Easter weekend is a long 4 day one here in the Netherlands, so most years we try to get away. Since it is within a do-able driving distance, we decided to visit Normandy for the weekend. Normandy is a great place to relax for the weekend – there isn’t a lot to do besides enjoy the beach, the countryside, eat nice food and drink wine. We stayed in Heuqueville, which is a short drive from Etretat, on the Côte d’Albâtre (Alabaster Coast) in Haute Normandy.

visit Normandy

We’ve already visited the areas or Normandy famous for D-Day – Omaha beach, the American cemetery, etc. On our last visit to Normandy we were busy seeing the historical sites, but didn’t have long enough to enjoy the nature, so we decided to return to check out the area with a bit more time on our hands.

Normandy is HUGE! We still haven’t visited Mont St Michel or Monet’s Giverny – so there is always more to come back and see on the next visit. One of the best parts of living in Europe is being able to visit these places and take our time, instead of only visiting Paris or the south of France. Areas like Normandy are France to me. Sure, Paris is too, but visiting areas like Normandy and Brittany give you a better look at what life is like outside of the big city, and prove that the country has so much more than the Eiffel Tower to offer.

Why should you visit this area of Normandy? Just look at the pictures below, and you’ll be convinced

Visit Normandy to hike along its cliffs

One of the main reasons we decided to visit this area was for its beautiful cliffs! One of our “musts” on our weekend away check list is hiking opportunities. Once you head along the coastal path from Etretat, you can leave the crowds behind and walk for hours along the cliffs. The area is just breathtaking.

hike etretat
Etretat’s famous archway… so beautiful

Etretat

Etretat
Views of Etretat – I love the path leading up to the chapel on the hill
hike etretat
Hiking along the cliff from Etretat going south

Read about Normandy’s D-Day Sites

Visit Normandy for the countryside

Airbnbn Normandy
Our AirBnB in Heuqueville, near Etretat

Join Airbnb with this link to save €35 on your first booking.

countryside normandy
The garden at our AirBnB
house normandy
Our AirBnB in Normandy
mustard normandy
… and it was all yellow
cows normandy
New friends in Normandy

Visit to see its charming towns

palais benedictine
Palais Benedictine in Fecamp
etretat
The town of Etretat

and of course, visit Normandy for the food!

oysters normandy
Brought these home for dinner
Normandy fish
Shopping for dinner at a poissonnerie in Fecamp
ice cream beach
A break on the beach
normandy food
Seafood salad
moules normandy
Les moules … delicious!

 

Did I miss anything? What are your favorite things to do when you visit Normandy?

51 Comments

  1. Such incredible landscapes and views in Normandy! I would really love to go. Thank you for sharing all of these incredible things to see and do!

  2. Wow, this looks like a great weekend! I am happy for you that you did so, I want to visit Etretat since 4 years and still havent managed to… But I did visit anotber part: Honfleur and Mont Saint Michel which I both loved. Great region!

    • gab.grow@gmail.com Reply

      ah I still want to visit Mont Saint Michel! haven’t crossed it off the list yet!

  3. Normandy looks beautiful! What a perfect time of year to visit as well – the weather and the flowers in the fields looked beautiful. I’ve not been to this part of France, but I agree with you that it can be more fun to check out alternative places to the ever busy Paris or the south of France. I love exploring small towns and villages in less touristy areas – they’re so much cheaper too!

    • gab.grow@gmail.com Reply

      you should definitely visit next time! it’s a great break from visiting cities 🙂

  4. Wow what a gorgeous landscape! Those coastal views are stunning and the grass is so green! Beautiful.

  5. Normandy is incredible! I finally got to visit last fall and it was the highlight of our trip to France. There’s so much beauty and history there.

  6. Wow!! It looks stunning there. I love the view of the cliffs. I would love to visit Normandy and explore all the beauty and history that this place has to offer. Such a great post!! Thanks!!

  7. Pingback: A trip to Normandy's D-Day Sites · Boarding Call

  8. So cool – I’ve been there on a road trip about 2 years ago and loved it! I also went to Etretat and we were driving along the coast and it was so beautiful! The cliffs are super impressive! We went all the way from Paris up to the coast and then drove all the way to Western France. I really love Mt. St. Michel as well, though it’s already pretty Western. But the cliffs are such an eye catcher that they are definitely one of my favorites, too!

  9. Fresh seafood – sign me up! I love destinations that offer the freshness of the sea. The friendly cows look like they have a fringe/bangs! Most importantly the town seems to have amazing architecture and is probably filled with culture and history! Love the pictures!

  10. WOW Gabby, this was such a beautiful weekend destination! I definitely need to put it on my travel list.

  11. Wow, I mean, look at those pictures of Etretat’s archway, I can only imagine how amazing the hike would have been! I love the countryside and Normandy looks like the sort of place I would have loved to explore. Great post!

  12. Normandy and the coast of France are actually next on my list. The photos are stunning and the food looks amazing. I still need to brush up on my French a little and I will be there!

  13. Normandy looks lovely! Not your usual weekend break but we’d to go and see it for ourselves some day. The chapel on the hill is so picturesque!

  14. Okay, seriously, these are some of the best pictures of Normandy. That water is so clear! I’d probably stay and look at it for hours! It’s just amazing to see. Definitely one of the most beautiful parts of this for me.

  15. Stunning panorama to indulge in beauty of nature. Loved your post with great pics. Thanks.

  16. I wish I had seen more of France when I had the chance! Normandy looks beautiful, so much natural beauty!

  17. What a great post , enjoyed reading your blog:) beautiful photos too I’m so jealous that you can just drive going to this place! U r blessed:) keep writing:) thanks for sharing

  18. Normandy looks beautiful! I spent a fair bit of time in France but mainly in the south – in Perpignan. I would love to visit Normandy and Mont St Michael 🙂

  19. A hike along the cliff sounds like such a wonderful experience. Love the picture of the chapel on the cliff. And the droolworthy food needs a special mention. loved reading the post.

    • gab.grow@gmail.com Reply

      thank you! yeah Normandy is so gorgeous! deserves a visit 🙂

  20. It seema to be a perfect place for a short weekend – it’s pretty, the towns are charming and the fresh seafood means always a big YES from me! The castle you mentioned you didn’t go – is it the famous one that’s on sort of an island on the water? I think I saw something like this online before. I’m adding Normandy to my bucket list!

    • gab.grow@gmail.com Reply

      Yes exactly Mont St Michel is farther west and is on an island, looks beautiful but I’ve never been unfortunately!

  21. Normandy – wow. I love the cliffs. Looks like a place where you can enjoy the beautiful nature and just relax! Amazing choice for a couple of days. I have never been there but I put it now on my bucket list. Thanks for your post. I enjoy also the beautiful pictures.

    • gab.grow@gmail.com Reply

      thank you! it is really beautiful there, a must visit to explore France’s beauty 🙂

  22. This sounds so nice. I’m all for nature walks and would be right at home hiking around Normandy 🙂

  23. Normandy seems to have it all … stunning coastline, breathtaking views and fantastic food! I’ve never considered a long weekend to Normandy, but I will do now. Perfect place to get away from the city to relax!

  24. Incredible landscapes! This is one of the areas of France I have yet to visit – I wonter if it is possible to do some paragliding there… Usually such cliffs next to the sea provide so great up-draft…

  25. I love hiking in nature! The cliffs seem amazing! I love your pics and pinned some of them, simply had to! Never been to Normandy but your pictures made me wanna go. Thanks for sharing. Super nice post!

    • gab.grow@gmail.com Reply

      thank you! hope you can visit soon! it is just as beautiful as the pictures show 🙂

  26. Normandy is really beautiful! You took some pretty pictures of the cliff. I never really thought about visiting the north of France since I live here. You gave me some nice idea for a weekend break! At least when it’s not rainy 🙂

    • gab.grow@gmail.com Reply

      yeah you should for sure visit on a weekend break! its a great place to relax and get away from city life

  27. Normandy is really beautiful! You took some pretty pictures of the cliff. I never really thought about visiting the north of France since I live here. You gave me some nice idea for a weekend break! At least when it’s not rainy 🙂

  28. I too loved the way to the Chapel. Beautiful landscape and that blue water can make anyones day. I have never been to Netherlands, I dont know if i will have so much time to see this alongwith other main places. But its worth a visit.

    • gab.grow@gmail.com Reply

      thank you! hope you will get to visit and see it for yourself!

  29. The cliffs look so rugged and dramatic! Beautiful pics and a lovely write up. Looks like you had a wonderful time away

  30. Your photos are wonderful! Thanks for this post. I feel like I will have so much to explore when I secise to do my month long visit to a few different countries in Europe

  31. I don’t think I ever stopped saying wow throughout the entire time I read this post. And is that yellow field really just the back yard of your airbnb!?!??!! Do you have the exact link to it becuase I’d for sure love to stay there and also explore all these beautiful places you checked out!

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