Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

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Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

You are here: / / / / / Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

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Last Updated on December 5, 2018

This post may contain affliate links. Please see my for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases .

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Considering visiting Normandy from Paris? You definitely should! Depending on how much you want to do, you can visit Normandy as a day trip from Paris if you only visit Rouen or spend three to four days road tripping in Normandy to enjoy the tranquility of the countryside in Normandy.

If you’re thinking that Normandy will be anything like Paris, get that thought out of your mind. Expect incredibly friendly people, reasonable accommodation options, mind-blowingly good food at the same price as an average meal in Paris, stunning cities filled with history and fantastic drinks.

This Northern region of France has a rich history stemming from the invasion of the Viking tribes. For those who want to experience the serene beauty of France on an easy weekend trip from Paris will fall in love with the slow pace of Normandy, a sneak preview of how France outside of Paris is.

If you have fewer than four days in Normandy, you might be able to combine two of these day trips into one day as I’ve purposely kept this Normandy itinerary slow to give you time to savor this region. Our Normandy road trip left me wanting for far more than our long weekend in Normandy, however there’s always next trip for Mont St. Michel!

Day 1: Drive along the coast in Normandy

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Rent a car in Paris and drive to Normandy’s coast. Be aware that avoiding toll roads in France is tricky and you should expect to pay up to 20 euros to get up to Normandy. If you don’t have four days in Normandy, this part of the trip can easily be done as a weekend trip from Paris.

If you’re trying to do your Normandy trip on a budget , it is possible to avoid the tolls with the help of your GPS, but expect to double your time while driving through fields and one way roads.

Photo by alexetstef/bigstockphoto

This beautiful town in Normandy is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France and Normandy. Its stunning timbered houses and scenic canals have long been an inspiration for writers and painters.

If you’re looking for a fairytale during your time in Normandy, you must come to Veules-les-Roses, which is a two hour drive from Paris. Be sure to admire the smallest river in France, which runs through the city center.

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

We ended up driving through Petites-Dalles. I just loved the Victorian houses in the hills. It’s just a beautiful town along the coast. The roads make it a bit tricky to end up near the water, but you’ll find some parking if you want to admire the cliffs.

Another beautiful town in Normandy that we passed through after seeing a sign for a chateau. Be sure to stop off to admire , an affordable chateau hotel with beautiful gardens.

Fécamp is a historic coastal town in Normandy with some of the most epic cliffs that you’ll find. It’s famous for the Bénédictine liqueur distillery, which is still done at the nearby abbey. Save your appetite until you get here as you’ll find a large assortment of seafood at an affordable price.

We ended up having lunch at La Cave du Salut, an affordable seafood place with delicious mussels with calvados . After, we headed to the beach to admire the cliffs.

The highlight of our day along the coast was Étretat. When I was younger, I had seen a photo of these epic cliffs in Normandy, but I never imagined that I’d have the opportunity to visit them. Most people head there from town prior to heading back the same way, however it’s better to park outside of town, close to the golf course .

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

It’s a longer walk along the outskirts of the golf course, but you’ll be able to walk the full length of the cliffs with fewer people compared to the cliff close to town. Continue walking towards town. I found Étretat quite touristy compared to the other towns, however it’s worth visiting.

I recommend staying in the area at one hotel as your base in Normandy for multiple nights and I particularly loved staying in the Parc Naturel Régional des Boucles de la Seine. This park is a protected area meant to preserve both natural environments, historic buildings, and the cultural heritage of this region.

Driving along the windy roads in the fog spotting chateaux as they popped up was dreamy. We did this road trip in October, so the leaves turning just added another dimension to it. I think this area is the perfect base for exploring Normandy by car and our chateau was less expensive than .

- Private family chapel on the chateau property

We stayed in this cozy for $81. Our host, the owner of Chateau du Verbosc, and his assistant made us a cozy breakfast while the two adorable cats battled over pets . It was only a forty minute drive from our chateau to the the coast. We ended up having an incredible locally made dinner at , a nearby half-timbered guesthouse from the 17th century surrounded by scenic countryside.

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

For a more luxurious experience, consider staying at , an epic chateau overlooking the Seine river with a large estate where the staff will cook a candlelit meal for you at your request. It wasn’t available during our dates and it really disappointed me and I had my heart set on it.

Honfleur is one of the most beautiful cities in France and it’s worth the trip to this stunning seaside town, even just for the food and the architecture. Located in the Calvados region of Normandy, Honfleur is one of the best places to try calvados, a spirit made with apples.

Its stunning wooden port made me fall in love with the city, however the stunning half-timbered houses on the side streets were my preferred place to wander. Don’t miss the Saint Catherine’s Church, a UNESCO-recognized church that is France’s largest timber-built church. .

Rouen is a beautiful city to visit if you’re interested in medieval history. This gorgeous French city with a clocktower dating back to the 14th century and half-timbered houses straight out of a fairy tale has a stunning historic cathedral where Richard the Lionheart is buried.

Rouen also is where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. You can view her memorial in the city center. I just loved getting lost in the cobblestoned alleyways here. Don’t miss Les Berthom for craft beer.

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Day 4: D-Day Memorial & The Calvados/Cider Route in Normandy

For anyone visiting Normandy, Omaha Beach is a must-see. You might want to switch hotels as you have a 1.5 hour drive to the area around Honfleur, Rouen, and Parc Naturel Régional des Boucles de la Seine.

I’d recommend staying at one of the many chateaux closer to the Cider Trail to minimize driving back. is right along the cider trail and a nice halfway point between Upper and Lower Normandy. Alternatively, this is right near the D-Day landings.

Omaha beach by coboflupi/bigstockphoto

Pay your respects at the five beaches where the troops landed in World War II and the various cemeteries for the fallen soldiers. . I recommend taking a tour if possible to learn more about history.

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Following this somber visit, head towards Normandy’s Cider Route for some cider tastings. Although many foreigners aren’t aware of this, some of the best apple cider in the world comes from Normandy. For a couple of euros, you can try calvados and cider directly at the source along the 40km cider route.

I recommend stopping off in Bonnebosq in particular as it’s particularly well known for cider and on your way back to Paris. Note: Please ensure that the driver doesn’t drink and drive. You can buy a bottle to enjoy at home!

Photo by borisb17/bigstockphoto

Even if you don’t have time during your four days in Normandy to get out to the cider towns, you’re likely to pass a farm with a sign that says VENDRE with an apple on it if you’re driving on non-highway roads close to Calvados. It usually means that you’ll be able to buy fresh Normandy cider!

Please let me know what you thought of this Normandy itinerary and share this post!

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Filed Under: , , , , , Tagged With: ,

New Yorker–born and raised. Currently living in the Hague, the Netherlands after stints in Paris and Amsterdam. Lover of travel, adventure, nature, city, dresses, and cats.

This sounds like a dream! Beaches, history, craft cider, beautiful buildings, and delicious food?! Yes please!

Thank you. I am going with my family this summer. This is so helpful

Very helpful guide for variety of activities – thank you so much!

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Hi, so thankful for your blog. We booked our flights gets to Paris, but with a lot of family emergencies, we’ve had no time to figure out where to go. We just booked the chateau you recommended that you didn’t get to stay at. It looks amazing.

We want to stay in Paris, but are not sure on which bank to get a hotel. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Hope the family emergency is improving. I generally recommend the right bank, especially the 3rd/4th arrondissement . It’s a good central location with a good selection of hotels for all budgets and typical Parisian buildings, so you can walk a lot of places easily.

Hope your vacation is restorative and you love the chateau! ????

Great tips! We visited Normandy last summer and only allowed one night which wasn’t enough! We stayed in Bayeux and absolutely loved it. We’re heading back next summer and will be staying 1 night in Bayeux, 1 night in Mont St. Michel and 1 night in Honfleur. Can’t wait!

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

This is great and timely info. My wife and I are planning a trip for next Sept ish that includes visiting Normandy. Conceptually, we will travel from Amsterdam to Normandy and then from Normandy to Paris and Paris to Dillingen , Germany. Originally, I was considering a rental and then driving the entire route, but my initial research is indicating that there are sizeable fees for renting/returning vehicles in different countries. Do you know if this is the case? Any suggestions on the leg of the trip from Amsterdam to Normandy? We’d prefer a way that keeps us close to the countryside – we want to experience the country – not just get from Amsterdam to Normandy. Mahalo!

I’d recommend traveling by train to Normandy prior to renting a car in Paris. It’s probably cheaper to just rent it for the Normandy part of the trip. Alternatively, you could take the train through Belgium to Normandy prior to renting a car in Normandy itself–and then just taking the train to Paris. Belgium is full of charming towns and stunning countryside. You can check my blog for some recommendations in Belgium.

Most agencies fine you if you try to return the car somewhere different than where you started. It’s good to check to ensure that the same agencies are where you’re going and the policy of your rental.

This is a beautifulj road trip. My husband and I plan to have 4 days in end of May this year.. After read your itineray, it very helpful to us. All places are very amazing. We may copy your plan, thank you very much for share such a beautiful trip.

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Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Karen. American expat and cat lover from who lived in …. Then, . Now, living in , the Netherlands. Happily married to Jacob.

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Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

You are here: / / / / / Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Share or save this post for later

Last Updated on December 5, 2018

This post may contain affliate links. Please see my for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases .

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Considering visiting Normandy from Paris? You definitely should! Depending on how much you want to do, you can visit Normandy as a day trip from Paris if you only visit Rouen or spend three to four days road tripping in Normandy to enjoy the tranquility of the countryside in Normandy.

If you’re thinking that Normandy will be anything like Paris, get that thought out of your mind. Expect incredibly friendly people, reasonable accommodation options, mind-blowingly good food at the same price as an average meal in Paris, stunning cities filled with history and fantastic drinks.

This Northern region of France has a rich history stemming from the invasion of the Viking tribes. For those who want to experience the serene beauty of France on an easy weekend trip from Paris will fall in love with the slow pace of Normandy, a sneak preview of how France outside of Paris is.

If you have fewer than four days in Normandy, you might be able to combine two of these day trips into one day as I’ve purposely kept this Normandy itinerary slow to give you time to savor this region. Our Normandy road trip left me wanting for far more than our long weekend in Normandy, however there’s always next trip for Mont St. Michel!

Day 1: Drive along the coast in Normandy

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Rent a car in Paris and drive to Normandy’s coast. Be aware that avoiding toll roads in France is tricky and you should expect to pay up to 20 euros to get up to Normandy. If you don’t have four days in Normandy, this part of the trip can easily be done as a weekend trip from Paris.

If you’re trying to do your Normandy trip on a budget , it is possible to avoid the tolls with the help of your GPS, but expect to double your time while driving through fields and one way roads.

Photo by alexetstef/bigstockphoto

This beautiful town in Normandy is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France and Normandy. Its stunning timbered houses and scenic canals have long been an inspiration for writers and painters.

If you’re looking for a fairytale during your time in Normandy, you must come to Veules-les-Roses, which is a two hour drive from Paris. Be sure to admire the smallest river in France, which runs through the city center.

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

We ended up driving through Petites-Dalles. I just loved the Victorian houses in the hills. It’s just a beautiful town along the coast. The roads make it a bit tricky to end up near the water, but you’ll find some parking if you want to admire the cliffs.

Another beautiful town in Normandy that we passed through after seeing a sign for a chateau. Be sure to stop off to admire , an affordable chateau hotel with beautiful gardens.

Fécamp is a historic coastal town in Normandy with some of the most epic cliffs that you’ll find. It’s famous for the Bénédictine liqueur distillery, which is still done at the nearby abbey. Save your appetite until you get here as you’ll find a large assortment of seafood at an affordable price.

We ended up having lunch at La Cave du Salut, an affordable seafood place with delicious mussels with calvados . After, we headed to the beach to admire the cliffs.

The highlight of our day along the coast was Étretat. When I was younger, I had seen a photo of these epic cliffs in Normandy, but I never imagined that I’d have the opportunity to visit them. Most people head there from town prior to heading back the same way, however it’s better to park outside of town, close to the golf course .

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

It’s a longer walk along the outskirts of the golf course, but you’ll be able to walk the full length of the cliffs with fewer people compared to the cliff close to town. Continue walking towards town. I found Étretat quite touristy compared to the other towns, however it’s worth visiting.

I recommend staying in the area at one hotel as your base in Normandy for multiple nights and I particularly loved staying in the Parc Naturel Régional des Boucles de la Seine. This park is a protected area meant to preserve both natural environments, historic buildings, and the cultural heritage of this region.

Driving along the windy roads in the fog spotting chateaux as they popped up was dreamy. We did this road trip in October, so the leaves turning just added another dimension to it. I think this area is the perfect base for exploring Normandy by car and our chateau was less expensive than .

- Private family chapel on the chateau property

We stayed in this cozy for $81. Our host, the owner of Chateau du Verbosc, and his assistant made us a cozy breakfast while the two adorable cats battled over pets . It was only a forty minute drive from our chateau to the the coast. We ended up having an incredible locally made dinner at , a nearby half-timbered guesthouse from the 17th century surrounded by scenic countryside.

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

For a more luxurious experience, consider staying at , an epic chateau overlooking the Seine river with a large estate where the staff will cook a candlelit meal for you at your request. It wasn’t available during our dates and it really disappointed me and I had my heart set on it.

Honfleur is one of the most beautiful cities in France and it’s worth the trip to this stunning seaside town, even just for the food and the architecture. Located in the Calvados region of Normandy, Honfleur is one of the best places to try calvados, a spirit made with apples.

Its stunning wooden port made me fall in love with the city, however the stunning half-timbered houses on the side streets were my preferred place to wander. Don’t miss the Saint Catherine’s Church, a UNESCO-recognized church that is France’s largest timber-built church. .

Rouen is a beautiful city to visit if you’re interested in medieval history. This gorgeous French city with a clocktower dating back to the 14th century and half-timbered houses straight out of a fairy tale has a stunning historic cathedral where Richard the Lionheart is buried.

Rouen also is where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. You can view her memorial in the city center. I just loved getting lost in the cobblestoned alleyways here. Don’t miss Les Berthom for craft beer.

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Day 4: D-Day Memorial & The Calvados/Cider Route in Normandy

For anyone visiting Normandy, Omaha Beach is a must-see. You might want to switch hotels as you have a 1.5 hour drive to the area around Honfleur, Rouen, and Parc Naturel Régional des Boucles de la Seine.

I’d recommend staying at one of the many chateaux closer to the Cider Trail to minimize driving back. is right along the cider trail and a nice halfway point between Upper and Lower Normandy. Alternatively, this is right near the D-Day landings.

Omaha beach by coboflupi/bigstockphoto

Pay your respects at the five beaches where the troops landed in World War II and the various cemeteries for the fallen soldiers. . I recommend taking a tour if possible to learn more about history.

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Following this somber visit, head towards Normandy’s Cider Route for some cider tastings. Although many foreigners aren’t aware of this, some of the best apple cider in the world comes from Normandy. For a couple of euros, you can try calvados and cider directly at the source along the 40km cider route.

I recommend stopping off in Bonnebosq in particular as it’s particularly well known for cider and on your way back to Paris. Note: Please ensure that the driver doesn’t drink and drive. You can buy a bottle to enjoy at home!

Photo by borisb17/bigstockphoto

Even if you don’t have time during your four days in Normandy to get out to the cider towns, you’re likely to pass a farm with a sign that says VENDRE with an apple on it if you’re driving on non-highway roads close to Calvados. It usually means that you’ll be able to buy fresh Normandy cider!

Please let me know what you thought of this Normandy itinerary and share this post!

Four days in Normandy road trip: The perfect Normandy itinerary

Filed Under: , , , , , Tagged With: ,

New Yorker–born and raised. Currently living in the Hague, the Netherlands after stints in Paris and Amsterdam. Lover of travel, adventure, nature, city, dresses, and cats.

This sounds like a dream! Beaches, history, craft cider, beautiful buildings, and delicious food?! Yes please!

Thank you. I am going with my family this summer. This is so helpful

Very helpful guide for variety of activities – thank you so much!

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