Smell Normandy

Experience Normandy's smells: Monet's garden at Giverny, Calvados and pommeau, and the salty sea air and freshly-caught fish along the coast. It’s just a hop across the Channel with Brittany Ferries.

Flowers in Monet’s garden at Giverny

Autumn is a wonderful time to visit Monet’s garden (External link) – and it’s easy to see how it inspired the artist. The central path in the Clos Normand is particularity majestic at this time of year, covered in nasturtiums and purple dahlias. In the water garden, the light softens, the reflections in the water darken and the weeping willows take on a yellowish-orange hue. In October the fragrant sage turns purple and blue amid asters in pink and white. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the garden before its winter closure on 1 November.

Calvados & pommeau

The unmistakeable sweet, appley aroma of Calvados will linger in your nostrils long after you’ve returned home from Normandy. Calvados Experience (External link) is a new attraction in Pont-l’Évêque that explores the history of the traditional Norman drink through multi-sensory exhibits. At the end of the tour, enjoy a tasting session with a Calvados Connoisseur and learn the all-important three stages of Calvados tasting : the appearance, the nose and the palate. Pommeau is effectively apple sherry, a mix of one-third Calvados to two-thirds apple juice and drunk as an aperitif.

Salty sea air on Cap de la Hague

You can fill your lungs with invigorating salty air anywhere on Normandy’s coast – but perhaps the most stunning section of the Cotentin Peninsula, the Cap de la Hague is teaming with beautiful flora and diverse wildlife. An important site for migrating birds, it’s a must-visit for those who enjoy bird-watching as the terns, swifts and swallows swoop over the sea and alongside the cliffs. The wild moorland is perfect for hiking and coastal walks, or you can explore the variety of sandy or pebbled beaches below, looking up at the great cliff-faces – such as Le Nez Jobourg – which are among the highest cliffs in continental Europe.

Fish hauls in Granville

The port of Granville celebrates seafood in all its forms at Toute la Mer sur un Plateau (‘The Whole Sea on a Plate’) (29-30 September 2018). This vast seafood festival comprises over 50 stalls, attracts around 55,000 visitors a year, and no less than 16 tonnes of seafood are brought fresh off the fishing boats for the occasion. Expect markets, pop-up seafood restaurants, cooking demos, free tastings, folk music and entertainment for all the family. Just an hour away from the Mont-Saint-Michel, Granville is France’s number one shellfish port and is known to the French as “the Monaco of the North”.
Browse all of Normandy's main food festivals (External link)

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. (External link)

Visit the Normandy Tourist Office website for more information. (External link)

Normandy, France