Normandy, sandwiched between the Picardie and Brittany provinces, and Ile de France, has a long coastline in the northwest of France. The mostly green, rolling land covers about five percent of the French landmass and is host to around five percent of the populace.

With its setting near to Paris, Normandy is a major tourist destination in the summer months. Both Upper and Lower Normandy have fantastic stretches of coastline, and most Americans visit the D-Day beaches. Mont St-Michel is a major attraction, with 80 percent of its visitors being French tourists. Normandy cities boast many monuments too, including the 230-foot long Bayeux Tapestry.

Normandy is straightforward to get to from Paris (by road or rail), and from the UK by ferry.

Normandy Ferries

There are two main ferry companies offering services to Normandy from the UK: LD Lines and Brittany Ferries. LD Lines runs the Portsmouth-Le Havre and Newhaven-Dieppe routes, while Brittany Ferries runs the Portsmouth-Ouistréham (Caen) and Portsmouth-Poole-Cherbourg routes. For faster transfers, there is the option of the UK-France Channel Tunnel rail service.

Normandy Trains and Buses

The A13 autoroute provides access to Rouen, Le Havre and Caen from Paris. Train services come in from Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris to Rouen and Caen mainly, from where services continue to other main Normandy towns. You can get from Caen to Rouen in about 90 minutes, for instance, and from Caen to Cherbourg in just over an hour by rail. Rouen to Le Havre is a mere 42 minute train ride. Efficient buses link all towns.