Updated on 31 January 2022
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As we continue to navigate through challenging times, we hope that 2022 will mark the beginning of a new chapter for tourism and look forward to welcoming you back to Normandy. We invite you to escape, to enjoy and to explore all that our beautiful part of France has to offer. Just in case you need convincing, here is a list of ten good reasons to visit Normandy next year:
1. It’s home to Rouen, awarded ‘UNESCO City of Gastronomy’ status
Alongside 48 other cities around the world, Rouen was named ‘UNESCO City of Gastronomy’ in November 2021. It is the first city in France to be recognised for its creativity in the field of gastronomy, as well as progress in sustainable urban development. With its medieval city centre, numerous museums and glorious cathedral painted time and time again by Claude Monet, Rouen has long attracted tourists. But it’s also famous for its culinary heritage, great chefs, Michelin-starred restaurants, and local culinary specialities such as Rouen-style duck. It was in Rouen at La Couronne, the oldest Inn in France, that famous American cook Julia Child had her first French dish and fell in love with French cuisine. More recently, ‘Papa Risotto’ was named France’s best new fast food restaurant, and you’ll even find a shop dedicated entirely to raclette! Of course, Normandy is also world famous for its cheeses and cider, Calvados and seafood, dairy products and ‘Tarte Normande’ apple tart.
2. It’s crossed by the ‘Seine à Vélo’ cycle route, named as a 2022 must-see!
The ‘Seine à Vélo’ cycle route, which follows the River Seine from Paris to Le Havre and Deauville in Normandy, has just been named as one of the best places to explore in 2022 by National Geographic! The 270-mile Paris-to-the-sea path passes through some of the region’s most beautiful and famous sites, including Giverny, Château-Gaillard at Les Andelys, Jumièges or picture-perfect Honfleur. On yer bike!
3. It will be commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid
The Dieppe Raid, bearing the unfortunate code name of Operation Jubilee, was carried out on 19 August 1942 with terrible casualties. 2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the Raid, and with it the occasion to pay tribute to the Canadian soldiers who fought there, many of whom gave their lives fighting for freedom. The ceremonies, commemorations and festivities will take on an international dimension and will feature parades, festivals, military displays, exhibitions and fireworks throughout the year.
4. It has finally seen the opening of the British Normandy Memorial
Designed by Liam O’Connor, the award-winning architect behind London’s Bomber Command Memorial, the newly-opened British Normandy Memorial honours the 22,000 soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who died fighting under British command during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. It stands on a commanding site overlooking Gold Beach, just outside the seaside village of Ver-sur-Mer.
5. It’s full of new experiences
Want to try something out of the ordinary? Take your pick from our unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences – a selection of sights and activities that are exclusively available in our region and which enable visitors from all over the world to experience Normandy to its full potential, and engage with local people, places and traditions. New experiences include an immersive D-Day experience for kids at Juno Beach, a VIP tour of the Château de Fontaine-Henry, learning to harness race on Deauville beach or sea kayaking amid iconic D-Day landmarks.
6. It’s home to two stunning new museums on the ‘Côte Fleurie’
On Normandy’s famous ‘Côte Fleurie’ (Flowered Coast), two new museums recently opened their doors to the public. First up is Les Franciscaines in Deauville. Just five minutes’ walk from the beach, this new cultural centre actually houses two museums, an auditorium and a huge media library. Beautifully restored, the historic convent in which the site is located is an attraction in itself.
A few miles along the coast, visitors can discover the ‘Villa du Temps Retrouvé’ museum in the heart of Cabourg. The romantic seaside town is famous for being Marcel Proust’s favourite retreat and was the inspiration for Barbec, the seaside resort in Proust’s famous novel ‘In Seach of lost Time’. This new immersive museum showcases the spirit of the Belle Époque and explores the history of the Flowered Coast through the eyes of the famous author. It comes complete with a contemporary art room and a re-creation of a 19th-century garden.
7. It’s hosting the very first edition of ‘Fécamp Grand’Escale’ this summer
Majestic tall ships will set course for Normandy to take part in the very first edition of Fécamp Grand’Escale from 29 June to 3 July 2022. This major event will bring together tens of sailing ships, yachts and steamboats at the heart of the Alabaster Coast. Numerous nautical activities, exhibitions, concerts and firework displays will take place around the port for 5 days of nautical and family fun!
8. It’s brimming with culture
Until June 2022, Normandy will continue to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Gustave Flaubert, one of the major figures of French literature, who was born and spent most of his life in Normandy. Many events will take place across the region to celebrate the life and work of the writer.
Normandy is of course the birthplace of Impressionism, and the inspiration for countless numbers of artists. Even if you missed the 2020 Normandy Impressionist Festival, you can still take time to explore all of the sites where the Impressionist painters set up their easels.
9. It’s great to visit all year round
Explore Normandy’s major visitor attractions in the spring before the crowds arrive, make the most of our numerous outdoor events and light shows in the summer, visit our many mouth-watering food festivals in the autumn or, once winter hits, enjoy the magic of the festive season at one of our Christmas markets. There is always something going on in Normandy!
10. It’s easy to get to!
If you live in the UK, simply hop on the ferry and a few hours’ later you’ll be in Normandy. Our beautiful part of France boasts four ferry ports linking us to Portsmouth, Poole and Newhaven. You can travel in the comfort of your own car and enjoy lots of space and fresh air once on board! If you’re a cycling enthusiast, you can take your bike too. If you’re travelling from the US or Canada, Normandy is just an hour’s drive from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. You can also catch a train from Paris Saint-Lazare station and 80 minutes later you’ll be in Rouen!