The most beautiful Normandy villages to Visit
Normandy province is a proud home to six of the most beautiful villages in France. These villages have been described as being the most picturesque, rich with culture, preserved traditions and have well-preserved historic heritages that leaves visitors with a memorable experience.
The sprawling villages start from the romantic coast to the peaceful countryside featuring half-timbered houses, old mills and beautiful seaports.
These villages are sparsely populated with at least 2000 people. Many famous artists drew inspiration from these villages and the images can be found in the museums in Normandy and France and overseas too.
A visit to these villages will give you an idea of why these impressionist artists loved spending time there.
Here is a list of the most beautiful Normandy villages to visit and why.
1. Le Bec-Hellouin, Eure
This picturesque and small village is found in the Eure region of Normandy. It has a small population of 1000 residents. The village has manicured lawns and beautiful flowers line their streets and balconies.
The houses in the town are pretty half-timbered houses from the 17th century creating an aura of tranquillity. This village has a profound past in religion and was a pilgrimage destination for many believers.
A famous landmark here is Notre-Dame of Bec Abbey. The Abbey was established in 1034 by a Benedictine monk, Saint Herluin.
This church was very influential during the Anglo-Norman Kingdom in the 13th century.
If you are looking to having a peaceful, quiet vacation surrounded by nature and beautiful landscape; Le Bec-Hellouin is the place to go. It is France’s most loved and beautiful village.
Things to do here; Visit the Abbaye Notre-Dame du Bec and see the hand-made pottery made by the Benedictine monks that live there, spot St. Nicholas tower in the town, the 17th-century cloister, Eglise Saint-Andre to see the tomb of blessed Hellouin, Monastere Saint-Francoise Romaine.
Just like Le Bec Hellouin, Beuvron-en-Auge streets are lined with beautifully restored half-timbered houses dating to the 17th and 18th centuries.
You will find art galleries, boutiques and antique store at the main square. The farmers market is held at the square every weekend.
Being an apple-producing village, there is plenty of calvados to sample and cheese to pair with. The serene countryside with open green spaces perfect for nature lovers. The landscape acts as a beautiful canvas donning beautiful mansions and Chateaus.
As you walk down the streets of the town centre you will find creperies, cosy cafés, fine dining restaurants, grocery stores and gift shops.
This village offers a traditional rustic ambience and is surrounded by beautiful historic landmarks.
Things to do here; 18th-century Auberge de la Boule d’Or, a classic restaurant, farmers market, monthly flea market, handcrafts stores, Cider Route to sample the best Calvados and cheese, tour well-maintained chateaus and manors, attend the Beuvron-en-Auge cider festival and experience the cider-making tradition while tasting a wide variety of ciders.
3. Barfleur- Port Village
The port village of Barfleur is on the Cotentin coast and was once the main point of entry to England during the Middle Ages.
Due to its proximity to England, you will notice the English influence in architectural features such as the square tower at the Church of Saint-Nicholas. Most French churches have tall spires.
This village is known for fishing that means plenty of fresh fish and seafood. The community here is small and intimate giving a warm and homey feeling.
Walk to the port and enjoy a beautiful view of the pretty boats dancing on the little waves while sampling the famous delicious wild Barfleur blonde mussels. It is usually cooked in cream, wash it down with their famous Calvados.
The granite houses and seafood restaurants along the harbour are welcoming. Spot the imposing Gatteville lighthouse built-in 1775.
Bayeux is famously known for being the home of the Bayeux Tapestry. It has a rich blend of history, architecture, and offers a pleasant gastronomy experience.
This village is close to the English Channel and was founded by Gallo Romans in the 1st century.
There are several museums in town that tell the history of its people. The famous 11th century Bayeux Tapestry that tells the invasion of William the conqueror in England, museums with historical details of the Battle of Normandy, landing beach by the Allied Forces during World War II and memorial parks so much more.
This village has retained its medieval charm and has a beautiful Romanesque Cathedral that you can tour.
5. Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei, Orne
This village is tucked away in the heart of the Alpes Mancelle natural park. Visiting this village will feel like walking into a fairy tale scene, it is simply magical and pretty. It was founded in the 7th century by Saint Ceneri.
The charm of this picturesque village has gotten the attention of several painters both from the past and in the present. Famous painters like Courbet and Corot spent their time here getting inspiration for their works.
Walk by River Sarthe that lazily flows through the town, tours the 11th-century church, admires the pretty cobbled street and houses.
Spending your vacation in this village will give you the best version of the relaxation that you need. The quiet life away from busy and hectic city life is what you will be grateful for when visiting here.
Legend has it that the water from the fountain in this village quenched the thirst of Saint Ceneri, after whom the village is named.
This village is perfect for hikers, fishing, nature and history lovers
Things to do here; tour Auberge des Soeurs Moisy art museum, explore the 11th and 15th-century Romanesque church and chapel.
Lyons La Foret features charming half-timbered houses dating from the 17th century, painted cob buildings and a wonderful central market hall, from the 15th century.
This village is 40 kilometres from the city of Rouen and is famous for its 10,700-hectare natural forest of beech trees, the forest is a natural reserve.
Famous painters Maurice Ravel, Jean Renoir, a filmmaker also featured the village in the 1920 film, Madame Bovary.
Like most French villages, Lyons-la-Foret has beautiful well-maintained half-timbered houses. The main market square from the 18th-century host’s concerts, craft fairs and other numerous community activities.
It is one of the most beautiful villages in France and Europe. Visiting this village feels like being in a fairy tale.
Next is Veules-Les-Roses village that sits on the banks of the Veules River, on the Alabaster Coast. The river is among France’s smallest rivers, it is less than one kilometre in length. Water from Veules River is used in ponds for growing watercress.
The population here is about 600 people. There are beautiful chalets with thatched roofs, pretty gardens and seaside villas lining the sandy beach. You will get a piece of both country and beach life when visiting this village.
The landscape of this village is lined with tall chalk cliffs and pebbled beach, an inspiration for many painters, poets and writer.
For a laid-back vacation, seafood gastronomy, and breath-taking views, visit Veules-Les-Roses.
Check out the beautiful cottages and watermills.