Touring Normandy (or at least a good part of it) in two days is mission impossible. To understand all the richness and complexity of the territory, no need to make long journeys by car, stuck in traffic jams. The proof with a tailor-made itinerary (and which lasts in just 2 days) to discover a concentrate of Normandy.
Understand all the complexity and richness of the beautiful Normandy region, in just one weekend? We say yes! Good news: you won't need to cross all the departments of Eure, Calvados, Seine-Maritime, Manche and Orne to discover the region's flagship cities. To make the most of your stay, rent a car. On the program: the discovery of museums, soothing walks on the beach and delicious mussels and fries on the terrace on the road to Dives-sur-Mer, Houlgate, Cabourg, Merville-Franceville-Plage and Beuvron-en-Auge. To do alone, as a couple or with the family.
Arrival at Dives-sur-Mer station
If you like the atmosphere of Honfleur, you will love the medieval architecture of the working city of Dives-sur-Mer. Start by going for a walk around the halls of Dives-sur-Mer. Impressive inside and out, they are full of stalls offering local specialities. A great way to warm up for the rest of the weekend. After devouring a sweet treat, go visit the church, halfway between the Romanesque and Gothic styles. You will find there in particular a list of the companions of William the Conqueror. Finally, stroll through the heart of the Village of Art William the Conqueror !
Well settled? Let's go !
After driving for just a few minutes, heading east, you finally arrive at Houlgate — quieter than Trouville.
In this charming seaside resort, there is no shortage of places to visit. And if you appreciate medieval touches, you will love the Chemin de la Cascade. Take it to discover the old part of the city, where the village of Beuzeval was once located. Continue the visit with the Maison des Pêcheurs, a pretty thatched cottage which, as its name suggests, previously housed families of fishermen. Finish with the numerous Belle Époque villas and the Moulin Landry, which, with its typical regional manor appearance, once housed a huge wheat-grinding machine – this one worked thanks to the currents of the river.
After placing a candle at the Saint-Aubin Church (or admiring its stained-glass windows, it depends), take a (well-deserved) break for lunch. Several restaurants are to choose from, you have for example the restaurant Between Earth and sea, in the heart of the Casino d'Houlgate, which offers traditional cuisine with a view of the sea or Eden, a restaurant run by two Normans, tested and approved by the Michelin Guide. Before heading back on the road, take a digestive stroll on the beach. The more sporty (and adventurous) can climb the staircase of 100 steps and even push up to the orientation table to enjoy a view of Houlgate.
Well deserved relaxation
It is precisely at Cabourg that you will end the day. Start by immersing yourself in the city center by crossing Avenue de la Mer and strolling past the shops. You can even take the opportunity to buy some gourmet memories.
If you are a fan of local products (and that you have provided the cooler and the ice packs so as not to break the cold chain), take a walk, in the morning, to the market halls to discover the many local and regional specialties. Cheese makers, market gardeners, bakers and other culinary artisans will welcome you during your visit. Let your palate succumb to a teurgoule! You will not be disappointed.
The halls close at 13 p.m. Take the time to organize your stay well.
Continue your walk in the city center of Cabourg by going up the avenue to the Grand Hotel. Go around it to get to the Promenade Marcel Proust. Take the opportunity to walk on the beach with your feet in the sand (in winter, as in summer, whether it's raining, windy or snowing for the bravest).
If all this has whetted your appetite, good news: it's time for dinner. Here again, several options are available to you as the Calypso or (a few minutes on foot further), the Baligan, a restaurant specializing in fish and seafood. If you want to treat yourself, book a sea view room at the Grand Hotel de Cabourg : relaxation guaranteed.
In the starting blocks
Barely awake, it's already time to hit the road again. No, there's no time to waste, but you can still stop by the buffet for breakfast. Then take the road to Merville-Franceville-Plage, which like Ouistreham or Arromanches-les-bains, is a land of historical remains.
First stop: Merville Battery, a listed historic monument just two kilometers from the beach. In the heart of the grazed fields, discover vestiges of the landing and aviation.
Second stop: the Redoubt of Merville, recently restored. Now is the time to eat. Sit down at Tide Hunt, a pretty fish and seafood restaurant. On sunny days, take the opportunity to sit on the terrace, facing the sea.
Inside the ground
Impossible to finish this loop without going on an adventure in the Normandy countryside — don't panic, we won't take you very far: destination Beuvron-en-Auge.
Former stronghold of the Harcourt family, on the Cider Route, this one is among “The Most Beautiful Villages of France”. And it is enough to walk there one afternoon to understand why. Here, time seems to stand still. The decorations ? Like on a postcard.
Return to Dives-sur-Mer
It's already time to get back on the train, after a weekend full of emotions - which will undoubtedly have given you the desire to come back.