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Things to do in

Normandy

Our most recommended things to do in Normandy

Day Trip to Mont-Saint-Michel from Paris

1. Day Trip to Mont-Saint-Michel from Paris

Travel through Normandy on the way to the medieval Mont-St-Michel on a day trip from Paris aboard an air-conditioned bus. Choose to go alone, with a live guide, or with an audio guide. Discover the UNESCO-listed island and its Gothic abbey. Learn of its fascinating history and legendary stories. Depart Paris and travel through the French countryside by an air-conditioned bus to the amazing fortified city of Mont Saint-Michel off the Normandy coast. Sit back and relax and get stunning views of the countryside along the way. Stop for a break at a nearby village dating back to the days of the Normans, and stroll the winding streets and narrow pathways to find the best views of the bay. Continue to the mouth of the Couesnon River, where Mont-Saint-Michel was built on an islet just a few hundred meters from the mainland. Spend the afternoon exploring the remarkable monuments of the walled city, classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO since 1979. Take time to discover the rocky islet at your own pace. Climb along the ramparts to make your way up to the abbey at the top of the town. Visit the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel with an included entrance ticket. this Benedictine building has played a vital role in the history of the commune and the feudal society it represents. Marvel at this magnificent example of Gothic architecture from the early 13th century. Admire views of the surrounding bay before leaving Mont-Saint-Michel in the late afternoon. Be driven back to the French capital to get dropped off at the starting point.

Giverny: Monet's House and Gardens Guided Tour

2. Giverny: Monet's House and Gardens Guided Tour

Escape the busy city and visit the enchanting home and gardens of the famous impressionist painter Claude Monet. Stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens with your knowledgeable guide and learn more about the flora as well as the importance of the gardens in Monet's paintings.  Meet with your small group and your guide before entering the gardens. First, visit the water garden with the water lilies that inspired many of his paintings and then the 'Clos Normand'. Your guide will point out different species of flowers and features of the garden. As you wander through the gardens and visit Monet's house also learn more about Claude Monet's life, and why he became the master of impressionism.  At the end of the tour, you can stay longer to stroll on your own or take a look in the big gift shop before you exit. From early spring till the first days of November, Monet's gardens are a fairy of colors and fragrances. Feel free to ask your guide about the picturesque village of Giverny and what more there is to see.

From Paris: Mont Saint Michel Guided Day Trip

3. From Paris: Mont Saint Michel Guided Day Trip

Visit Mont Saint-Michel on a guided day trip from Paris. Discover the highlights with your guide before taking an audio-guided tour of Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey. Enjoy some free time after to explore on your own. From Paris, board a private coach to the island of Mont Saint Michel. On the journey, listen as your guide provides interesting stories from the history of the abbey. Follow your guide on an orientation tour to ensure you see the most important attractions, including the hilltop Abbey of Mont Saint Michel. Enjoy a few hours at your leisure to explore the abbey and soak up the splendor of its interior with an audio guide tour, or stroll in the picturesque streets. Choose from a variety of lunch options ranging from dining rooms with rustic meat to sophisticated restaurants with bay view terraces specializing in seafood. Or, stop by one of the Mont Saint Michel's creperies to feast on galettes (buckwheat pancakes) with Normandy cider. In the late afternoon, board the coach for a return journey to Paris.

Normandy: Les Jardins d'Etretat Self-Guided Visit

4. Normandy: Les Jardins d'Etretat Self-Guided Visit

Visit the Les Jardins d’Etretat which combines classical gardening methods with neo-futuristic architectural vision. Discover a complex of seven gardens, each of them with their own character, purpose, atmosphere, range of plants, and sculptures. Appreciate the natural beauty of Normandy embodied in plants of different forms and shapes representing the waves of the English Channel, oyster farms, rock formations, and arches of the Alabaster coast. Les Jardins d'Étretat is also an open-air museum of contemporary art, which features a unique collection of objects. In addition to the permanent collection, explore the various temporary exhibitions of contemporary sculpture. The modern art collections are in the architectural core of the garden and represent its artistic integrity. Step out on the main terrace of Les Jardins d'Étretatwhich provides a panoramic view of the ocean and Etretat Cliffs. Iconic artist Claude Monet spent many long hours at this place working on his series of paintings. Explore the garden at your own pace. At the entrance, you will receive an information plan which will help you to discover each part of this wonderful site.

Half-Day Trip to Giverny from Paris

5. Half-Day Trip to Giverny from Paris

Enjoy a half-day trip to the former home of Claude Monet, one of the most famous painters of French Impressionism. Located in the tiny hamlet of Giverny on the banks of the River Seine, 50 miles west of Paris, the house and gardens were bequeathed to the Académie des Beaux-Arts by his son in 1966. They were opened as a public museum in 1980 following large-scale restoration work. Depending on the option you choose, your tour will either be guided, audio-guided or at your own leisure.  Depart Paris and travel by comfortable air-conditioned coach. As there is no direct public transport to Giverny, this is the ideal way to get there. You will drive via the western districts of Paris and take the Normandy motorway as far as Bonnières. After crossing the River Seine at Vernon, continue to Giverny through the wooded plateaus of Eure. Giverny attracted several Impressionist painters in the 19th-Century, most following the lead of the movement’s founder, Claude Monet, who lived there for 43 years. Visit the Master’s house, where the spectacular colors and enchanting garden were designed like a work of art. Be dazzled by the flowerbeds and plants and get a sense of the artist’s feelings and inspirations as you stand in front of the famous water lilies and weeping willows in the delightful water garden.

Mont Saint-Michel: 4 Museums Entry Pass

6. Mont Saint-Michel: 4 Museums Entry Pass

A visit to the four museums of Mont Saint-Michel lift the veil on the great men, mysteries, secrets and legends of this unique place. Discover the mysterious story of Mont Saint-Michel through visiting its 4 museums.  The first, the Maritime Museum where you can discover the biggest tides in the world and the Mont Saint-Michel major environmental project. After, you will visit the Historical Museum Sound and Light. Here, you will learn about the monks who built the Abbey and the prisons of Mont Saint-Michel. You can visit the special exhibits such as the collection of ancient weapons, medieval instruments of torture, the body sucked down into the quicksand, louis XI's iron cage and the oubliettes. Then, you will visit the historic house of Bertrand Du Guesclin, a Breton knight and French military commander during the 14th century, and his wife, Tiphaine de Raguenel, a famous astrologist who used to read the destiny of the world in the stars. Here, you can visit special exhibits viewing period furniture, a bridal chamber, a medieval chastity belt, armor worn by Bertrand du Guesclin and Tiphaine de Raguenel's study. The last museum is the Archeoscope, which reveals the mysterious history of Mont Saint-Michel. An unforgettable experience in a timeless setting at the crossroads of history and legend. This unique show uses highly sophisticated technology to enthrall you in the world of magic and religion.  These museums will perfectly complete your visit of Mont Saint-Michel.

Giverny: Monet's Garden Half-Day Tour from Paris

7. Giverny: Monet's Garden Half-Day Tour from Paris

Explore the beautiful village and home in Upper Normandy where the Impressionist artists, Claude Monet spent the last 40 years of his life. Visit the charming village of Giverny, and discover why it proved such a source of inspiration for Impressionist artists. Following your transfer from Paris, look inside the house where Monet lived and worked. Set within an exquisite valley of the River Seine, the gardens and surroundings formed a great part of the subject matter for his paintings after he moved there in 1883. Once you have seen the rooms where the artist lived with his family, stroll through 2 unique gardens that Monet designed and modified throughout his life. See more than 100 different types of flowers, and intertwined foliage in Monet’s Flower Garden. Then, feel as if you have stepped into one of his paintings in the Japanese Garden. Go to the lake full of water lilies, and get a better appreciation of why Monet used this garden as the inspiration for over 250 of his paintings.

From Paris: Giverny and Versailles Palace Guided Day Trip

8. From Paris: Giverny and Versailles Palace Guided Day Trip

Take a guided tour of Monet’s Giverny estate and the Palace of Versailles on this day tour from Paris by air-conditioned coach. Save time with skip-the-line entrance to the Château de Versailles and its elegant garden.  Be picked up from a centrally-located meeting point in Paris and board a spacious coach. Stop at the Monet Foundation for a short introduction to the estate. Take a walk around the lily pad pond and visit the artist’s ivy-clad house. Take a break in town where you can purchase a delicious lunch. Sit back and take in the views on the short drive to Versailles, a perfectly preserved example of French royal extravagance. Breeze past the long lines at Versailles with your fast-tracked entrance. Explore the this famous palace and follow your guide on a tour of the rooms where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette threw lavish soirées. Visit the private royal chambers. Enjoy a short tour of the gardens and then have the freedom to appreciate them further at your leisure. Depending on the day, you may experience the Fountain Show or the Musical Gardens. Hop back on the bus and relax on the transfer back to your meeting point in Paris.

Bayeux: American D-Day Sites in Normandy Tour

9. Bayeux: American D-Day Sites in Normandy Tour

Meet your guide at Place de Québec and then begin your D-Day exploration adventure, retracing history as you uncover the day of June 6, 1944. The first stop of the tour is Omaha beach, where the deadliest landings of the day took place. From your guide, learn about the landings here and the soldiers who risked their lives. After Omaha, visit Utah beach, the second location where American troops landed on D-Day. Next, visit the US military cemetery and for the chance to pay respect and honor the soldiers of World War ll.  The tour continues to Pointe du Hoc next, a breathtaking cliff offering lunar landscapes and a magnificent viewpoint over the English Channel.  The site was built as a key point of the Atlantic Wall by the Germans because it was the highest point between the Omaha and Utah beaches and provided a great observation spot to notice any arrivals from the sea. Your D-Day sightseeing tour of Normandy ends with a visit to the village of Sainte-Mère-Eglise, the heart of the jump zone for the 82nd Airborne U.S. forces.  Listen to stories of how paratroopers rained on the village, and how one of them famously got caught in the tower of the church. With options for both half- and full-day tours, tailor your experience to your meet interest and schedule.

Mont-Saint-Michel: Abbey Audio-Guided Tour

10. Mont-Saint-Michel: Abbey Audio-Guided Tour

Listen to a guided tour on your phone as you stroll through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey. Immerse yourself in this religious site that was constructed over centuries. Find sloping stairways behind hidden doors as you uncover its past through content on the app. Make your way to the fairytale castle with a scenic walk across the bay as the outline of Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey grows on the horizon. Buy a ticket to the abbey and start your audio tour on your phone. Travel back in time to when monks lived within these walls and lived according to their scriptures. Enjoy picturesque ocean views from the towers of the castle. Follow the audio guide up and down winding staircases and through secret doors into long halls. Uncover dark dungeons from the Middle Ages. Immerse yourself in stories of holy knights and pious pilgrims.

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What people are saying about Normandy

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 5,706 reviews

This is a very long day from Paris, with 9 hours in the bus and only 3.5-4 hours actually at Mont St. Michel, but that isn’t the fault of the tour company or the guide. I only mention it so that you’ll have reasonable expectations. Our tour guide, Minnie, did an excellent job of letting us know what to expect, and of giving us the history of Mont St. Michel. She was fun and knowledgable. As for logistics, we stopped about 2 hours after departing Paris at a very nice, clean gas station/truck stop I order to use the restrooms and/or buy coffee, drinks and food. There were many prepackaged foods, as well as pastries and sandwiches. You’ll stop at a similar place on the way back to Paris. This I was my second trip to Mont St. Michel, and this is what I recommend: get a sandwich or something else fulling when you stop on the way there. Eat it on the bus late morning so you don’t have to spend time at a restaurant once you arrive. You will want every minute you have to explore, an…

We had a wonderful guide. She was very knowledgeable and gave excellent detail on the drive to Giverny and Versailles. The headset that the company provided malfunctioned. She saved the day by getting a set for our group when we arrived at Versailles. This was not her fault but something the company should address. Both her and the driver was absolutely fantastic and I would highly recommend!!

It is a fast paced day but the guide was excellent in answering all our questions about D-day. I thought the day was an excellent tool for people who had limited time but wanted to key all the key American D-day operations. Forrest-California

Having our guide provided context and insight we would not have had form a book. Easy access. We were late but our guide helped us catch up.

A must see while in France. The gardens are spectacular. The guide was informative, the bus to and fro vey clean and comfortable