What to Do in Normandy in 2022

Normandy is always a popular destination to visit thanks to its fascinating history, lush landscapes, picturesque villages, and unique regional cuisine. The proximity to Paris makes it easy to access and a perfect addition or extension to any trip. Read on for French Side Travel’s guide of what to do in Normandy in 2022 to discover the best of this spectacular region.


What to Do in Normandy in 2022

Visit the Powerful World War II D-Day Landing Beaches and Memorials

what do in normandy 2022 dday landing beaches

Year after year, one of our top recommendations in Normandy is to visit the iconic D-Day beaches where thousands of troops gave their lives to liberate France from German-occupation during World War II. French Side Travel can arrange private guided single or multi-day tours that focus on the American, British, or Canadian sectors.

Discover the moving sites that hosted the pivotal battles and pay respects to the brave men and women who lost their lives. The moving and solemn American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer is a powerful place of remembrance. On Pointe du Hoc, between the Omaha and Utah beaches, the US rangers heroically captured German artillery. The rugged cliffs are largely untouched with bomb craters, bunkers and casements still visible. A visit to these D-Day landing beaches and memorials is always an impactful highlight for travelers.

étretat cliffs normandy

Private Helicopter Flight Over the Étretat Cliffs

From Deauville Saint Gatien airport take off for the cliffs of Étretat. After flying over the Estuary between Honfleur and Le Havre, you will fly along Port 2000, then the coast, until you see the breathtaking cliffs.

These gigantic white chalk cliffs are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Impressionist painters were inspired by them and writer Maurice Leblanc used them as a setting for the intrigues of his famous gentleman burglar, Arsène Lupin. The Arche d’Aval, 80 meters high, has a singular shape due to nature and marine erosion. The famous Aiguille (needle) measures about 55 meters high and is always a highlight of the beautiful flight.

Discover the Mythical Mont-Saint-Michel

mont saint michel what to do in normandy in 2022

Mont-Saint-Michel is one of France’s emblematic sites. In fact, it’s one of the most-visited places in France with almost 2.5 million visitors per year. On approach, the 10th century Benedictine abbey almost doesn’t look real, seemingly rising out of the surrounding bay. Connected to the mainland by a tidal causeway, the dramatic rising and falling tides turned the rock into an island.

The abbey has been an important pilgrimage site for centuries. Tides permitting, it’s possible to follow in the pilgrims footsteps with a private guide and walk across the sandy bay to Mont-Saint-Michel. Once you arrive, take your time exploring the quaint streets lined with charming shops that wind uphill towards the abbey.

Visit the Charming Towns Along the Côte Fleurie

deauville in normandy

No list of what to do in Normandy in 2022 would be complete without a visit to the coast. The coastal resorts east of Caen are often referred to as the Côte Fleurie (Floral Coast). In the 19th century, a train line opened from Paris to Calvados and wealthy Parisians quickly arrived and built luxurious hotels and mansions.

The towns of Deauville and Trouville are the most famous resort towns here. Each has numerous attractive examples of Belle Époque architecture and famous sandy beaches. Other popular resort towns for summer visitors include Cabourg and Houlgate.

French Side Travel always recommends a visit to the coastal town of Honfleur. The striking harbor surrounded by historic buildings is among the most beautiful in all of France.

Indulge in a Gourmet Experience in the Pays d’Auge

camembert in normandy

Normandy is known for having fabulous foods: fresh seafood, cheeses, creams, and apples all top the list. Take a day to discover a few of these regional specialties with a cheesemaking and cider brewing tour. You’ll meet one of the last remaining Camembert farmers in Camembert and learn all about the production process. There will be tastings involved as well!

For lunch, stop for a picnic in one of the most picturesque villages in all of France. You’ll get to try even more of the products that Normandy is renowned for: seasonal salads, andouille, butter, cheeses, and finish with teurgoule, a famous rice pudding, all paired with ciders. To finish the day, you’ll delve into the process of cider brewing at some of the best distilleries in the area.

Visit Claude Monet’s Home and Garden in Giverny

what to do in normandy in 2022 giverny

Fans of art, architecture and gardens will not want to miss Giverny, where Claude Monet lived for 43 years. The garden boasts a stunning array of flowers and willow trees. You’ll see the very pond that inspired Monet to paint the famous Water Lilies. Monet was a gardener as well as an artist. He grew the flowers himself, arranging his gardens by using his creative eye. The small green bridge, peony bushes and bamboo plants all demonstrate the love Monet had for Japan.

Visit Monet’s charming pink house and discover the interiors that are true to what they looked like when Monet lived there. You can visit the fabulous kitchen, Monet’s studio, the dining room, reading room, and bedrooms. Spring is an especially lovely time to visit, but the house and gardens are open from April through October.

New Hotel Opening in Normandy

domaine de primard in normandy

Domaine de Primard

Just under an hour west of Paris, not far from Giverny, lies this stunningly well-preserved 18th-century Directoire-style house. Until recently it was the private home of legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve.

Domaine de Primard is now a 40 room 5-star luxury hotel complete with a fabulous restaurant and the first Susanne Kaufmann spa in France.

The estate’s gastronomic restaurant makes extensive use of produce grown in the hotel’s own gardens. There is also a bistro, set on a terrace surrounded by fruit trees, that presents a slightly more casual take of the same vision.

Guests can relax in the heated outdoor pool or take advantage of the ample opportunity for walking and hiking, horseback riding, and the highly regarded Robert Hersant golf course.


We hope this list of what to do in Normandy in 2022 will help inspire future travel to this wonderful region. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France in the coming year with a custom itinerary. Some of our favorite destinations in France include Bordeaux, the South of France, the Loire Valley and Paris. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

Top France Travel Destinations in 2022

With 2022 on the horizon, now is the time to start thinking about and planning a trip to France. Our travel designers have already been hard at work planning fabulous tailor-made trips throughout France in the coming year. We’re sharing some of the top France travel destinations in 2022 that we hope will inspire you! Read on to discover more about Normandy, Paris, the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, the South of France and more.


Top France Travel Destinations in 2022

Normandy

top france travel destination 2022 normandy honfleur

Not far from Paris, there’s a reason why Normandy is consistently a top France travel destination. All along the coast visitors can enjoy wonderful seafood in picturesque seaside towns. The interior of the region boasts fertile green pastures yielding delicious creamy cheeses, crisp ciders, and fiery Calvados apple brandy.

Travelers won’t want to miss the natural beauty of the dramatic cliffs and wild seaside, specifically the striking Étretat, charming towns by the water like Honfleur and Deauville, the emblematic Mont Saint-Michel, and the powerful D-Day landing beaches and memorials. On the way to or from Paris, a stop at Claude Monet’s Gardens in Giverny are always a favorite.

Paris

paris café

It’s hard to come to France and not make a stop in Paris. This bustling hub of art and culture is filled with iconic landmarks that include the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Whether it’s your first or 20th trip, you’ll want to spend at least a day wandering around the picturesque streets. Part of the charm of Paris is stopping along the way at quaint cafés and charming boutiques. Visit the masterpieces in the Musée du Louvre and Musée d’Orsay and don’t miss an interactive sound and light show at the Atelier des Lumières. An all-time favorite Paris activity is taking a boat ride down the Seine after the sun sets to take in the twinkling Eiffel Tower. Afterwards, you’ll truly understand why it’s called the City of Light!

There’s something for everyone in Paris, whether you’re interested in history, fashion, cooking, art, food and wine, architecture, art, and beyond!

bvlgari hotel paris

New Hotel Opening in Paris: Bvlgari Hotel

Situated prominately on Avenue George V, in the heart of the golden triangle, the Bvlgari Hotel Paris combines Bvlgari’s timeless glamour and heritage with a contemporary design and furniture by world-renowned Italian architects Antonio Citterio & Patricia Viel. Bvlgari Hotel Paris’ glamorous atmosphere sets the property apart with an understated yet uncompromising luxury residential feel. It offers the ultimate comfort and coziness to its discerning clients.

A major highlight is the Bvlgari Penthouse a private roof garden and breathtaking 360° views all over Paris.

Loire Valley

château de villandry

For fabulous French castles, stunning scenery, and delicious wines don’t miss the Garden of France, located just a couple hours drive southwest of Paris. This area was a battleground during the Hundred Years War before becoming a retreat for French royalty in the 15th and 16th centuries. Châteaux (castles) span the entire region. Chenonceau, Chambord, and Amboise are the first châteaux that most visitors see, but many others are worthwhile (you can see French Side Travel’s Top 10 Loire Valley Châeaux here). Having access to a car is a must in this region. We recommend letting an expert driver/guide show you the ins and outs of the Loire Valley.

relais de chambord hotel

A Unique Stay in the Loire Valley: Relais de Chambord

Located in Chambord, a four minute walk from the castle, this refined 4-star boutique hotel was designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte. It is situated in an unrivaled location. With captivating views around almost every turn, you’ll get to know each spire of the castle’s famous rooftop skyline.

The stylish rooms are full of natural light. Every room is unique, so you will find each one slightly different in a charming and individual way. Some rooms offer a view of the Château de Chambord, while others overlook the Cosson River, Place Saint-Louis or the forest.

Bordeaux

top france travel destination 2022 bordeaux arcachon

While it’s best-known for its fine wine, charming Bordeaux has a lot to offer beyond grapes and wine tastings. Its architecture, with spacious avenues and alluring classical facades, begs to be explored. The city is low-key and friendly, with a fabulous food scene and great shopping. Try the canelés, a small rum and vanilla-flavored pastry with a caramel crust.

Wine-aficionados will come here to visit the world-famous châteaux in the countryside. Be sure to visit the tranquil Arcachon Bay, which emerged as a luxury retreat for Bordeaux’s rich in the 19th century. The elegant Belle Époque villas, rejuvenating spas, and expansive golden sandy beaches make it a favorite of the French. The largest sand dune in Europe, the Dune de Pilat, is an impressive site with even better views from the top. You can even visit an oyster farm to sample some of the best oysters in France!

Provence

top france travel destination 2022 provence

This perennially popular destination in France oozes charm that most people only dream about. Nestled between sea and mountains, its striking colors range from azure sky to bright pastel facades and deep purple lavender fields to vibrant yellow sunflowers. In the summer cicadas melodically buzz in the background. Wine lovers can’t miss the powerful Côtes-du-Rhône reds and the refreshing Coteaux-d’Aix-en-Provence rosés. History buffs should make time to explore the exceptional Roman ruins and the Gothic Palais des Papes. Enjoy the relaxed pace of life with great weather, millennia of history, and a fantastic art scene.

maison fragonnard arles

A Boutique Bed & Breakfast in Arles: Maison Fragonard

For the first time, Maison Fragonard is opening a unique location, combining a  boutique on the ground floor and a guest house on the upper floors located just a stone’s throw from the famous Roman amphitheater and the ancient theater.

The rooms reflect the Provençal identity dear to Fragonard: terracotta floor tiles, lime plaster, marble fireplaces, one of which is surmounted by an exceptional terracotta medallion listed as historical monuments. There is also a rooftop terrace with a breathtaking view over the city of Arles. Decorated with antique furniture and unique and antique decorative objects, each room has an elegant charm.   

Côte d’Azur

top france travel destination 2022 cote d'azur

Further east, the glittering French Riviera is a Mediterranean paradise. The Riviera marries glamour with old-world charm. Bask in the bright sun and soak in the superb turquoise waters. Indulge in the Rivera’s flair for luxury. Michelin-starred restaurants, yacht rides, legendary nightlife, and Monaco’s Monte Carlo Casino await. This sparkling coastline from Cassis to Menton has long drawn celebrities and the jet-set crowd. The Côte d’Azur is a wonderful place to visit anytime of year, you can see French Side Travel’s guide to visiting the Nice area in the winter here.


French Side Travel thanks you for your support in 2021 and sends our Meilleurs Voeux (best wishes) for 2022. We hope this list of the top France travel destinations in 2022 inspires you. We would love to help you plan a dream trip to France in the coming year with a custom itinerary that includes stops in any or all of these destinations. Get in touch with a travel designer today to start the planning process!

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