Notre Dame safeguard boat of SNCM
Same photo zoomed in
the cross high on cote de grace
Reviews from VirtualTourist Members
This has nothing to do with favourite things or fondest memories! It's a practical bit of information that could help you budget if you plan on visiting local museums and other attractions.At over two dozen sites you will see the Normandie Pass advertised. You can buy this for 1 euro with your first full price entry ticket. It remains valid between April and December in the year of purchase and gives you a discount off the full admission price at all of the partipating attractions.www.normandiepass.com
While the coastline is predominantly flat and dominated by the beaches and sand dunes, it becomes more rugged when approaching north of the Cotentin peninsula, with some spectacular cliffs.A path runs all along the coastline in Cotentin, so one could walk all the way around it, but there are some spots easily accessible for a short several hours or a day hike.
My preferred spots on the Manche coastline are :Mont Saint Michel bay - while rather flat, nothing beats the views of the abbey and its rockCarteret - around Cap Carteret, you can in a 3 hours walk see all what makes Normandy coastline - a natural harbour, cliffs, long beaches and spectacular sand dunes.Cap de la Hague - the northernmost and westernmost tip of the peninsula - windswept cliffs, charming bays, its highlights are Baie d´Ecalgrain, Nez de Jobourg. And the view of all the ships plying the Manche canal.
Normandy sports the biggest tides in Europe (well, minimum in France), with the records being of 16m of height around Granville. What makes them impressive along the Manche shore is the fact that the seabed is rather flat, so these 16 or something metres of height represent sometimes more than 5 kilometres.While the mechanism of the tide is known for a long time (old stories of the sea being a beast and the tide its respiration are no longer believed), it still continues to rhythm the life along the coast. So one of the first things to catch is a calendar with hours and amplitudes of tides. The hours change every day, as the cycle of high tide and low tide is every 12h 25 minutes. The amplitude varies from 20 to 120, with anything over 100 being an exceptionally high tide and under 45 the water almost staying in place.The amplitude is determined by the relative positions of the moon and...
Apple trees, apples and their produce...
Apple trees are much more than a common sight in Normandy, it is more like an institution. But most of the apples is not meant to reach the table in solid form...Everything begins with cidre (or cider), the produce of fermentation of apples in barrels, with just a refreshing gas (akin to a champagne or beer).The cidre can be distilled to calvados (apple brandy).And the cider whose fermentation was stopped by addition of some calvados is called pommeau. It is being rediscovered today and makes for a nice aperitif and is a wonder with foie gras or any apple dessert.
Cidre from Normandy is often less clear than the one from Bretagne. The best ones are the ones directly from a farm (cidre fermier). And prefer the brut to any other...Calvados can vary in quality and taste, some being transferred into bottle almost directly after distillitation, some being aged in wooden barrells, as a whisky...
Low lying land and high tides created salted pastures or "pres sales". These are pastures, that are overrun by the sea at least six times a year, during highest tides. They can be found near the harbours, or havres - where a river travels up to the sea and that the high tides will travel upstream, covering all low lying planes.An interesting sight in itself, the salted pastures are used to raise sheep. The salted water and deposits that the tide brings give another quality to the grass and the result is "agneau de pre-sale" - a delicacy of lamb, uncomparable with any other... (the price too, of course...)
If self catering, nothing beats a rack of lamb of pre-sale, grilled, knowing exactly from which village it came. In restaurant, you might come across this dish, but it is very rare, so if you spot a "gigot" from a lamb of salted pastures, do not hesitate...
Bocage is an essential part of any Normandy landscape. A simple earthen wall upon which grows an impenetrable brush and tree one. It was being used since the middle ages to show the limits of the fields and has become a classic image of Normandy.There was a campaign of destroying the bocage following the second world war, to enable farmers have bigger fields an optimise the usage. But they were soon replanted, when the cattle started being sick (basically catching cold). You will undoubtedly appreciate the windstopping powers of the bocage during your walks or rides.During the Normandy campaign, bocage was used as a great means of defense by german soldiers - it effectively blocks the sight and when passing through, tanks lunch upwards, exposing their belly and being very vulnerable... At least until the allied engineers found the solution of welding to the front of Shermans iron "teeth"...
The design of the village churches changed only slightly since the middle ages and they are an easily recognizable feature of Normandy landscape.Built from grey granit or other stone, they offer few windows and ressemble medieval fortresses with their sturdy form and one tower. The overall feal is slightly reminiscent of motte and bailey castles that littered Normandy and their early conquests...
Bouchots a moules
Underwater (at least half of the time) farms for growing oysters and mussels litter the Normandy shore.Farmers use tractors to go and fetch their produce on low tide, or flat bottom boats, that they will ferry to the sea by tractor when the tide is high - this use of tractors that litter the beach is something to recall you that it remains an agricultural country - both on land and on the sea.You can spot different growing stages of mussels, with horizontal poles when they are small, then being moved to vertical ones, spiralled around them. In the middle, you will see some iron nets or cages, used to grow oysters.
They are easily accessible on foot when the tide is sufficiently low. A very nice promenade goal, around 2 kilometers from the shoreline. It is just forbidden to pick any produce, even mussels lying in between the poles.You can buy the produce direcly on the farms in the...
There are 8 havres (harbours), which are unique to the western coast of Manche. They are created on a place where a small river breaks through the dunes and comes onto the sea. It is a unique environment, created by the mixture of sweet and salt water, high tides that can make the river run backwards from the sea and create a tidal wave (mascaret), low lying salted plains that are flooded during high tides and serve as pastures for sheep and home to many bird species (more than 200 only in the Havre de Regneville). From south to north, you will find the following harbours :Havre de la VanleeHavre de RegnevilleHavre de BlainvilleHavre de GeffossesHavre de LessayHavre de SurvilleHavre de Port BailHavre de Barneville-Carteret
In the past, these harbours served as natural harbours and were also used to exploit salt and tangue (earth from the bottom of the sea, used as fertilizer).
The gentle climate along the coast
Due to the sea's presence and the (little) effect of the warm current in the Atlantic, Normandie's coastline has a very soft climate. Temperatures hardly ever go sub zero and almost never top over 25 degrees. Therefore the region allows many (sub)tropical plants to grow here, which can be seen in some exotic gardens along the coast of Normandie or around castles or mansions.
Top 3 Hotels in Basse-Normandie
Hotel d'Argouges Bayeux
4 Reviews and 290 Opinions I would recommend this 3 star hotel to anyone staying in Bayeux. It is an old townhouse which has...
Hotels in Bayeux
Reviews and photos of Basse-Normandie favorites posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Basse-Normandie sightseeing.