Five of the prettiest villages in Normandy

07th April, 2016
One of the most accessible French regions from the UK, Normandy has been a hit with visitors, offering sandy beaches, rocky cliffs and rolling countryside. Its villages in particular offer a real insight into Norman life, from its fascinating history to its cuisine, architecture, flora and fauna. Here are some of the prettiest villages you’ll find near our villas in Normandy, each with their own individual and unique charm.

Barfleur

Much less crowded than the nearby Arromanches, Barfleur is a picturesque fishing village, and was a key departure port in the Middle Ages, meaning it has an impressive history. For the most impressive views, head the 349 steps up to the top of the Gatteville Lighthouse, offering panoramic views of the Pointe de Barfleur and its green but rocky coastline, as well as the harbour, lined with colourful fishing boats.

Beuvron-en-Auge

Beuvron-en-Auge lies at the heart of Pays d’Auge country on Normandy’s famous Cider Route, and promises a picturesque and historical setting to while away a few hours. Colourful flowers overflow from the window boxes of houses and cafes, while the village church glows as the light bounces off its chandeliers and stained glass windows. Within the town, you’ll also find an excellent central market as well as an expansive 16th century timber-framed manor, with a miniature train taking in all of the sites of the village.


Giverny

Giverny is a Norman village which has featured in the works of Monet, where he lived and took great joy in capturing the Japanese bridge, water lilies and weeping willows found in the gardens of his house. Located just an hour from Paris, visiting Giverny is a must for anyone interested in the impressionist art movement.

Honfleur 

Honfleur is another of Normandy’s pretty seaside towns, with its importance lying with the fact that it played a key role in the impressionist movement. It’s easy to see why it inspired so many artists, with its bright narrow buildings decorating the old boat basin, its many public gardens and France’s largest wooden church, the 16th century l’Eglise Sainte-Catherine. From the top of the Notre Dame de Grace Chapel, you can also enjoy excellent views over the town and the Seine. The village features many times in paintings by the like of Monet, Courbet and Boudin, with a museum dedicated to the works of the “ecole de Honfleur” located in the centre of the town.


Lyons-la-Foret

Surrounded by the woods of Lyons, which is one of Europe’s largest beech forests, approaching Lyons as you pass miles of incredibly tall trees is a sight to behold. Upon reaching the town, you’ll fall in love with the beautiful houses built from timber, which are typical of this part of Normandy. Its historic covered marketplace is worth exploring, as are the nearby palaces whose origins date back to the Middle Ages.

Image: Andres Nieto Porres, available under Creative Commons