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10 Things to Do On Your Family Holiday in Normandy


Looking to take a holiday to Normandy with the kids? There’s plenty of family-friendly activities, events, and sites to see that will make for some all-ages fun. With massive cliffs, placid beaches, and a rich past full of battles and invasions, Normandy, France has consistently proven to be a popular destination for family holidayers. Children and adults alike will enjoy the host of attractions that Normandy has to offer, especially if your family is a fan of exploring and trying new things. Check out some of the 10 best things to do with the family on your next holiday to Normandy!

1. Mont-Saint-Michel


The legendary/ magical Mont-Saint-Michel continues to be one of Normandy’s top attractions–and for good reason! Settled in the Mont-Saint-Michel bay, the mystical island is made famous by the medieval abbey whose turrets jut in the mist in a mystifying display of architecture. The abbey has a long and legendary history, and the kids love how it looks and feels straight out of a fairy tale. Top tip: visit at night in the summer months for a special tour round the abbey. It’s a Normandy “can’t miss!”

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2. World War II Exhibits 


History buffs know that Normandy was where the D-Day Landings took place which led to the beginning of the end of  World War II. To commemorate the past, the entire region of Normandy has embraced the presence of dozens of museums, exhibits, and memorials to educate the public about the historical importance of Normandy and the Second World War. Many of the sites are family-friendly, outdoor and have English translations, allowing both children and adults to take in the information in an easy and enjoyable way.

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3. Bayeux 

The town of Bayeux is worth a day trip for families visiting Normandy, as its deep historical roots are on display throughout the area. Bayeux is home to Bayeux Cathedral, originally built in 1077 by cohorts of William the Conqueror, and the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the Norman invasion of 1066. With plenty of restaurants and good shopping as well, Bayeux consistently enjoys tourism and notoriety amongst family travelers.

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4. Beaches 

The Norman coastline is stunning to say the least–white sandy beaches, ominous cliffs, sand dunes, bays, and rocky inlets alternate along the northwestern tip of France and allow for a variety of activities and wildlife. In the summer, the beaches are a popular destination for watersports and sunbathing and in the other months, peaceful strolls and seaside exploring bring excitement to families with children young and old. Whether you’re looking for a stay in a holiday village or a beachside campground, the beauty of the coast won’t be missed.

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5. Theme Parks 


While theme parks might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a holiday in France, Normandy has a surprising amount of them that both children and their parents enjoy. Festyland is the region’s viking-themed park, with rides and attractions both educating and entertaining guests about Normandy’s rich viking history. For those looking for something on the tamer side, Le Village Enchanté offers visitors a lovely stroll through gardens, animal farms, woods, and rivers.

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6. Kayaking and Canoeing 


Novice kayakers and avid white water rafters alike can find a pleasant afternoon kayaking and canoeing through one of Normandy’s plentiful waterways. There are tons of outfitters that offer lessons and courses to all-ages enthusiasts on the sea or on rivers and once you’ve got the hang of it, you can rent some gear and go adventuring on your own if you’re feeling brave. All year long you can find new waters to explore, so come prepared to get a little wet!

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7. Boat Tours 

If you’re looking to experience Normandy from a different perspective, consider taking a boat tour. Throughout the region there are several outfitters that offer tours in both English and French, giving families the opportunity to explore both the coastal cliffs and winding rivers. Tour guides are often knowledgeable about the social and natural history of the area and can offer suggestions and advice for the rest of your trip.

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8. Rail Biking

A favourite activity amongst families visiting Normandy is rail biking. Throughout the Norman countryside run old railway tracks, stretching across the entire region and snaking through some of the most beautiful countryside in all of France. The entire crew gets to help pedal the rail bike along the old tracks, a group effort rewarded by a lovely afternoon in nature. Pack a picnic lunch for the journey and make a day out of it!

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9. Zoos and Aquariums 

Families with animal-lovers and science enthusiasts love visiting the many zoos and aquariums that Normandy has to offer. Le Cité de la Mer, a stone’s throw from the port in Cherbourg, has amazing displays of tropical fish and the younger members of the family can touch the fish for themselves. Jurques and Champrepus zoos are perfect for all the family and after you have said hello to the lemars and their friends, stop off at the petting zoos and bouncy castles. Cerza, on the other hand, offers more of a safari style visit with African and Asian animals in larger enclosures. You can even stay overnight in a lodge!

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10. Food 

And finally, Normandy’s best all-weather attraction: food! France is a country known for its exquisite cuisine, and Normandy is no exception. As one might expect, the region is known for its seafood dishes, especially shellfish. When paired with some of the local sauces and sides like Sauce à la Crème or some Camembert cheese, all you need is some cider (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) made from local apples to wash it down! And take time out at the local market to stock up on local goodies before you go home.

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