Following 112 miles of the River Seine (which comes from the Latin word sequana, meaning ‘meandering’) between Rouen and Honfleur – this regional nature park boasts a unique combination of light and landscapes, much of which was a source of inspiration for painters such as Turner, Boudin, Sisley and Signac.

ALONG THE SEINE

There are three bridges straddling the River Seine, the Pont de Brotonne, Pont de Tancarville and the famous Pont de Normandie. But there are also six free river ferries known as bacs, which also allow cars to cross from one side to the other and certainly provide a way to get closer to nature and the rich natural and man-made treasures of this protected landscape.

couple à vélo le long des pommiers en fleurs
Bike ride in Normandy © Thieury – Fotolia.com

Follow the Fruit Trail, where cherries, plums, oranges, berries, apples and pears are sold at the farm gate when in season.

Follow the Thatched Cottage Trail, which begins at the Maison du Parc and crosses the Marais Vernier marshlands.

In addition, the regional natural park boasts some 750 miles of signposted walking trails along coastline, across plains and through valleys, forests and marshes.

The wetlands play a valuable role in the biodiversity of the park and in order to preserve and enhance this environment, Highland cattle and horses from the Camargue are put out to graze here. The park organises tours and other activities to educate the public on the environmental importance of this unique area.

Vaches Highlands Cattles au parc naturel régional des boucles de la Seine Normande
Boucle de la Seine regional natural Park © Coll. PNRBSN – G. Aubin

The park’s many landscapes allows for all sorts of sports and physical activities such as hiking, horse-riding, mountain biking (there are plenty of places where you can rent a bike), sailing, canoeing and kayaking, golf, hiking trails in forests, caving, and hang-gliding.

Visitors can also head to the Maison du Parc, a 16th-century former farmhouse which is now an information centre for the park. Displays there educate visitors on the local ecosystem: traditional hedgerows, orchards, marshes, wetlands, and nurseries set up to protect threatened fruit tree species.

Useful information

Parc naturel régional des Boucles de la SeineNormande
Maison du Parc, 76940 Notre-Dame-de-Bliquetuit
+33 (0)2 35 37 23 16
pnr-seine-normande.com

nearby

  • Marais Vernier: Covering 12,000 acres, the Marais Vernier marshes are situated in the last meander of the River Seine before it reaches the sea.
  • Honfleur: A picture-perfect town you will never grow tired of!
  • Rouen: Normandy’s capital city is jam-packed with half-timbered houses, museums, historic streets and busy cafes.

A weekend in the Suisse Normande

A weekend in the Suisse Normande

City break in Rouen

City break in Rouen