Full of contrasts, Normandy enchants and inspires with every bend in its country roads. From the rolling hills dotted with cows to its impressive rugged coastline; from its fairy-tale villages to its glorious cathedrals; it is a place that literally embraces you and transports you. No wonder the impressionists saw it as a canvas full of inspiration.
Just a short drive from Paris, we’ll explore the secrets and lore of this place that has charmed authors, painters, as well as movie stars and Michelin starred chefs. Its strategic position, hugging the southern Coast of the English Channel, has garnered it with a colorful and complex history, far before the D-Day invasion. We will walk in Monet’s footsteps through picture perfect villages, dine on delicious freshly caught seafood, and indulge in soft cheeses and sip cider and calvados. (While the rest of France focuses on the grape, Normandy is all about the apple). We will climb to the top of iconic Mont-Saint Michel, view the sunset from neighboring Saint-Malo and even make a day trip to the Channel Island of Jersey, a mere 9 miles from France.
It will be a memorable trip for all the senses. Come and savor with us all that Normandy has to offer. This trip will be led by GG2P colleague Katrin Hodapp, a 20-year resident of Paris and former literary agent.
We’ll meet up at Porte Maillot to leave Paris around 9:30 am to head out for our first stop – Monet‘s incomparable gardens that inspired his iconic water lily paintings. In July they’ll be in full bloom! After a leisurely trip of the house and gardens, we’ll have a lovely lunch on the terrace at the historic Hotel Baudy. You’ll want to checkout the little workshop in the back where Monet once painted his nude models. It looks like he just left yesterday.
After a scenic drive through the Norman countryside we’ll arrive in the enchanting port village of Honfleur. Historically it was an inspiration for artists and the town still hosts a myriad of art galleries. Upon arrival, you can either take time to rest in your room, or join a little trip of the town.
Hotel: La Maison de Lucie
This morning we we’ll visit what is undoubtedly the most extraordinary sight of the Normandy coast: Étretat. The imposing cliffs and the impressive villas all speak to the glamorous transformation of this small fishing port into a fashionable seaside resort. It has beguiled artists and writers such as Monet, Courbet and De Maupassant, and was loved by Marie Antoinette.
We will visit the village, the pebbled beach and the innovative Gardens of Étretat.
For lunch we’ll enjoy local fare with panoramic views over the cliffs at the Dormy House.
In the afternoon we’ll explore the thatched roof houses characteristic of Normandy. Depending on time and weather we’ll wander through the storybook town of Veules-les-Roses or follow the thatched cottage route.
Before dinner we’ll stroll along the boardwalk in Deauville, famous as a playground for Paris’ rich and famous before having a cozy seafood dinner at La Petite Auberge Sur Mer in nearby Trouville-sur-Mer.
Hotel: La Maison de Lucie
This morning we’ll head to the colorful fish market on the coast in Port en Bessin-Huppain before visiting the D-Day Landing Beaches and Cemeteries. The American Cemetery and recently renovated visitors center is a must-do. The many thousands of headstones which face the United States won’t fail to move you.
For lunch we’ll head to the nearby town of Bayeux which is home to the incredible, world-famous Bayeux Tapestry which dates back to the 11th century and depicts the events leading to the Norman Conquest of England. We’ll view the Tapestry at its dedicated museum and then enjoy a light lunch.
We’ll continue on by visiting the beautiful villages of Beauvron-En-Auge with its half-timbered houses and Pont L’Eveque, renowned for cheese and Calvados production. We will enjoy a cider, cheese and calvados tasting.
We will celebrate our last night in Honfleur with a convivial meal along the port.
Hotel: La Maison de Lucie
This morning we check-out of our hotel and head to the western coast of Normandy. The port town of Granville was the childhood home of Christian Dior. His home has recently been renovated into a charming museum.
After lunch in a local bistro we’ll head next door to Brittany to visit the quaint town of Dinan which has cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses.
In the early evening we’ll arrive to the walled city of Saint Malo where we’ll enjoy a beautiful sunset before dining at Le Beurre Bordier owned by the famous butter company!
Hotel: Le Grand Be
Today we head out by boat to the Channel Island of Jersey. It’s only a short 1 and half hour ferry ride from Saint-Malo to arrive in merry old England.
We’ll leave in the morning, explore the capital city of St. Helier as well as the Elizabeth Castle.
Lunch today will be at Callum Graham’s Bohemia, a one Michelin restaurant considered one of the UK’s best.
In the afternoon we’ll stroll and explore the island before heading back to Saint Malo.
In the evening we’ll enjoy a light dinner at our hotel.
Hotel: Le Grand Be
In the morning we’ll visit magical Mont Saint Michel with an expert guide. After strolling about the winding streets and visiting the Abbey we’ll enjoy a rustic lunch at Ferme Saint Michel.
After our repas we’ll follow the beautiful coastline in time to enjoy a trip of the oyster farms in Cancale.
Tonight for a change of culinary pace, we’ll savor a special dinner at the La Table Breizh Cafe in Cancale, which is a Michelin-Starred Japanese restaurant.
In the morning we’ll check out of the hotel and head to Rouen. On the way we’ll stop at Falaise, the birthplace of William the Conqueror and his imposing castle.
We’ll stop for lunch and some yummy cheese in Camembert. In the afternoon we’ll arrive in Rouen and visit the majestic gothic cathedral to which Monet dedicated numerous paintings.
In the evening we’ll culminate our trip where Julia Child had her first life-altering meal in France : La Couronne which is the oldest auberge in France dating back to 1345.
Hotel: Hotel de Bourgtheroulde
This morning, after a leisurely breakfast we’ll head back to Paris where we’ll arrive before noon.
GG2P always reserves the right to alter the itinerary based on weather or availability as well as exciting opportunities that might crop up!
NOTE -> Not to worry – Vegetarians will be well fed in all cafés and restaurants as well as those allergic to seafood or gluten. Options are plentiful.
If you have questions, press the Inquire Now button above, and complete the form. We’ll get back to you ASAP.
If you’d like to come, press the Reserve Now button above. You will be prompted to complete a form with your pertinent details, put down a refundable $250 deposit, and schedule a time to speak with a GG2P representative. We like to speak with everyone before they embark on their first trip with Girls’ Guide to Paris & Beyond. This allows you to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. These are intimate, small group trips; a quick yet personal conversation allows you to get to know how our trips work and make sure it’s right for you. If it’s not, we’ll immediately refund your $250 deposit.
If it’s a Go! after your call, we’ll bill you for a non-refundable deposit, usually 35% of the trip’s cost (less the $250 place-holder deposit, if you already paid it) and your place is reserved. At this point, you’re committed to the trip, so we recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance to protect you in case your plans change unexpectedly. The balance will be due approximately 2 months before the trip.
Our cancellation policy is here.
We’d love to tell you more about this trip! Fill out the form below and one of our team members will get back to you ASAP!