Exploring Normandy's gentle countryside from Paris

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Exploring Normandy's gentle countryside from Paris

Nature and history are closely interwoven here in the heart of Normandy. From tales of medieval battles to the most impressive buildings, an unforgettable region is just waiting to be explored.

Start your road trip from Paris, in the heart of the countryside. At the end of a pathway bordered by perfectly shaped box trees, a long, pink house comes into view. You are now standing in front of the home of the great painter Claude Monet in Giverny. After exploring the master's workshops, you wander round the garden. Irises, agapanthuses, roses… every flower earned the right to be immortalised on his canvases. You can visit the house from March to October.

With senses wide awake, you hit the road again and head to Rouen. As you go down an alley and turn the corner, all eyes look up to admire the magnificent Gros Horloge. This astronomical clock was made in the 14th century and still fascinates travellers today who come to immerse themselves in one of the most prosperous cities in pre-Revolution France.

Your journey back in time continues to Bayeux and the Tapestry Museum. As you approach the famous tapestry, you can almost hear the echoes from the Battle of Hastings in 1066 when William the Conqueror defeated the last Anglo-Saxon king. The 70-metre-long medieval masterpiece, which, by great fortune, has survived the ravages of time, still resonates with the sound of neighing horses galloping along the English coast, the clatter of armour in the thick of battle and creaking ships crossing the Channel.

After all this exploring, you are ready for a restful night in the Land of Nod. A cosy room awaits at Château La Chenevière. Surrounded by extensive parkland, this five-star hotel has an air of paradise lost in the heart of the Normandy countryside. Early next morning, take breakfast on the terrace, greeted by a table with croissants and fruits gathered from the estate's kitchen garden.

A few kilometres away, the vast D-Day landing beaches, such as Omaha Beach and Gold Beach, take you back to another more recent history. D-Day certainly left its mark on nature along this windswept coast. As the sun starts to set, your Normandy getaway comes to an end at Mont-Saint-Michel, an imposing fortress rising up from the middle of the sea. Already, the sun's rays cast their light on the majestic silhouette of the structure and its 80-metre-high cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Claude Monet's house
84 rue Claude Monet
27620 Giverny
+33 (0)2 32 51 28 21

Gros Horloge astronomical clock
Rue du Gros Horloge
76000 Rouen
+33 (0)2 32 08 01 90

Bayeux Tapestry Museum
13 bis rue de Nesmond
14400 Bayeux
+33 (0)2 31 51 25 50

Château La Chenevière
14520 Port-en-Bessin
+33 (0)2 31 51 25 25