Honfleur – a lovely commune on the Seine

178 km

Honfleur is a large village (commune) in Calvados (Normandy) on the Seine estuary. From there it is a short drive to the magnificent Pont du Normandie. The village itself is a very attractive inlet, with a basin, surrounded by cafes and restaurants. The cobbled streets are narrow and winding and not too easy to navigate by car, but the basin is where one would want to stop anyway.

Some views of Honfleur –

There are a number of fascinating old buildings and churches to wander round, plus some shops and souvenir displays. We bought some named-soup-dishes from one such outlet.

Cancale : Number 1 for Seafood

95 km

Cancale is a large coastal village on the Brittany Coast, about 2 hours easy drive from our Gite. The sea-front has numerous cafes and restaurants, featuring some of the best seafood in France. Indeed. it is interesting to behold the constant stream of tractors hauling the day’s catch from the beach, along the esplanade in the evening. Across the bay, it is possible to discern the outline of Mont Saint Michel, preferably while enjoying your oysters with a local wine. All in all, a splendid option for a day trip.

Some views of Cancale –

Saint Malo

115 km

Saint Malo is a fascinating and historical city for a day visit, on the Brittany Coast, about 2 hours easy drive from our Gite. The old part of the city is walled with fortifications, guarding the ancient port outside and winding, narrow streets inside. There are numerous cafes and restaurants, a small but interesting zoo and many shops selling souvenirs and local specialty chocolates, nougat, cheese and galettes, among others. We favoured the rather up-market Lion d’Or restaurant next to Saint Vincent’s Gate for our special lunch treat but there are plenty other restaurants, particularly good for seafood. Wikipedia has an interesting article about the history of Saint Malo, from the 1st century Gaul settlement, through the time of the “Corsairs” (pirates) to its more modern role as an important centre for fighting in the Second World War and, latterly, a ferry port for the Channel Islands and beyond.

Some views of Saint Malo –

Visit in 2022

We also visited in 2022, with family and took photos then. As well as the harbourside, we strolled along the City Walls, past monuments to Jacques Cartier (pioneer explorer of Canada), Louis-Antoine de Bougainville (founder of the Falkland Islands), Rene-Dougyay Trouin (famous pirate) and Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand (author and politician).

Avranches

45 km

The fort in Avranches
Memorial statue at Avranches

Historical Avranches – Gateway to Mont Saint Michel

Avranches is a small town, also on the Cherbourg Peninsula, about 45km from Bayeux along the A84. Historically the site of the Nu-Pieds Salt revolt in the 15th century, more recent events saw the battles where General Patton succeeded in breaking out of the “pocket” during the Normandy Landings campaign. There is a small museum on the outskirts but most people carry on West, towards the major tourist attraction of Mont St Michel. Be warned, you need a permit to access the road to the Mont, otherwise there are very large carparks about 2km away. Alligator Bay is a short drive away, turning just before the car parks.

 


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