Published on 4 May 2020
Reading time: 3 minutes
Are you aware of your impact on the environment and looking to make eco-friendly decisions when you travel? One of the best ways to do this is to immerse yourself in places of natural beauty. Another way is to choose accommodation that supports sustainable and eco-friendly tourism. If your aim is to travel greener, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Normandy. Here’s a selection of our five favourite green holiday destinations where you can connect with nature.
The Marais Vernier
An easy drive from the port of Le Havre, the Marais Vernier is a vast wetlands in the hills of the Meanders of the Seine Regional Natural Park. As this is a nature reserve, you can explore the area on foot, by bike, on a donkey or in a horse-drawn carriage. The 50m La Roque lighthouse overlooks the Seine estuary and affords stunning panoramic views of Le Havre, Honfleur and the Pont de Normandie and Pont de Tancarville bridges. Views are particularly breathtaking at sunset.
Le Camping Risle Seine les Etangs: camping-risle-seine.com
Discover the great outdoors in the coastal city of Le Havre, an short ferry ride from Portsmouth and just two hours from Paris by train. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005, this post-war reconstructed city by the sea is an outstanding example of urban planning by architect Auguste Perret and is also the birthplace of the Impressionist art movement. With plenty of nature right on its doorstep, Le Havre has been performing exceptionally well from an eco-friendly perspective, creating a more sustainable city for its residents and visitors.
Le Havre Tourist Office: lehavre-etretat-tourisme.com
Nomad Hôtel: nomad-hotels.com/le-havre
Often nicknamed the ‘Monaco of the North’, Granville is a pretty seaside resort boasting a lively harbour, picturesque marina and walled old town perched atop a hill. A stay in Granville offers a lovely change of scenery with outstanding natural sites nearby such as the beautiful Chausey Islands a 50-minute ferry ride away and the Vallée du Lude in Carolles. There’s nothing more refreshing than a seaside break in Granville to relax and unwind, just one hour’s drive from the ports of Cherbourg and Saint-Malo.
Hôtel de la Baie: previthal.com/hotel
Les Tables restaurant: bit.ly/Lestables
The Suisse Normande
To reach the area known as the Suisse Normande (Norman Switzerland) by bike, follow the Vélo Francette cycle route from Caen for about three hours. Its name comes from its rugged, verdant landscapes resembling the Swiss Alps, with gorges carved by the Orne river. Nature lovers and thrill-seekers are naturally drawn to these glorious, undulating landscapes that provide a wealth of sports activities such as canoeing, hiking, via ferrata, abseiling and paragliding.
Gîte Lovey Nature: gite-normandie-clecy.fr
Camping Rochers des Parcs: camping-normandie-clecy.eu
Le Domaine du Golf de Clécy: golf-de-clécy.com
the Perche Regional Natural Park
A holiday in this beautiful part of Normandy will be characterised by long, scenic walks in the forest, bargain hunts in local flea markets and delicious local produce. The peaceful Perche Regional Natural Park is the ideal antidote to the stress of everyday life. Reputed to have one of France’s clearest skies, watching the stars here on a beautiful summer evening makes for a pleasant pastime. A lesser-known destination within two hours of Paris or the ports of Caen-Ouistreham and Le Havre, a holiday here is sure to get you to slow down and reconnect with nature.
La Maison d’Hector: lamaisondhector.fr