What better place to enjoy the great outdoors than in France’s beautiful Normandy? Just a short hop across the Channel, you’re spoilt for choice of summertime attractions in this coastal region – and with a glut of special festivals this season, there’s even more reason to while away the long sunny days here.
2019 is the year to visit Normandy. This beautiful part of France has been listed as one of the world’s top destinations to visit in 2019 by Lonely Planet, CNN, Frommer’s and Airbnb, for a number of exciting reasons.
The 30th Rouen Armada is taking place from 6–16 June, one of the largest family-friendly outdoor events in France this year, and best of all: it’s free! It promises to be bigger and better than ever before with 30 beautiful sailing ships, several pleasure cruise boats, warships and even submarines to marvel at! Additionally this year, the world’s tallest mobile observation tower will be set up on the quaysides, along with a big wheel and many other attractions.
As June marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy, this is the year to get out and enjoy the D-Day Beaches on foot or on horseback. Normandy’s coastline is made up of vast stretches of golden sand, dramatic cliffs, pebble coves, sand dunes and sheltered bays, presenting numerous opportunities for taking the sea air.
Summer is also the perfect time to discover or rediscover Normandy’s towns and cities . The port of Le Havre will be hosting seven games during the Women’s Football World Cup , and it’s also the birthplace of Impressionism. The town of Alençon is celebrated for its lace-making traditions dating back to the 17th century, while Saint-Lô is home to one of Normandy’s most beautiful markets and an active music scene.
Many medieval festivals are taking place in Normandy this summer, paying tribute to William the Conqueror and his momentous expedition. Head to Touques (29-30 June), Bayeux (5-7 July) or Clères (6-7 July) for medieval performances, markets, workshops and exhibitions. Domfront, Crèvecoeur-en-Auge and Falaise follow with similar celebrations in August.
Several magical sound and light shows will be on all summer across Normandy: in Rouen (1 June–15 September), Bayeux (16 July–31 August), Sées (Fridays and Saturdays July–September) and the Mont-Saint-Michel (6 July–31 August), plus a special display in Dieppe (9 June), on the 130th anniversary of the Pont Colbert bridge.
Families will love Le Bocasse and Festyland , two theme parks with a very Norman atmosphere. And finally, don’t forget that the family-friendly museum La Cité de la Mer in Cherbourg has just opened its epic new ‘Ocean of the Future’ exhibition. Visitors will embark on a incredible underwater adventure, learning all about the deep sea through spectacular multimedia spaces and visiting 16 impressive aquariums housing beautiful sea creatures, from colourful exotic fish to species from the Channel.
The best way of exploring? In the comfort of your own car, packed with everything you need. Normandy is easily accessible via Brittany Ferries’ ports of Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth. What’s more, their superb choice of summer breaks, make getting there great value too!
Book now with Brittany Ferries and save up to 25% on sail & stay cottage holidays