Normandy sometimes has a bad reputation. Many people refuse to go there because of the capricious weather all year long. It is true that it rains a lot, but the region offers incredible and green landscapes. It would be a shame to miss out because of a few drops of rain. Discover an itinerary for a road trip in Normandy, the budget and above all the essential information to know before leaving.
When to go on a road trip in Normandy?
As you probably know, it rains a lot in Normandy. The best period to go there is therefore in summer between June and August. The average temperature is around 10°C. Do not expect more than 23°C in summer. And that’s good! Because thanks to these mild temperatures, you will often have landscapes all to yourself and you will not suffer from the heat at night in your converted vehicle. And that is the great luxury when you go on a road trip.
Rent a vehicle for a road trip in Normandy
The best itinerary for a road trip in Normandy ?
Here is the itinerary for a road trip in Normandy :
- Caen + Bayeux (1 day)
- Omaha Beach + La Pointe du Hoc + Utah Beach + Barfleur (1 day)
- Ecalgrain Bay + Vauville Pond Nature Reserve + Gouville-sur-Mer (1 day)
- Pointe d’Agon + Coutances (1 day)
- Chausey Islands (1 day)
- Mont Saint-Michel (1 day)
- Suisse Normande (1 day)
- Carrouges Castle + Battlefield Castle (1 day)
- Giverny (1 day)
- Gisors + Les Andelys (1 day)
- Rouen (1 day)
- Jumièges + Étretat (1 day)
- Le Havre (1 day)
- Honfleur + Deauville (1 day)
- Back to Caen (1 day)
The map of our road trip in Corsica :
Day 1: Arrival in Normandy in Caen
The city of Caen in Normandy
Welcome to Normandy! This first day, you will not visit the city of Caen. You will do it at the end of your road trip because you will have a lot of things to do when you arrive, especially to enjoy your first night in the van!
First of all, you will have to pick up your vehicle at the rental agency. You will also have to do some shopping. If you want to discover local products, nothing is better than to do it in a market or in a local store. And it’s a good thing because there is an incredible shop to discover if you don’t arrive on Saturday (market day). It is the Goût et Qualité store located in Bretteville-sur-Odon.
Once you’ve done your shopping, take the road to Bayeux to start visiting.
The city is not very big, but it is full of incredible sights such as the Bayeux tapestry, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the medieval old town, the Baron Gérard Museum to discover the local crafts (porcelain and lace) and the botanical garden.
In the evening, you will start your first night in a converted vehicle. To find a nice and legal place to sleep, I invite you to download the Park4Night mobile application. I checked it out and found lots of nice places by the sea. But before you move, remember to fill your water tank.
Day 2: The landing beaches
The Pointe du Hoc
The Normandy landing beaches are certainly the most famous historical sites in the world. It is therefore obvious that your road trip should continue in these directions. The first to discover is Omaha Beach located off the coast of the villages of Vierville-sur-Mer and Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer. There you will discover the Omaha Memorial Museum, the American cemetery, several war memorials, the Overlord Museum, viewpoints and bunkers.
Further on, stop at Pointe du Hoc to walk through the remains of the Second World War. Once again, bunkers and trenches are on the program. But you will also appreciate the view from the top of the cliff.
Finally, the last stop of this day under the sign of the Second World War will be at Utah Beach. Here, you will visit the D-Day Museum. But also walk on the beach to discover the remains of the Normandy landings.
To end the day on a happier note, discover one of the most beautiful villages in France, Barfleur. This fishing village is simply beautiful. On the village’s website, you can download a walking itinerary that will allow you to discover all the places of interest on 3km. Among them are the Saint-Nicolas Church, the House of the writer Jules Renard, the Maison Alexandre, the 18th century bourgeois houses and the Port.
It will then be time to put down your vehicle for the night. If you are heading away from the coast, make a last stop at the Gatteville Lighthouse.
Day 3 : Ecalgrain Bay, Vauville Pond Nature Reserve and Gouville-sur-Mer
For this third day of road trip in Normandy, you will enjoy the wild coast of the region. Your first stop will be at the Bay of Ecalgrain. I recommend you to arrive from the North. You will then cross Auderville and Saint-Germain-des-Vaux. I invite you to park in one of them to join the Coastal Path which follows the coast and the beaches below for more than ten kilometers.
Take the road again and drive along the coastline. Among the places to discover on your way, there are the Grottes de Jobourg, the Anse des Moulinets and the Réserve Naturelle de la mare de Vauville. And it’s a good thing because you will be walking here. The place has been protected for more than thirty years and is the habitat of more than 2000 animal species. You will meet endemic birds and reptiles in a grandiose landscape. The access is near the campground, but it is also possible to observe this place from the Thot lookout.
Continue your journey towards Gouville-sur-Mer along the coast. But above all, make a stop in the gardens of the Château de Flamanville, which are open free of charge all year round.
In Gouville-sur-Mer, you will love the colorful cabins on the beach. It is also possible to put your vehicle there to sleep. You can enjoy the sunset and the sunrise.
Day 4 : La Pointe d’Agon and Coutances
Cathedral of Coutances
A little further south of Gouville-sur-mer is the Pointe d’Agon where it is possible to run a small boat to the beach.give. There is a small Norman lighthouse to discover. It will be a good walk at the beginning of the day. Then take the direction of Coutances.
Coutances is a charming Norman city. Your walk will lead you to the detours of many historical monuments such as the Aqueduct of Coutances of Gallo-Roman origin, the Cathedral Notre-Dame-de-Coutances, the Castle of La Mare of the XIIth century or the Bishop’s Park of medieval period.
Take advantage of being in a small town to go to the market and discover local products if you are there on a Thursday morning. Otherwise, go to the Boutique Normande to find Norman flavors. By the way, the culinary specialty is the boudin de Coutances, made in an artisanal way only in Coutances and around the city. If this is a dish you want to try, go to a Normandy restaurant before leaving.
At the end of your visits, go to Granville to discover the Cap Lihou lighthouse, the Pointe du Roc with a view of the Chausey islands which you will visit the next day, Notre Dame du Cap Lihou, the ramparts and the old center, the port, but also the childhood home of Christian Dior transformed into a museum.
There are several authorized parking lots for vehicles in Granville. Sleep here so that you can take a boat tomorrow morning to the Chausey Islands and especially so that you can enjoy delicious freshly caught seafood in the evening. Because yes, Granville has the first shellfish port in France. Don’t miss it!
Day 5 : Escapades in the Chausey Islands
The Chausey Islands
The Chausey Islands Archipelago is composed of 365 islets at low tide and 52 islets at high tide. It is considered as the largest archipelago in Europe. The fine sandy beaches are incredibly beautiful and you will appreciate the feeling of being alone in the world for a day.
Bring your own water and food as there is only one restaurant to eat at. However, you will greatly appreciate the visits consisting of the Lighthouse, the Fort, the village of Blanvillais and the Lambert Tower. There are also many wild beaches to explore where seals and other endemic animals live.
If you don’t want to walk around the island, there is also a boat tour of the island that costs much less and will allow you to discover the history of the place and its marine inhabitants (see price list at the bottom of the article).
Day 6 : The Mont Saint-Michel
For this sixth day of road trip in Normandy, you go to the Mont Saint-Michel, the most visited place in France. And it is not by chance that it is as famous as surprising. This town was built in the middle of the sea on an islet around the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel. This Mount has fascinated people since 708. It is said that many pilgrims came here to meditate. It is thus natural that an abbey was built here, then dwellings all around.
To get there, be careful with the tides. Because yes, the place is not accessible all the time, which makes it a worldwide curiosity. But don’t panic because it is not possible to go there with your vehicle. There is a free shuttle (called the “Passeur”) that makes the trip.
You will be able to go to and return from 7am to 8pm. You will have to pay for parking to leave your car.
There are plenty of fascinating places to visit on site besides the Abbey. You will love the medieval aspect of this Norman peninsula with its stores, museums, restaurants and gardens.
In the evening, when you are back at the parking lot, you can enjoy the sunset on the site from the beach.
Day 7: Suisse
next day, you will drive a little more than the other days to get to Suisse Normande, heading to Chantepie. Do not take the highway to get there. Go through Mortain to discover the magnificent waterfalls, the Aiguille de la Cance de Mortain and the Abbaye Blanche.
When you arrive in Suisse Normande, you will love these landscapes that give the impression of being in the Haut-Doubs. There are two magnificent viewpoints with hikes to discover in the area: Le Rocher de la Houle and Le Rocher des Parcs. It is best to start from one and arrive at the other from the ridges. It takes about an hour one way to make this walk which overlooks the Orne.
A little further on, there is another spectacular hike, to the Grotte aux Fées des Roches d’Oëtre on the heights of Saint-Philibert-sur-Orne. Anyway, while walking along the Orne, you will discover many beautiful places with nice views as well as beautiful historical sites. Continue to Écouché where you will take a different direction to the Château de Carrouges along the Ludon River.
Depending on the time of day you leave, it is up to you to decide whether you want to sleep on this part of your road trip or as close to the castle as possible.
Day 8 : The castles of Carrouges and
Champ-de-BatailleGardens in the French styleThe
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