Best Day Trips from Caen
By Viator, October 2013
Étretat is a cute Normandy village with a covered market and charming half-timber buildings, but the real draw lies at the bottom of the limestone cliffs directly on the coast. See the astonishing Manneporte natural arch from Étretat proper, or hike a short distance out of town to see two additional arches.
The Three C’s – Calvados, Camembert, Cider
Although many say they love French food, the French themselves wouldn’t describe it as such. Each region has its own particular cuisine and items they contribute to the national diet. In Normandy, it’s Calvados, an apple brandy; cider, its beer-like cousin; and delicious, creamy, slightly stinky Camembert cheese to soak it all up. A food tour of the Pays d’Auge will show you the way.
If you’re anywhere in Normandy, a day trip to Mont Saint-Michel is an absolute must. First of all, it’s a lot easier coming from Caen than Paris; and secondly, will you look at that thing?! It’s incredible to see in person, amazing to see up close, and an unforgettable experience to visit within its ancient walls.
Normandy Battlefield Sites and Memorials
Whether from Stand By Me, Saving Private Ryan or your school books, there’s no doubt you know about the D-Day Landing and subsequent battles waged in Normandy during WWII. But while the thought of a day trip from Caen to the Normandy battlefields and cemeteries may sound like a field trip, this is no history class – it’s a living memory that lost thousands, haunts survivors, and will be the highlight of any vacation.
The picturesque port of Honfleur was a favorite of Impressionist painters, and one look will tell you why – it’s freaking adorable, and the light seems downright ethereal. While there is no one thing in Honfleur you must see, this is more of a nice stroll, a delicious seafood lunch, and maybe some shopping kind of day trip. But of all the towns on our best-of list, it’s the one that is quintessential Normandy.
The Bayeux tapestry, a jaw-dropping feat of workmanship dating back to the second century, shows along its 230-foot length the events leading up to the Norman invasion of England. And even if you were to see nothing else in Bayeux, this is worth the visit. But then you’d miss out on experiencing its Roman roots and its Celtic influence, with the Middle Ages thrown in there for good measure. It’s one of those places where you can really get a sense of the history of the region.
Contributed by Christine Cantera
Tours & Tickets
Take a poignant, memorable day trip from Paris to visit the Normandy battlefields and landing beaches of World War II. You'll visit famous wartime sites and ... Read more
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)
Learn all about World War II and the momentous events of D-Day on this tour that includes admission to the Mémorial de Caen museum and a 5-hour morning or ... Read more
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
Retrace the main assaults undertaken by the British forces during the first days of the Battle of Normandy on a poignant battlefields tour you'll never forget. ... Read more
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)
Take an incredibly powerful journey back in time at the Mémorial de Caen, Normandy’s most comprehensive World War II museum. Watch a gripping film on ... Read more