Hear the sounds of Normandy: waves pounding the beaches and coves, and a special month-long classical music festival. It’s just a hop across the Channel with Brittany Ferries.
With its long and varied coastline, Normandy is synonymous with the sea. The D-Day Landing beaches are among the best wide expanses of sand to stroll along and soak up the sound of the waves, but there are plenty of other smaller beaches and shingly or pebbly coves where you can enjoy peace and solitude and be at one with nature. The Alabaster Coast is best known for, and named after, its awe-inspiring white cliffs and rock formations; this is the part of coast nearest the port towns of Dieppe and Le Havre. If you’re in Le Havre, why not sit at the stunningly-located Bar au Bout du Monde – there’s no music played here, so you can fully appreciate the sound of the waves crashing just beside you.
The scenery in and around Étretat is some of Normandy’s most dramatic, while the Côte Fleurie includes some picturesque resorts including Honfleur and the chic Trouville and Deauville. The section of coast between the Cotentin peninsula and Courseulles-sur-Mer includes most of the famous D-Day beaches, while at Arromanches-les-Bains you can see the floating port used during the landings. The Côte des Havres is on the western side of the Cotentin peninsula; it’s here, close to the border with Brittany, that Mont-Saint Michel proudly stands, as well as the resort of Granville. A popular trip from here is the boat trip to the Îles Chausey, a group of islands 15km away with pretty small beaches and natural harbours to explore.
There’s a special treat in store in Normandy this autumn: the Festival Septembre Musical de l’Orne (7 September–7 October). A must for classical music lovers, Nicolas Dautricourt will perform Sibellus and Grieg on violin, alongside the Normandy Regional Orchestra. Victor Julien Laferrière, cellist laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition of Belgium in 2017, will also make an appearance.
Three shows will be of particular interest: an Offenbach opera, The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein; an evening of gospels with Rhoda Scott and the choirs of the University of Maine; and a jazz opera by Thierry Lalo, Pinocchio, with the Argentan Conservatory. Around the concerts, three lectures by Michael Andrieu and six visits to historic monuments and gardens will allow festival-goers to enhance their festival experience.
More information on www.septembre-musical.com
Get there with Brittany Ferries
The best way of exploring Normandy is in the comfort of your own car, packed with everything you need. With Brittany Ferries you can sail direct to Normandy, choosing either a cruise ferry service from Portsmouth to Caen or Le Havre, or from Poole to Cherbourg.
Plan your trip to Normandy with Brittany Ferries.