N32-825013 - © - JosÈ Antonio Moreno
France, Hérault (34), Montpellier, château de Flaugergues
Normandy bridge view (Pont de Normandie, France)
Rouen - Facade of the cathedral
Saint-Catherine's Church in Honfleur, France.
X3H-2890584 - © - Christian Goupi
From Giverny to Havre, an itinerary between nature and large towns
From the most charming to the most modern, your itinerary in the Seine Valley will give you a diverse insight into the region’s beauties. Your journey begins in Giverny, a town at the heart of the Impressionists, and passes some of the most beautiful buildings in French history. Afterward, a plunge into the heart of nature, in Lyons-la-Forêt, followed by the large town of Rouen, where you can explore its famous cathedral. You will cross the beautiful Boucles de la Seine Regional Natural Park to finally reach Honfleur and Le Havre. In other words, there will be something for everyone.
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Explore the charming village of Giverny and its surrounding countryside, where Claude Monet painted his poplars and haystacks series, and immortalised many scenes of family happiness. His pink coloured house accommodates a museum and garden that will immerse you into the master’s world. The Museum of Impressionism will complement your visit before you set off to walk on the discovery trails of a beautiful, protected natural area. Spend the evening in Vernon, where you can admire the contemporary windows of the Notre-Dame church.
The route along the banks of the Seine will take you to Château Gaillon, an avant-garde monument so typical of the Norman Renaissance. You should also stop off at Château-Gaillard for a breathtaking panorama of the Seine Valley before heading down to Petit-Andely for lunch and to enjoy its half-timbered houses and small marina. Leave behind the banks of the Seine to head towards the green and humid heart of Lyons-la-Forêt. On the way, stop at the Collégiale d’Écouis and the Abbaye de Mortemer.
Head to Rouen! After stopping off at Château de Vascœuil, a renowned cultural centre dedicated to the memory of historian Jules Michelet, followed by the Château de Martainville, emblematic of the first Renaissance in Normandy, you reach the “city of a hundred steeples”. Before entering, admire the panorama from the Côte Sainte-Catherine, which will allow you to take a look at the whole agglomeration. Stop over and spend the evening in a restaurant and the town’s bars.
Strolling through the old town, starting at Place de la Cathédrale, enjoy its architecture before entering the Cathedral itself, the pinacle of Gothic art. Next, head to Rue Saint-Romain; taking in the half-timbered houses as you pass to reach the Saint-Maclou church, another flamboyant Gothic monument. After, head to the more peaceful setting of Church of Saint-Ouen. Finish your day with the breathtaking panorama from the Côte des Deux-Amants and a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts.
Leave Rouen for a breath of fresh air in the Boucles de la Seine Regional Natural Park. First, stop at the Jumièges Abbey that established its thousand year old walls in what is an enchanting landscape. Head next to a Saint-Georges de Boscherville , a”chateau of God” (the sixth century monasteries typical of the region). Then cross the Forest of Brotonne, home to more than 90 species of tree along its trails. The charming village of Aizier, the Vieux-Port or Pont-Audemer will delight your senses before you arrive in Honfleur.
Honfleur has been popular since the arrival of artists two centuries ago! Take time out to stroll the cobblestones of the Sainte-Catherine quarter before visiting its remarkable twin-roofed church. The timber framed houses and the Vieux Bassin are also worth a visit. Finally, check out the famous Pont de Normandie to reach Le Havre. The ultimate milestone of the Seine Valley, this modern city is a model of post-war architecture and urbanism. Don’t miss the collections at the Museum of Modern Art André-Malraux, the Eure quarter and, of course, the beach!
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