west of Paris, the house and gardens were bequeathed to the Académie des Beaux-Arts by his son in 1966. They were opened as a public museum in 1980 following large-scale restoration work. Depending on the option you choose, your tour will either be guided, audio guided or at your own leisure.  Depart Paris and travel by comfortable air-conditioned coach. As there is no direct public transport to Giverny, this is the ideal way to get there. You will drive via the western districts of Paris and take the Normandy motorway as far as Bonnières. After crossing the River Seine at Vernon, continue to Giverny through the wooded plateaus of Eure. Giverny attracted several Impressionist painters in the 19th-Century, most following the lead of the movement’s founder, Claude Monet, who lived there for 43 years. During the tour, you will visit the Master’s house, where the spectacular colors and enchanting garden were designed like a work of art. Be dazzled by the flowerbeds and plants and get a sense of the artist’s feelings and inspirations as you stand in front of the famous water lilies and weeping willows in the delightful water garden.

From Paris: Full-Day Guided Mont Saint Michel Tour

7. From Paris: Full-Day Guided Mont Saint Michel Tour

Visit Mont Saint-Michel on a guided day trip from Paris. Discover the highlights with your guide before taking an audio-guided tour of Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey. Enjoy some free time after to explore on your own. From Paris, board a private bus to the island of Mont Saint Michel. On the journey, listen as your guide provides interesting stories from the history of the abbey. Follow your guide on an orientation tour to ensure you see the most important attractions, including the hilltop Abbey of Mont Saint Michel. Enjoy a few hours at your leisure to explore the abbey and soak up the splendor of its interior with an audio guide tour, or stroll in the picturesque streets. Choose from a variety of lunch options ranging from dining rooms with rustic meat to sophisticated restaurants with bay view terraces specializing in seafood. Or, stop by one of the Mont Saint Michel's creperies to feast on galettes (buckwheat pancakes) with Normandy cider. In the late afternoon, board the bus for a return journey to Paris.

Giverny: Monet’s House and Gardens Skip-the-Line Tour

8. Giverny: Monet’s House and Gardens Skip-the-Line Tour

Stroll the streets of the charming village of Giverny and discover the grave of Claude Monet in the churchyard. Then, skip the long lines to Monet's house and gardens to hear the story of the artist's life and how he led the Impressionist movement from the village between 1883 and 1926. Learn how artists such as John Singer Sargent, Paul Cézanne and Mary Cassatt joined him in the sleepy village to form an unofficial artists’ colony. Be enchanted by the ponds and gardens that inspired his paintings, and see the Japanese bridge and lilies of the Oriental water garden Savor the scent of flowers in season, such as wild roses, hollyhocks, poppies and honeysuckle. Admire the water lilies and weeping willows, instantly recognizable from his classic paintings and look inside the thatched roof house to find the cheerful kitchen and his collection of 18th and 19th century Japanese prints.

Mont Saint-Michel: 4 Museums Entry Pass

9. Mont Saint-Michel: 4 Museums Entry Pass

A visit to the four museums of Mont Saint-Michel lift the veil on the great men, mysteries, secrets and legends of this unique place. Discover the mysterious story of Mont Saint-Michel through visiting its 4 museums.  The first, the Maritime Museum where you can discover the biggest tides in the world and the Mont Saint-Michel major environmental project. After, you will visit the Historical Museum Sound and Light. Here, you will learn about the monks who built the Abbey and the prisons of Mont Saint-Michel. You can visit the special exhibits such as the collection of ancient weapons, medieval instruments of torture, the body sucked down into the quicksand, louis XI's iron cage and the oubliettes. Then, you will visit the historic house of Bertrand Du Guesclin, a Breton knight and French military commander during the 14th century, and his wife, Tiphaine de Raguenel, a famous astrologist who used to read the destiny of the world in the stars. Here, you can visit special exhibits viewing period furniture, a bridal chamber, a medieval chastity belt, armor worn by Bertrand du Guesclin and Tiphaine de Raguenel's study. The last museum is the Archeoscope, which reveals the mysterious history of Mont Saint-Michel. An unforgettable experience in a timeless setting at the crossroads of history and legend. This unique show uses highly sophisticated technology to enthrall you in the world of magic and religion.  These museums will perfectly complete your visit of Mont Saint-Michel.

Giverny: Monet's Garden Half-Day Tour from Paris

10. Giverny: Monet's Garden Half-Day Tour from Paris

Explore the beautiful village and home in Upper Normandy where the Impressionist artists, Claude Monet spent the last 40 years of his life. Visit the charming village of Giverny, and discover why it proved such a source of inspiration for Impressionist artists. Following your transfer from Paris, look inside the house where Monet lived and worked. Set within an exquisite valley of the River Seine, the gardens and surroundings formed a great part of the subject matter for his paintings after he moved there in 1883. Once your have seen the rooms where the artist lived with his family, stroll through 2 unique gardens that Monet designed and modified throughout his life. See more than 100 different types of flowers, and intertwined foliage in Monet’s Flower Garden. Then, feel as if you have stepped into one of his paintings in the Japanese Garden. Go to the lake full of water lilies, and getter a better appreciation of why Monet used this garden as the inspiration for over 250 of his paintings.

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What people are saying about Normandy

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,852 reviews

After reading some comments on Trip Advisor I was concerned about the shuttle buses and where to find them and if we would be on time for our booking? Nothing could have been easier! Everything was well organised. 4 steps Arrive at the Parking, Park the car, Walk a short distance to the shuttle bus service. Stand in the queue, then board the bus! Everyone was delightful and helpful, especially the gentleman at the entrance to the Abbey. He was so kindly and spoke perfectly in Spanish to my friends. A most interesting and wonderful place. Thank you everyone who gave us such a beautiful experience! The Mass was incredible and although the visit was only for the day, all of us came away with a profound sense of peacefulness.

Thanks Victoria and the 2 trainees Philip and Laura for the wonderful trip. Mont Sant Michel is wonderful, especially feel very relax and having fun along the way communicate with you guys. Definitely will book another tour with BlueFox Travel when i will get a chance back to Paris in the future!

We had a wonderful time! Loved Mont Saint Michel very much. We were here back in 1997 and it’s very different now but still one of my favorite places in the world to visit. this is a must see if you come to visit France and venture up to the Normandy area.

Wow, what a moving and inspirational day. Our guide, John really made it special with personal stories and anecdotes which brought history to life.

Our tour guide Sarah was informative and pleasant. The entire experience was beyond my expectations!!