It’s not always easy to find solitude in France, particularly in one of the most popular regions, Normandy. We’ve been on the hunt for picturesque towns and villages, as well as fantastic things to see and do, which sit outside of the usual popular sightseeing spots. On your next adventure to France, follow our guide to the hidden gems of Normandy, and experience another side of this diverse destination.
A tiny village, Foulognes serves as a great hub from which you can spend days exploring the surrounding French countryside. Located in the Calvados department of Normandy, Foulognes is just a 30-minute drive from the larger town of Bayeux, home to the iconic Bayeux Tapestry.
The handwoven tapestry tells the story of the fight between William the Conqueror and Harold, Earl of Wessex, in 1066. There are several lovely villages between Foulognes and Bayeux, such as Vaubadon and Arganchy, which are home to picturesque churches and idyllic walking routes, along narrow rivers. Staying in an authentic gîte is a brilliant way to experience the Normandy countryside.
Château de Crèvecoeur
Near to the town of Crèvecoeur-en-Auge, the Château de Crèvecoeur is a gem for lovers of history. The site features a superbly-maintained French castle, which has managed to survive almost completely intact since its construction. The oldest part of the castle, known as the inner bailey, has walls dating as far back as the 12th century, and is protected by a moat and accessible over a wooden footbridge.
What makes this castle so incredible is the fact that it’s not often found on the usual tourist maps, making it a real hidden gem. Place yourself back in time, to medieval Normandy, and witness the region’s rich history through objects, books and ancient documents. There’s even a stunning botanical garden, home to medicinal plants, the likes of which were used to treat sick animals, soldiers and residents of the castle.
The ancient walls at Château de Crèvecoeur. © isamiga76
Cap de la Hague
A picturesque and secluded part of the Normandy coast, Cap de la Hague is a beautiful spot for walking and cycling. With a view out to sea, you can watch the lighthouse out at sea. This diverse and thrilling terrain includes over 80 kilometres of coastal hiking routes to enjoy, which are all clearly marked, giving you the freedom to explore the coast with ease.
Beyond the coast, the scenic la Hague area features over 500 kilometres of walking trails, so there’s plenty to explore! Check out the historical village of Omonville-la-Rogue, which spans 2,000 years, and if the weather is nice try taking a horse-riding lesson to explore the beach in style. Whether you’re travelling alone or with the family, you’ll be blown away by the natural beauty of the Cap de la Hague.
Inspired to explore Normandy’s hidden gems?
With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle you can get from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes, and the Normandy region is on your doorstep!