France

5 Unforgettable Days on the Normandy Coast

Normandy, a region in the north-west of France, is famous not only for the isle of Le Mont Saint-Michel but further to the north, the majestic Alabaster Coast. This coastline of white, limestone cliffs extends 130 kilometres overlooking the English Channel. Interspersed with mostly inaccessible, pebbly beaches with the breath-taking seascapes have long inspired painters, composers and poets. 

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Le Mont-St-Michel

This island lies about one kilometre off the mainland. Originally accessible only at low tide, it now has a bridge which allows year round access. This island has held strategic fortifications since the 8th century. Once you reach the island, entrance is free unless you want to enter the abbey. You can also hire a guide and walk across the mud-flats on low tide. Just beware that the tidal shifts can be as much as 15 metres! We spent around five hours here just wandering about. The views were spectacular.

 

roadway to the hilly island with an abbey and lower surrounding town buildings

view from above of the sandy mud flats at low tide

access to the island at low tide via the roadway or the mud flats

Cap d’Antifer

With a lone lighthouse and stunning sheer, white limestone cliffs, Cap d’Antifer is such a serene location. Coupled with long, beautiful walks along the cliff tops, you can just feel the stresses of life falling away. You’ll see war bunkers and we managed to find some geocaches along the way! The photos say it all. We camped in the van right beside the lighthouse and captured a shot of an amazingly beautiful sunset.

 

view from above of the white limestone cliffs with green grass verges and the pebbly beach and blue seas

green grass surrounds the lone lighthouse

orange sunset over the sea with a sihouetted boat

lighthouse beaming its light at night

twilight with a boat in the distance and the crescent moon

Etretat

Famous for its arches of limestone and ‘Needle Of Etretat’, this Normandy town boasts just beautiful views near the ‘White Bird’ memorial. This memorial is a tribute to two French aviators who disappeared whilst attempting the first aerial crossing of the North Atlantic. We had a perfect day for taking photos!

Tip: For the best views, make your way to the northern end of Etretat and you’ll find a car park near the Notre-Dame de la Garde chapel.

 

blue green seas and the white limestone cliffs forming what looks like a needle head

white limestone cliffs forming in the sea

white limestone needle-like formations in the sea

Sotteville-sur-Mer

This Normandy village is but 500m from the huge limestone cliffs where you will find access to a pebble beach. Descending the concrete stairway takes you to a vantage point close by the water’s edge. Here you can watch the Atlantic Ocean relentlessly pound these towering cliffs. Don’t miss the sunset over the sea!

 

white limestone cliffs and the sea pounding them from below

yellow flowered field with a view to distant cliffs and the sea

orange sunset over the water

 

Our five days in Normandy were filled with the beauty of nature. We left feeling rejuvenated and can’t speak highly enough of this beautiful part of France.

Have you been to a place that left you feeling wonderstruck? We’d love to hear back from you.

Lars

Author: Lars

Being an Australian boy brought up in the country, I learnt at an early age to enjoy the freedom and beauty of nature. Leaving Australia at the age of 20, although I didn’t know it then, would be the beginning of a life of adventure. So join me here on our travels and see the world through my eyes.

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