Home to one of France’s most captivating destinations, Mont Saint-Michel, Lower Normandy’s rocky coastline overlooks the English Channel. It was here that the Allied forces landed in June 1944 as part of Operation Overlord, the codename for the Battle of Normandy.
Things to do in Basse-Normandie
With spectacular medieval towns and sombre military cemeteries, Lower Normandy is a history lesson brought to life.
Visit Omaha Beach. This 10-kilometre stretch of sand is the most famous of the Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches where U.S., British, French and Canadian troops launched the Battle of Normandy. Learn more at the Overlord Museum where personal items of soldiers are on display and wander between the German bunkers and military piers that still dot the cliff-backed coastline.
Explore UNESCO-listed Mont Saint-Michel. Dominated by an enchanting medieval abbey, Mont Saint-Michel is a photogenic island settlement that has been a pilgrimage destination for centuries. Photograph its iconic skyline across the Bay of Saint-Michel before following the trail that leads to the Gothic spires of its 11th-century abbey. Panoramic views across the coastline are on offer from the Escalier de Dentelle's terrace.
Stroll the Gardens of La Ballue. Surrounding a 17th-century chateau, these magnificent gardens were designed in the late 20th century by Paul Maymont and François Hebert Stevens. Inspired by Baroque landscaping traditions, the gardens are renowned for their “outdoor rooms”, sweeping vistas and creative topiary.
Relax in Deauville. Located on the Côte Fleurie, Deauville has been a fashionable seaside resort since the 19th century and is host to the annual American Film Festival. You can rent a beach umbrella and sun lounger to relax on its two kilometres of sand and get your retail fix in the upmarket boutiques, then dine on gourmet French cuisine at one of Deauville’s high-end restaurants.
Getting around Basse-Normandie
Caen – Carpiquet Airport is the main aviation gateway to Lower Normandy and has flights to destinations across Europe. Ferries connect from Portsmouth in the United Kingdom to Ouistreham and trains travel throughout the region. A network of buses also serves Lower Normandy.