NORMANDY – WHY GO?
Within hours of zipping across the Channel, you can be horse riding or sand yachting on the broad sandy beaches of the French coast, strolling the chic seaside resorts of Le Touquet and Deauville, or exploring the lush countryside of inland Normandy.
MUST SEE, MUST DO
Visit the pretty harbour of Honfleur (you're sure to see artists at work here), before exploring the town's market square and enjoying a lunch of fresh-landed fruits de mer at one of the open-air restaurants around the little port.
Mont St Michel
Iconic Mont St Michel– captivating when it's lit up at night atop its rocky islet – is top of everyone's must-see list. See the famous monastery at sunset for an awe-inspiring image that will stay with you forever.
Head inland to see the Bayeux tapestry and the half-timbered houses of Rouen or experience a taste of wartime France at the Normandy landing beaches of Utah, Omaha and Juno. The Landing Museum at Arromanches is a poignant reminder of the time when US troops landed here in WW2.
Just over the border into Brittany, Saint Malo’s attractive fortifications date back to the Middle Ages. Boasting one of the highest concentrations of seafood restaurants in Europe, it’s the best place to try the famous French oysters from the nearby village of Cancale.
Channel-hoppers can stock up with bargains at the hypermarkets of Boulogne – hopefully leaving time for a lazy lunch at the hilltop Old Town of Boulogne before heading back aboard Le Shuttle.
MAKE A DATE
July and August
Nighttime tours of the Mont Saint Michel abbey give you a chance to wrap up warm and get jumpy.
Get up early and beat the crowds by visiting Mont Saint Michel at sunrise instead of sunset for a tranquil view of the iconic islet.