The Advantages of Choosing Lower Normandy Vacation Rentals
The beautiful province of Normandy along the north coast of France is divided into Upper and Lower Normandy. The “departmens” of Calvados, Manche and Orne are known as Basse Normandy or Lower Normandy. and they are rich in culture, cuisine and stunning scenery. From the estuaries and marshes along the coastline to forested hills and apple orchards further inland, Lower Normandy is a delightful place to enjoy a relaxing vacation. It is perfect for food-loving ramblers who want to explore the charming rural villages and river valleys at a gentle pace.
Those who have visited Lower Normandy will know that part of the charm of this idyllic area are the local villages. The opportunity to stay in a centuries-old stone built cottage or farmhouse “gîte,” as French vacation homes are commonly known, is not to be missed. Friendly French neighbors will be happy to greet you with a smiling “Bonjour,” unlike their more haughty Parisian countrymen.
Vacation rentals will be fully furnished, often with antique furniture in farmhouse style with rugs on the tile floors. They will be full of character and charm and are always amply spacious. First stop each morning should be the local boulangerie, where hot croissants, crusty bread and savory pasties will have a line of customers waiting to be served, even at 7 a.m.!
Dine outside in the colorful garden of your vacation home, spilling over with poppies, peonies and lupins. The simple pleasures of life offered by a stay in Lower Normandy will be enhanced when you choose local accommodation and become part of the community, if only temporarily!
Things to do From Your Lower Normandy Accommodations
You cannot fail to enjoy the rich cuisine of this area, known for its fresh fish, shellfish, duck, Calvados (apple brandy) and creamy cheeses such as Camembert, Pont l'Evêque and Livarot.
Following the historic battle fields of World War II may appeal to history buffs or those with a family connection here. The area is perfect for exploring on foot or bicycle with winding lanes through flat farmland near the coast, and rolling hills further south. Church steeples always herald the next village where there will be a pâtisserie and a café serving everything from hot chocolate and coffee to beer and wines. You can even rent horse-drawn carriages to explore the area. The small harbors offer boat trips and fishing charters for a fun day out on the water.
What to Expect Weather-Wise When Renting Lower Normandy Villas
The weather in lower Normandy is similar to southern England, with slightly warmer summers. The area does get a lot of rain showers, hence the green fields and flourishing apple orchards! Average temperatures range from 8 to 23 C (46 to 73 F) throughout the year.
Getting to Lower Normandy
Many visitors want the use of a car and arrive by ferry in the ports of Roscoff, Caen or Cherbourg. It is also easy to use the drive-on Eurostar through the Channel Tunnel from southeast England. Driving time from Calais is about five hours.
Flights to Paris are cheap and frequent and Lower Normandy can then be reached by a hired car in around three hours. The local airport at Dinard has flights from Stanstead, Luton and East Midlands airports in the UK.
Places to Visit from Lower Normandy Accommodations
Lower Normandy has 600 km of coastline to explore with cliffs, pebbly beaches and sandy coves. The popular resorts around Cherbourg are warmed by the Gulf Stream and offer happy days on the beach. Deauville, Cabourg and Trouville are also well established holiday resorts.
Further inland are forests, fruit orchards and charming villages. Visit Bayeux with its famous 11th-century tapestry of historic events and the beautiful basilica at Lisieux. Explore the world-famous island-abbey at Mont Sant Michel by crossing the causeway at low tide. The ornate Abbey of St. Etienne at Caen was actually built for the Pope by William the Conqueror in the 11th century.