Normandy is one of the most visited regions of France, but we agree it is not easy to plan a trip assuming the number of sites to visit and distance between key attractions. Weather is also a concern. Luckily we found mostly good weather conditions during July 2018. However, the weather changed a lot from day to day.
Key note when planning your trip: what do you really want to visit?
Normandy is a big region and has a LOT to offer, but with limited time, you will have to make choices. What we would highly recommend is you to rent a car and reach destinations from one or two fixed accommodation basis. We think the city of Deauville is an interesting basis, but we also recommend a country side small hotel or a more remote beach hotel. Don’t waste too much time in bigger cities such as Le Havre. Rouen has a very good structure but is mostly far to key attractions.
Secondly, making the best choice of your visit wishes is key:
Middle age towns (such as Rouen and Caen)…. Medieval sites (such as Mont St-Michel and the Jumièges abbey)…. Exploring the Birthplace of the Impressionism (it has great museums such as Museé des Beaux Arts of Rouen, MuMa of Le Havre and Eugène Bouding Museum in Honfleur)…. Small iconic gardens (such as Monet’s Giverny garden or Jardins d’Étretat)…. Landscape sites (such as Étretat clifs trails)…. Gothic cathedrals (such as Rouen’s)…. Charming countryside and port cities (such as Honfleur and Pont-Audemer)… Second World War landmarks (such as Cape Hoc, Omaha Beach D-Day land beaches)…. Booming beach resort cities (such as Deauville or Trouville)…. Gastronomic paradises (such as Pont l’Évêque cheese and Calvados brandy tastings)…. and MUCH more.
As the region is visited by around 20 million tourists per year (mainly during Spring and Summer), you have to well plan your visit. Check for opening hours, weather forecast (and adjust your plans accordingly), driving time to reach visited sites, access plan (long walks are required sometimes), online tickets (mainly for Mont Saint-Michel abbey)…