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Lower Normandy

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Lower-Normandy
Country: France
Lower-Normandy
Links:
CS Group Wikipedia
[[:wikivoyage:{{{wikitravel}}}|Wikivoyage]] HitchWiki


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Map and main cities of the Region

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How to get there ?

By boat :

- From England with Brittany Ferries [1]

- From Ireland with Irish Ferries [2]

By plane :

- From England with Ryanair via Dinard (near Saint Malo, Brittany) [3]

The most important airports in the region : Caen-Carpiquet airport [4] and Deauville airport [5] are located on the north of the department of Calvados


By train with SNCF [6] :

- From Paris to Lisieux, Mezidon-Canon, Caen, Bayeux, Lison, Carentan, Valognes and Cherbourg : line Paris-Cherbourg More informations about the line Paris-Cherbourg : [7]

- From Paris to l'Aigle, Surdon, Argentan, Briouze, Flers, Vire, Villedieu-les-Poëles, Folligny and Granville : line Paris-Granville More informations about the line Paris-Granville : [8]

- From Tours to Alençon, Argentan, Mézidon-Canon, Caen : line Tours-Caen More informations about this line : [9]

- From Rennes to Folligny, Saint-Lô, Coutances, Lison, Caen : line Rennes-Caen More informations about this line : [10]

Here are the names of nodes which connect these lines : Surdon, Lison, Folligny

Link of the french railway network : [11]

Network map train in Lower Normandy (TER: Train Express Régional) :

Ter bassenormandie.jpg


By bus :

- into the department of Calvados : [12]

- into the department of Manche : [13]

- into the department of Orne : [14]


By tramway : The capital of the region: the city of Caen has a tram line and also several bus lines [15]


To travel by train, bus and tram in Lower Normandy you can use this website : commentjyvais.fr [16]

The CS Activity in the Region

Here are dynamics groups

The CS activity is nowadays concentrated mostly in Caen where there are often some CS events.

Lots of CS meetings have been organized with differents forms : drink or coffee meeting, concerts, "loup-garou" party...

Look at the Lower Normandy group and, of course, the group of Caen
Caen
Cherbourg
Alençon
Mont saint michel

Family Welcome

Children Welcome.jpg In the region, there is a very nice, active and developped CS Families network. If you travel with your children, if you would like to be hosted by a family, if you are searching for a host who accept a family, meeting other families making to your children more different cultural friendship, you are welcome to join the French Family's group !

A tool exists to localise easily where you can find the CS families' in the region, please check the Family Welcome Map of the area.

Rural Couchsurfing

RCSIcon2.gif In Lower-Normandy you have the chance to have the possibility to couchsurf a bit everywhere, even in the countryside ! Check the map of the Rural CSers in Lower-Normandy, you can find them easilier on this way ! There is also a CS group called "Rural CS France" where you can talk with all Rural CSers in France.

But not all Rural CSers appears on the map or are members of the group "Rural CS France". To find the others, join the Regional CS group of Lower-Normandy !



Regional CS Contacts

Here are the most dynamics couchsurfers from each following cities :

Caen

Patrice Nicolas Hanitra&Samuel
Sarah Jean Laurence
Marie-Laure Guillaume Stef
Dale Nam Fabien
Davidoff

Cherbourg

Rick Alexis

Alençon

Alexis Angélique

Saint-Lô

Catherine

Avranches

Antoine Matthieu

Granville

Delphine

Bayeux

Julien

Vire

Benjamin Armelle Julien

Lisieux

Francisco Jennifer Virginie

Flers

Maud Florence

Coutances

Edith&Roger

In the real countryside

Kim&Marcelo Chris&Phil

What to visit in the Region

Lower-Normandy is a very beautiful region, one of the most beautiful part of France when it's sunny.

Depending on what you want to visit, the Lower Normandy offers to tourists lost of marvelous sights to visit :


Mont Saint Michel

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Obviously, the most famous sight of Lower Normandy is Le Mont Saint-Michel:

There are different ways to enjoy the Mont Saint Michel, the first one is obviously to visit the village on the rock. It's free except the parking fee if you come by car. Try to visit the Mont during the night. You'll get the privilege to own it practically for yourself. It's really worth it.

If you are courageous, you can climb all the stairs to reach the "Merveille", this is the nickname of the abbey build at the top. To visit this part of the mont you have to pay. Different option for the visit are available. (all the details here : [17]).

The best period to get there is during the mid season otherwise it's so crowded during summer or the time may be awful during winter. To visit the Mont plan to spend half a day.

An original way to enjoy the Mont Saint Michel is to cross the bay by foot. This walk allow you to enjoy the landscape with lot of birds, sandbanks, sea and even if you are very lucky observe some seals. This walk lenght is around 6km one way and need two hours and half. Be careful, because of the tides and the drifts (the gap between lowest tides and highest can reach up to 13 meters, and the drift up to 10km/h) you should not go by yourself. Guides drive you across the bay. the start of the walk is located at Genêts [18]

Finally if you have more time, you can use a path that follows the seaside. The path is marked all its way long. If you follow the GR223 [19] in its all, it will bring from Mont Saint Michel to Honfleur.

how to get there :

- By public transport : reach the station of Pontorson from Rennes or Caen (Rennes-Caen line timetable[20]) and after catch the bus that leads you to the Mont (timetable[21])

- By car : from Rennes or Caen drive along the A84 highway and then use the exit number 33 and follow the signposts "Mont-Saint-Michel"

Bayeux and the "D-Day" beaches

- in Bayeux, the town center, the "tapisserie" (museum about the story of William the Conqueror which owns one of the most beautiful tapestry of the world) and the cathedral. Informations about Bayeux : [22]

Bayeux.jpg

- The "D-Day" Beaches : Les Plages du Débarquement [23]

Mapdday.jpg

Caen, the capital of the region

Caen it's the city of William the Conqueror. With Romanesque abbeys, 11th Century castle and the Memorial, a Museum for Peace. Following the terrible bombings in 1944, Caen has been able to preserve it's magnificent architectural heritage. Caen it's aslo the town of "100 clock towers" (Saint Etienne Church, The Church of the Trinity, Saint Pierre Church, Saint Jean Church, Saint Sauveur Church...)

- The Men's Abbey (Abbaye aux Hommes)

Caen-abbaye.jpg

- The Ladie's Abbey (Abbaye aux Dames)

- The Castle : the largest fortress in Europe (Le château ducal) with the Museum of Normandy

- The Memorial : With 400 000 visitors per year it's the leading national museum of the region. The Caen Memorial thus invites all visitors to think of the Peace. [24]

- Wiki CS Caen : [25]

Granville and the west coast of the region

- in Granville, the port, the casino, the Vieux Granville (Old center)... [26]

Chausey Islands

Chausey are islands 20 km in the west of Granville. To get there you need to take a boat from Granville [27] or Saint-Malo[28]. The boat drop you on the main island. Here you can walk all around the island ( Takes 2 hours or so) and envoy the beaches located into small coves.

If you can go there during the equinox tides, you can try to catch some shrimps or sea foods in the small flaques around the rocks left by the low tide.

2003 07 09 - Granville, Chausey 032.jpg 2003 07 09 - Granville, Chausey 033.jpg

The center of La Manche department

(Coutances, Saint-Lô ...)

- in Coutances, the Cathedral and the streets of the city

The north of La Manche department

(Le Cotentin, Cherbourg...)

- the Cotentin [29]

On the east coast: Saint-Vaast and the tatihou island, Barfleur, lovely typical fisherman harbour

On the west coast: Vauville, with its exotic park, la Hague, "port racine", the most little harbour of France

The center of the region

Suisse Normande, Bocage Virois, (South of Calvados and Orne)...

- the Suisse Normande : Pont d'Ouilly, Clécy...

La chapelle Saint Clair, un des points culminants de la suisse Normande, 306 d'altitude:

IMG 4567.JPG

- the Bocage Virois

- Vire (The church "Notre-Dame", the church "Sainte-Anne", the Dungeon and the "Porte Horloge"

- The Church of Malloué

- La Chapelle sur Vire

- The Lake of "La Dathée"

- The Forest of Saint Sever


- the Bocage Flérien

- Flers (The Castle, The Churh "Saint-Germain")


- the Bocage Domfrontais

The abbey of Lonlay l'Abbaye :

Lonlay.jpg

The south of the La Manche department :

Mortain

Mortain is a nice spot for climbing. There you will find also some nice pathway that lead you to waterfalls, the small one and th big one. If you are coureagous you can go up to the small chappel to enjoy the lookout. If your are lucky you may see the Mont Saint michel which is more than 40 km away

Abbaye d'Hambye

Le Pays d'Auge, Deauville, Honfleur...

- The Pays d'Auge : Lisieux, Beaumont en Auge, Livarot, Camembert...

- The Côte "Fleurie" : Deauville, Cabourg, Honfleur... Côte Fleurie, it's the Normandy coast of the Pays d'Auge (east of the department of Calvados). With famous resorts : Honfleur, Trouville sur Mer, Villers sur Mer, Houlgate, Cabourg, Deauville.

Deauville is a famous city for many festivals (Asian and American film), it's also one of the beaches closest to Paris, therefore, with great crowds on weekends and shops and restaurants are often very "chic ". Deauville is also famous for its horse racing, and the casino on the face of the beach and the famous Planches Deauville.

Honfleur'is located on the southern bank of the estuary of the Seine, very close to the exit of the Pont de Normandie. It's beautiful picturesque port, characterized by its houses with slate-covered frontages, painted many times by artists, including in particular Gustave Courbet, Claude Monet...

etc ...

The Cotentin

Located at the top north of the Manche department. In my opinion it's one of most the beautiful landscape of Normandy. Envoy the cliffs, the look-out on the channel islands...

Hague.JPG

Here the famous French poet Jacques PREVERT choose to finish his live. You can visit his former house and its nice gardeen.

The biggest city of this area is Cherbourg. There is a very interesting museum about the abyss[30].

Museums and Attractions in the Region

The main museums in the region :

- The Memorial in Caen : museum "for peace" (museum on the Second World War and the major conflicts in the world) - Very interesting, comprehensive and very moving [31]

- The "Cité de la Mer" in Cherbourg. Devoted to underwater exploration. Built in the old station Transatlantic of Cherbourg city. [32]

- The "Tapisserie de Bayeux" in Bayeux (see information > Bayeux) [33]

The main parks (zoo and others) in the region :

- The "Zoo de Jurques" near Caen (20 minuts with A.84) [34]

- The "Zoo de Champrépus" near Villedieu les Poêles (50) [35]

- The "Parc Festyland" near Caen [36]


Local Gastronomy

  • Some typical dishes and meals.

- Andouille from Vire. It's a kind of sausage.

- Various cheeses : Camenbert, Livarot , Pont l'Evêque ...

- With one of the longest sea side of france, Normandy provides various seafood as oyster, crabs, shrimps, mussels...

- Caramels d'Isigny, from Isigny sur Mer : it's good but it sticks to teeth !

- Tripes de Caen, from Caen

- Biscuit of Abbey, from Lonlay l'Abbaye (Bisctuiterie de l'Abbaye)

- The typcal dessert is teurgoule. It is made with rice cooked during hours in milk with sugar and cinnamon


  • Drinks :

- Cider a drink with low level of alcohol made with apples

- Poiré, it's like the cider but made with pears.

- Calvados, the strongest drink of normandy ,also made with apples.

- Pommeau, also made with apples but stronger in alcohol than cider; in fact pommeau is made of apple juice and calvados

Festivals and Events in the Region

- Carnaval de Granville in Granville (Winter), One of the biggest carnivals in France [37]

- Festival international du Cirque in Bayeux (Winter) [38]

- Festival du film Asiatique in Deauville (Winter) [39]

- Jazz sous les Pommiers in Coutances (Spring), One of the biggest jazz festivals in France [40]

- Papillons de Nuit in Saint Laurent de Cuves (Spring), Music festival with national and international artists [41]

- Fête de la Musique in major cities in the region (June, 21)

- Les vendredis de l'été in Bagnoles de l'Orne

- Caen soirs d'été in Caen (Festival in the streets, free)

- Festival Beauregard in Hérouville near Caen (Summer), Music festival with national and international artists

- Les Virevoltés in Vire (Summer), Festival in the streets (free)

- Sorties de Bain in Granville (Summer), Festival in the streets (free) [42]

- Les Médiévales in Bayeux (Summer), Medieval festival in the streets (free)

- National Day in major cities in the region (July, 14)

- Calvadose de Rock in Bayeux (Summer), Music festival

- Foire internationale de Caen (September)

- American Film Festival in Deauville (September) [43]

- Autumn fairs (very typical in Normandy) in : Lessay, Etouvy, Saint Hilaire du Harcouet, Gavray...

- Nordik Impakt in Caen, Electronic music festival [44]


Sports in the region

- Bungy : There is a spot created by the inventor of bungy jumping A.J. Hackett located in a former viaduc. A 61 hight meter jump.[45]

800px-Viaduc de la Souleuvre 1.jpg

- Kite and wind surfing : Colleville, COurseulles, Sallenelle in Calvados or siouville, urville and Bréhal in Manche

- Surf : Siouville

- Sand Sailing : Granville, Ouistreham, Dives sur Mer, Cherbourg [46]

- Canoe Kayak : Pont Farcy (14) [47], Pont d'Ouilly (14) [48]

- Paragliding : Villers-sur-mer (Falaise des vaches noires) (14), Clecy (14)

Regional Media Mentions

Ouest France, Regional Newspaper, August 11th 2008
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Ouest France, Local Newspaper, Argentan, August 14th 2009

Useful websites

- Normandy Tourism [49]

- Calvados Tourism Tourist Board [50]

- La Manche Tourism Tourist Board [51]

- Orne Tourism Tourist Board [52]


Links