Honfleur and the Seine Maritime – Normandy’s Coastal Beauty
Stay in Honfleur and experience another side of Normandy!
Based in the beautiful Honfleur, discover the gems of the northern French coast. On this tour, you see the vast contrasts of this part of Normandy. From the quiant the seaside port of Honfleur to the Magnificent white cliffs of the Alabaster Coast. There is an abundance of history and beauty waiting to be explored!
Enjoy 30 kilometres of coastline, including the astonishing cliff of Etretat. French painter Claude Monet painted this beautiful place, making it famous across the world. As well as this, Honfleur ‘s Vieux-Bassin (old harbour), with it’s 16th- to 18th-century townhouses, has been also been a subject for artists including Claude Monet. Here, you may like to visit some of the many artists who flock to this area to showcase their art. Another piece of beautiful coastline to discover is Cap Fagnet. Formerly a Gallic fortress, Cap Fagnet was a chain in the Atlantic wall during the 2nd World War thanks to its exceptional panoramic view.
During this tour, you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of nature. Immerse yourself in one of the most beautiful villages of upper Normandy, Veules les Roses, and also visit the region’s biggest rose garden at the Chateau Mesnil Geoffroy. Discover the secrets of the Benedictine Palace of Fecamps with a tour and taste the centuries old liqueur.
This tour is packed with exciting inclusions. View a different facet of Normandy and discover the favourite sights of locals.
Dates throughout 2022
Travel to France
Start your journey to Normandy and depart from your local area in direction of Portsmouth where you will take the ferry to Le Havre. Why not enjoy a delicious buffet meal on board before docking heading to your hotel in Honfleur.
Etretat: The unmissable landmark of Alabaster Coast
This morning, enjoy a little train tour around the city and to the top of the cliffs. There, the quaint Notre Dame de la Garde Chapel overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Take in breathtaking views of the white cliffs and natural rock arches of Etretat. These are some of Upper Normandy’s best-known sights and have been painted by famous Impressionist artists, including Claude Monet. Enjoy some free time to explore this town, where famous French author Guy de Maupassant spent much of his childhood, before heading to Fecamps.
Fecamp: The Flamboyant Benedictine Palace
At Fecamp Abbey in 1510, the Benedictine Monk and alchemist Dom Bernardo Vincelli is said to have created a secret elixir, whose recipe was lost during the French Revolution. In 1863 Alexandre le Grand rediscovered the elixir’s composition and named it Benedictine. He built the Benedictine Palace in honour of the liqueur which is composed of 27 plants and spices. Enjoy a guided tour of the Palace including the art collection and the distillery. Finish the tour with a Benedictine liqueur tasting!
Cap Fagnet: The highest point of the Alabaster Coast
The highest point of the coast at 105m high, the Cap Fagnet was a strategic military site during the Second World War. Built during this period on the orders of the German Army, blockhouses were erected as part of the Atlantic Wall from 1942. A guided tour provides a better understanding of the role of this important station in the war but also the functioning of the economic collaboration and the limits of this military strategy.
Today enjoy some free time to explore the harbour. Why not visit one of the many galleries or just sit back and enjoy the seaside breeze.
Veules-les-Roses and the Chateau Mesnil Geoffroy
The most beautiful and authentic village of the Alabaster Coast
Nestling in a valley, facing out to the sea, Veules-les-Roses is enchantingly idyllic. With its delightful seashore, rich heritage, this little village, crossed by France’s smallest river, is sure to entice you. Walking along the River Veules, you’ll find the traces of the village’s history engraved in stone and present in its varied architecture. Wander past the watermills, seaside villas, quaint cottages and picturesque church. After a guided tour, you will have free time to explore and enjoy lunch at leisure. Maybe you can try the village specialty: sweet Camembert from the bakery.
Continue to the Chateau Mesnil Geoffroy, built at the beginning of the 17th century on the site of a 13th century castle. The current building is typical of Louis XIII’s style with its high slate roofs and its very large fireplaces. Considered among the most beautiful of French gardens, the rose garden has 2700 rose bushes dedicated to rose history and perfume, from the first species to the newest ones. It is the most important rose collection in Normandy.
Return to the UK
The time has come to depart from Normandy. Take the short journey from Honfleur to Le Havre and perhaps enjoy a delicious buffet meal on board before docking in Portsmouth.
Rouen or the Bay of the Somme
Why not stay another day to discover one of Normandy’s most beautiful towns? Enjoy a full day in Rouen, perhaps have a guided tour in the morning, have lunch in one of the numerous local restaurants and explore on your own in the afternoon.
Unmissable places to visit and enjoy include France’s tallest Cathedral, cobbled and narrow streets, the Gros Horloge and the Joan of Arc Memorial!
Alternatively, head north along the coast of the mouth of the River Somme. Two charming towns lie either side of the river. From St Valery-sur-Somme, perhaps take a steam train along the bay, or walk along the pierside in Le Crotoy, with one of the few south facing beaches in northern France and where Jules Verne lived – his house is now a fascinating museum.
Suggested hotels – All inspected by Greatdays staff November 2019
Antares Hotel, Honfleur ***
Based in the outskirts of Honfleur, this hotel is only 2.1 km from the town centre, 3.5 km from the Pont de Normandie bridge on the River Seine, making it easy access to the Seine Maritime region. With 78 Rooms, all featuring Wifi, TV’s, irons, hairdryer, some have river and bridge views. There’s also a restaurant and bar with a terrace and a daily hot and cold breakfast buffet. Additional amenities include a heated indoor pool and a sauna, while spa treatments and massage are available for a fee. On site coach parking is complimentary.
Le M – Hôtel Honfleur ***
Only a 14-minute walk from the Vieux Bassin waterfront, rooms have contemporary furnishings. All come with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. The spa features a heated indoor pool, a sauna and a steam room, as well as treatment rooms. Other amenities include a restaurant, a casual bar and a garden. Onsite coaching parking is complimentary.
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|Dates||Half Twin||Single Supplement|
|Dates throughout 2022||From £289.00 per person||From £146.00 per person|
Half board is available at both hotels