Feel Le Havre with our top 5 sensory experiences…
See Impressionist and modern art at the André Malraux Museum, housed in an amazing structure of glass and steel overlooking the sea
Hear the waves lapping the shore at the Bar au Bout du Monde, sitting right on the beach at Saint-Adresse; there’s no music played here, so just relax and enjoy the sound of the sea
Smell the famous fish and chips from Les Frites à Victor on the seafront
Taste a slice of local cheese (try Neufchâtel or Livarot) with a glass of cider or Calvados.
The major Norman port of Le Havre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sits at the mouth of the Seine and was totally reconstructed following its destruction during WW2. As well as being an important cross-Channel ferry port, it offers gentler seaside pleasures in the form of a pebbly beach with pretty beach huts and a large yachting marina, plus important cultural centres such as the MuMa André Malraux Museum of Modern Art and the Volcano arts centre. Perched above the marina are swanky villas and a 19th-century fort, now public gardens with a view. The centre of town is modern and spacious, with just a handful of historic stone buildings having survived the wartime devastation. Don’t miss Le Havre’s celebrations for its 500th anniversary in 2017!
As well as being the main seaport for Paris and centrally positioned for visiting Normandy, Le Havre offers something to pique every interest. Explore the seaside resort of Sainte-Adresse, soak up the medieval atmosphere of Harfleur and Montivilliers, think green thoughts in the green setting of the Hanging Gardens, learn about the Le Havre's sea trade tradition in the Shipowner's House or admire the modern architecture that earned Le Havre a place on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. All this awaits – if you can resist the lure of the beach and seafront promenade with their inviting café terraces, that is!
Talking of food, have you considered a short cooking course? Monet’s series of paintings of Rouen cathedral may be known the world over, but there’s another aspect of his work that has received much less attention: his recipe books. Régine Boidin welcomes you into her own kitchen in Le Havre for a culinary workshop inspired by the artist. Working with seasonal, local produce in a small group, guests spend three to four hours helping to prepare an entrée, a main dish and a dessert. Ingredients and equipment are provided; all you need to bring are your enthusiasm and good humour for an unforgettable culinary experience! Places can be booked through the tourist office.