An Impressionist Getaway in Normandy
Excursion : Le Havre > Honfleur > Deauville > Cabourg
Total traveling distance : 42 miles
Trip duration : 1.45
Surroundings : Etretat, 34 miles return journey from Le Havre, it will take 1.30 by car
From the port in Le Havre, where Monet painted "Impression soleil levant" in 1872, embark on a journey through the birthplace of the greatest Impressionist oeuvres. Travel from Honfleur to Cabourg, via Deauville and Trouville, pointing out remnants of the Belle-Epoque and reliving those colourful, carefree days! Much like the artistic movement itself, these charming resorts are bathed in both Norman tradition and modernity.
Maritime metropolis listed as Unesco World Heritage since 2005, Le Havre has four surprises in store...
Auguste Perret, urban planner dubbed "a poet of concrete," rebuilt a post-war Havre into an outstanding cityscape. Gain perspective by visiting Perret's "appartement témoin", a 1950s model-flat symbolic of this urban revolution.
Make time for the André Malraux Museum of Modern Art (MuMa), which boasts the largest collection of French Impressionism after the Musée Orsay. A transparent gem of a structure, the MuMa is perfect for admiring the masterpieces of Renoir, Boudin, Monet, Pissarro and Courbet in a naturally lit setting. Don't forget to download the trilingual MuMa LH mobile application.
Live like the spirited Havrois and head down to the rehabilitated Vauban docks for exciting shopping and restaurants.
Go barefoot through the sand only 500 metres from downtown! If you're feeling more energetic, why not try water sports, fishing or a day out on a catamaran?
- Surroundings (34 miles return journey from Le Havre, it will take 1.30 by car)
Take the D940 just 17 miles north of Le Havre for a worthwhile excursion to Etretat, the breath-taking white chalk cliffs immortalised by Gustave Courbet and Eugène Boudin...
Le Havre > Honfleur: 25 km (15 miles) via the D940, 35 min by car
Southbound! Cross the Seine estuary on Normandy's cable-stayed bridge just 25 km from Le Havre and voilà, you're in Honfleur. With its typical port, myriad terroir products and artists, Honfleur is best described with adjectives that inspire the epicurean...
Admire the play of light on the narrow homes facing the port, which form a harmonious ensemble on Sainte-Catherine Quay.
Let your senses partake in the pleasures of the Pays d'Auge Market, with its fresh creams, cheeses, calvados... and jovial fishermen dragging in nets full of grey shrimp!
In 1868, son of the soil Eugène Boudin created a museum at Place Erik Satie to give fellow locals a "taste for the arts".
Honfleur > Deauville: 16 km (9 miles) via the D513, 32 min by car
From Honfleur, drive 16 km along the Côte Fleurie, or Flowered Coast, to Deauville, a culturally dynamic city that attracts, amongst others, athletes seeking a challenge against wind and tide. Get ready for a dazzling dose of atmosphere...
- The setting
Tour the elegant half-timbered villas, the casino, racetracks, golf courses and marina. Then unwind with a stroll along the famous boardwalk lined with beach huts, each one named after an American film star.
- The leading role
With its American Film Festival, numerous sailing and horse competitions, Deauville attracts the world's finest!
- Colour and emotion
Take time to simply admire the seagulls before heading three kilometres to the tasty Trouville Market, famous for the diversity of its local products.
Deauville > Cabourg: 28 km (17 miles) via the D400, 38 min by car
Cabourg - which wouldn't quite be Cabourg without Marcel Proust and his Grand Hotel. Here, the Casino plays its trump card by inviting you into its Belle Epoque setting... unless you'd rather place your bet at a nocturnal horse race!
- Marcel Proust
The great writer was, between 1907 and 1914, a regular guest at the resort's Grand Hotel.
- Bruno Coquatrix
This former mayor of Cabourg was once also a music writer, impresario and owner of Paris' Olympia music hall. He invited many French artists to the seaside resort, many of which still flock there today.
- Romantic beach break
Kick back at the beach in Cabourg, officially nicknamed "La plage aux romantiques", before heading to a downtown villa-turned-tearoom to indulge in a pastry.