Le Havre, 500th anniversary from 27 May

Don’t miss Le Havre’s celebrations for its500th anniversary in 2017 (External link) ! The UNESCO-listed city and port of Le Havre was founded in 1517 by King Francis I – and today it is Europe’s fifth largest port. The 500th anniversary will see it come alive like never before, with festivities and special events taking place from 27 May to 5 November. All across the city – from the historic docks to the shopping district and the beach – there will be a series of art exhibitions, theatrical performances and boat races taking place over the five months. A summer to remember in Le Havre!

Normandy’s largest city, Le Havre 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.