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The Essential Guide to Normandy

In Normandy, sun-dappled orchards give way to a scenic coastline, known for both its heavy history and beautiful beach towns. Visitors from all over the world flock to this rugged region to see the island monastery of Mont St-Michel, the famous Bayeux Tapestry, and Monet’s former home in Giverny. Equally enticing are the world-class museums, awe-inspiring churches, and famous local products, like fresh seafood, Camembert cheese, and apple brandy.
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84 Rue Claude Monet, 27620 Giverny, France
From 1883 to 1926, Claude Monet lived in this pink stucco house in Giverny, where he cultivated his flower and water gardens and painted his famous Water Lilies series. Visitors to the house will find it just as Monet left it, complete with an...
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Espl. Marcel Duchamp, 76000 Rouen, France
The jewel in Rouen’s crown, this impressive museum is home to France’s largest Impressionist collection outside of Paris. Here, you’ll find three stunning works from Monet’s famous Rouen Cathedral series, along with other...
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Rue Homme de Bois, 14600 Honfleur, France
Founded in 1868 by French painters Eugène Boudin and Louis-Alexandre Dubourg, this small museum, housed in a 19th-century chapel, pays homage to the Normandy artists who spent time in Honfleur, like Monet, Courbet, Friesz, and Boudin...
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22 Place Hamelin, 14600 Honfleur, France
To experience some of the best food in Honfleur—and perhaps all of Normandy—head to the rustic but refined SaQuaNa, located just a stone’s throw from the harbor. Here, chef Alexandre Bourdas’s subtle flavors and artful...
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45 Avenue Hocquart de Turtot, 14800 Deauville, France
During the Belle Époque, France and Britain’s high society used to gather at this seaside track to watch races while on holiday. A visit to the Deauville–La Toques Racecourse may be a slightly less pompous affair these days, but...
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Esplanade Jean-Marie Louvel, 14000 Caen, France
Caen was William the Conqueror’s city and this 11th-century abbey was his final resting place. Founded by William himself in 1066, the former Benedictine monastery and its adjoining Église St-Étienne are among the most...
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Esplanade Général Eisenhower, 14050 Caen, France
An absolute must-see for history buffs, this outstanding museum is devoted to warfare in the 20th century, with sections illustrating the beginnings of World War II, the D-day landings and the Battle of Normandy, and even the Cold War. A spiral...
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50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
It's safe to say there’s nothing in the world quite like this magical island, topped by a medieval monastery that rises out of the bay like a heavenly apparition. It’s said that, early in the 8th century, a bishop in nearby Avranches...