What It’s Like Camping In Normandy
Last summer while living in Amsterdam, the office where I worked gave me some days off, at the end of August. As my boyfriend and I had already seen a lot of places in Holland, and because we wanted to visit something less touristic, far from the urban jungle, we considered taking a road trip to Normandy.
I googled it quickly and realized Normandy was the place that I was constantly pinning on Pinterest, plus some awesome places I’ve only seen in Monet’s paintings, in my favorite magazines about impressionist painters.
There was no doubt – we left for Normandy.
DAY 1: From Amsterdam to Etretat.
- We left Amsterdam and headed to Rouen (a 6-hour drive), where we took a long walk on the narrow streets and gazed on the cathedral Monet painted so many times.
- In the evening we left for Etretat (1-hour drive), where we stargazed. We were lucky enough to see the Perseid shower there!
- We slept at the Les Tilleuls camping.
DAY 2: Relaxing at Etretat Beach.
- We sunbathed and wallowed at the Etretat beach. It was very busy during the day, so I’d highly recommend seeing it also during the night – it’s also much more beautiful then as well.
- We ate lunch at the Le repaire des pirates restaurant (mussels, obviously).
- The evening we went to Trouville-sur-mer (around a 1-hour drive from Etretat beach), where we found the most beautiful camping where we ever camped in: a huge area on a cliff, right next to the seaside, with amazing views of the sunset (Chant des oiseaux), and we slept there.
DAY 3: Paying tribute to the D-Day beaches.
- We went straight to Cabourg and Deauville to see the D-Day beaches – where an armada of Allied troops, British, American, Canadian and more, landed in order to begin the liberation of Europe from years of Nazi occupation. The Normandy coast was chosen for its flat, firm beaches, and to take the German military off guard. This makes these beaches amazing nowadays, too, as the low and high tides create beautiful large lagoon beaches, or cover them completely with water.
- In the afternoon we visited Honfleur, a super nice city by the seaside.
- In the evening we went back to the camping ground from the night before, because we were really craving that sunset again.
DAY 4: Admiring the gardens of Giverny.
- We left for Giverny – the place where Monet spent his last years, and where he had a breathtaking garden with various plants from all over the world – which he painted, all of them. I recommend you visit this place, even if you don’t have a passion for this Monet I keep telling you about.
- In the afternoon we headed to Granville, a small and cute place on the seaside, where we also slept at the L’ermitage camping.
DAY 5: Awing Over Mont Saint-Michel.
- In the morning we went to Mont Saint-Michel. Frankly, after experiencing so many beaches, gardens and (all together) nature, I didn’t really feel like playing the tourist in a super busy place, but we decided not to skip this nice place if we were so close to it. It was beautiful, I won’t lie, but I would suggest Googling more in advance, and going during the spring or autumn. Our mistake was arriving too late (around 1pm), and the queue to enter the monastery was too long (maybe around 3 hours). Another uncomfortable thing was walking in the sun on a very hot day (that’s why the colder seasons could be better).
- In the afternoon we went to Bruges (I know this post is about Normandy, but Bruges is a very special city which you could also visit if you have time).
- We slept at the Memling camping.
DAY 6: Home Again, Home Again…
- We visited Bruges for a couple of hours, and then we drove back to Amsterdam.