24 Reasons to Visit Normandy in 2024

2024 is gearing up to be a great year to visit Normandy with some large events taking place. So here are 24 reasons to visit Normandy in 2024. Do any appeal to you?

24 reasons to visit Normandy in 2024

24 reasons to Visit Normandy in 2024

Major Events

1. 80th Anniversary of D-Day

June 6th 2024 sees the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the ensuing Battle of Normandy. A large programme of events is planned to both remember this tragic day, when so many lost their lives, whilst also emphasising a spirit of hope for the future. More details of the main events can be found here.

80th anniversary of D-Day, Normandy, 2024

2. Olympic Torch Relay

Paris is hosting the 2024 Olympics and Para-Olympics and we were hopeful that some of the events such as sailing or Equestrian might have been held in Normandy. Sadly, that is not the case. However, Normandy is not missing out and it will be on the route of The Olympic Flame Relay. The torch will be in Caen on May 30th and at Mont Saint Michel on May 31st with events planned throughout each day.  And, if you are lucky enough to have tickets to any of the events in Paris why not extend your visit to France with some time in nearby Normandy before or after.

3. Normandy Impressionist Festival

Art lovers will want to take part in the 5th edition of the Normandy Impressionist Festival will takes place from March 22nd to September 22nd and celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Impressionist movement. A full programme across the whole of Normandy will include events such as exhibitions, performing arts, concerts, light shows, street art and conferences. The programme of events is available at here

5th Normandy Impressionist Festival

4. Food Festivals

Normandy has so many foods and drinks to excite your palette and it's no surprise there are festivals to celebrate the many local products.  At various times through the year you'll find events dedicated to cheese, cider, seafood, apples, andouille (a local sausage), boudin noir (black pudding) and mushrooms.

5. Medieval Fairs

If you enjoy watching jousting and medieval re-enactments, if you love artisan markets and food stalls and you like getting involved in interactive activities for all ages then you'll love the medieval fairs that take place across Normandy every summer. Château Ganne is the closest to the gite but there is also Bayeux (which is now the 3rd largest medieval fair in France), Domfront, Falaise and the amazing Cidre et Dragon at Merville-Franceville in September when medieval meets steampunk! All these are within easy reach of us and make a great family day out.

Jousting at a Medieval Fair

6. Music Festivals

Whatever music genre you enjoy there is bound to be a music festival you'll love in Normandy in 2024.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Les Bichoiseries at Cerisy-Belle-Étoile (just 20 mins from the gite)
  • Papillons de Nuit - near Saint Hilaire du Harcouët
  • Jazz sous les Pommiers - Coutances
  • Festival Grand Marées - Jullouville
  • Beauregard Music Festival near Caen
  • Les Traversées de Tatihou - Tatihou Island
  • International Choral Festival as part of the D-Day celebrations

Out and About

7. Explore the Coast

Normandy has 640kms of varied coastline. 70kms of this are the D-Day Beaches but the coast is so much more than that: a family day out on a sandy beach with shallow water, a day searching for fossils on the Jurassic cliffs, an adrenalin buzz from sand yachting to sailing, bird watching on the salt water marshes and sand dunes ... what would you do on a day at the beach?

8. Get out Walking

Exploring Normandy on foot gives you so much time to enjoy the scenery - you might want to take a plant ID book, especially in Spring as the wild flowers here are amazing and you may well see species you've not come across before. I had never seen an oxlip before coming to Normandy.  And you can find walks of different lengths that all start and finish at the gite right here on our website.

9. Get on your Bike

If you want to speed things up a bit then bring your bike (or you can hire one) and head off through quiet country lanes, along footpaths (remember to always give walkers priority), down old railway lines or along coastal paths. The scenery is ever changing but always special and we have dry storage at the gite for your bike as well as access to a workshop, if needed.

10. Explore Normandy on Horseback

If you are a horse rider then Normandy is a great destination with several long distance routes crossing the region that are specifically chosen to be ideal for horse riders. One of these passes our gate and a second is only 2kms away. Plus in Normandy all footpaths are also open to horses.  We don't have space to stable horse at Eco-Gites of Lénault but our local riding stable can provide stable or grass livery, should you wish to bring your own horses on a holiday to Normandy.

Enjoy Normandy on foot or on horseback

11. Drive along a Dedicated Normandy Route

For those wanting to discover the greatest amount of Normandy there are numerous driving routes you can follow. Closest to us are 2 routes that take you around Suisse Normande but you can also find routes such as the Cider Route, the Cheese Route and those relating to D-Day.

12. Get an Adrenalin Rush

If you like to get your heart beating then Normandy can oblige - theme parks with terrifying rides, giant zip wires, a cliffside Via Ferrata trail, bungee jumping, windsurfing, paragliding, treetop trails, rock climbing, kayaking ... and so the list goes on.  At the Souleuvre Viaduct, just 20 mins from the gite, SkyPark Normandie is opening a new experience in 2024 which is a combination of a bungee jump and a giant swing - would you give this a go?

13. Enjoy Parks and Gardens

Normandy has so many parks and gardens to visit it would be impossible to list them all here. They include private gardens that open on certain weekends, gardens around châteaux and other houses, city botanical gardens, arboretums, parkland gardens and, of course, not forgetting, Monet's stunning garden at Giverny.  Two of my favourites are the Botanical Garden in Caen and Castillon Gardens but I do have many more still to visit.

14. Visit a Market

You cannot visit France without visiting a market and you have many to choose from in Normandy: weekly food markets (which often also include a range of other sellers), boot fairs (known as vide greniers) for bargains, brocantes for antiques, fish markets up along the coast, night markets through the summer and don't forget Christmas markets in November and December. All these are a great way to support small local businesses and buy local produce with minimal food miles.

15. Celebrate Animals

Normandy has so many sites celebrating animals and nature - zoos, butterfly houses, bison and wolf parks, working horse farms, national stud farms, reptile parks and aquaria.

Closest to the gite is Jurques Zoo (19kms away) which has several special exhibitions planned for 2024: an exhibition focussing on love and relationships in the animal world, one celebrating Fantastic Animals called « cryptozoologie« all about monsters, unicorns, werewolves and mermaids and at Halloween they will focus on the animals in the Brother's Grimm Fairy Tales.

Enjoy adrenalin rushes, gardens and zoos in Normandy


16. Go back in Time to Discover the Archaeology and Early History of Normandy

From 6000 year old burial sites to Neolithic dolmen and on into the Roman age, Normandy is packed full of ancient history. You can discover these both at sites around Normandy or in museums such as the Le Musée d'Art et d'Histoire Baron Gérard (MAHB) in Bayeux or the Roman museum at Vieux La Romaine, near Caen.

17. Mont Saint Michel and other Abbeys

Mont Saint Michel is a 1000 year old abbey perched on a rocky outcrop in the bay of the same name is one of France's most visited sites.  You can also take guided walks both around the Mount (where you'll learn about and even stand in quicksand) or across the bay following the routes taken by pilgrims over the centuries. There are also many other abbeys across Normandy, some still in use, others now in ruins. We even have a ruined abbey at Le Plessis Grimoult which is within walking distance of the gite and where there is, what is believed to be, the only example of a very early fortified walled garden in France.

18. Visit a Château

From medieval castles (châteaux forts) to stately homes (châteaus de la Renaissance) and palaces, Normandy has so many châteaux you can visit.  The closest to the gite is the Château de Pontécoulant (walkable almost entirely on footpaths) and others nearby include the Château de Falaise (birthplace of William the Conqueror), Vendeuvre (which has a fabulous Tulip Festival in April), the ruins at Domfront and the Château de Caen, built by William the Conqueror and which is now one of Europe's largest castle. Some also house museums focussing on subjects as varied as fine art, hot air balloons and even Renaissance dog beds! There is also the Archiepiscopal Palace in Rouen, home of the archbishop of Rouen ... although in the French Revolution the building was downgraded to a wheat store!

19. D-Day Sites are not just for June 6th

Whilst June 6th always sees a surge in visits to D-Day sites these are often better visited at quieter times of the year. The Beaches, memorials and cemeteries are open all year and most museums open from February to December but do always check opening times.  With such D-Day history across Normandy you may well find you'll need more than one visit in 2024 to see it all.

20. Bayeux, more than just home to The Tapestry

If seeing The Bayeux Tapestry is on your bucket list then I do re recommend you see it in 2024 because from 2025 to 2027 the Museum where it is housed is going under a complete refurbishment and the Tapestry will not be on public view.  But the town will be still be there and it really is a superb place being the only town along the D-Day coast that was not heavily bombed.  The Cathedral is amazing and if you can get to see the  light show there over Christmas and New Year you will not be disappointed.

And everything else ...

21. Learn more about Normandy from a Museum

With such a rich history and culture it is little surprise there are so many museums across Normandy and on a wide range of subjects: history, industry, art, a whale, food, Calvados, nature, the sea and fashion are all covered in Normandy museums. And new for 2024 is an immersive Viking Museum opening in Rouen.

22. City Life

Normandy has 2 major cities. The closest to the gite is Caen and a bit further away (but still close enough for a day visit) is Rouen where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. Both have much for the visitor to discover and are small enough to explore on foot.
Caen, Normandie - Abbaye aux Himmes

23. Family Friendly Fun

Normandy is a great place for families. Children of all ages will enjoy wide sandy beaches, theme parks, soft play areas, a miniature railway, vélo rails, family friendly swimming pools and what child does not enjoy collecting eggs from the chickens at their gite (that would be us!) or scratching the back of a couple of friendly pigs (also us!).

24. Head across the Normandy Border

Normandy has so much to offer but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a day trip or even night away by heading just across the border.  You could take a ferry trip to The Channel Islands, a day trip to Paris (there are great train connections from Caen) or head to Brittany to explore jewels such as St Malo, Dinan or the medieval city of Fougères. Just remember to come back and make time to see all of Normandy!
Normandy map

So, as you can clearly see, there are at least fantastic 24 reasons to visit Normandy in 2024 - will you be here in 2024 to enjoy this fabulous region?

And for even more information about Normandy do join the Facebook group I run with a fellow gite owner and called: Holidays in Normandy - What to Do and Where to Stay.  In the group we have an interactive map of places to visit. If you are not a Facebook user you can still access the map by clicking here.  And do add a comment if you have any suggestions for other places we can add to the map.

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24 reasons to visit Normandy in 2024