After we had time this morning to explore the small town of Caudebec-en-Caux on our own, in the afternoon we took part in the 6-hour excursion “Along the Cote Fleuri to Honfleur, Deauville and to a Calvados distillery” via the A-ROSA excursion program, which is offered in the excursion program for 79 EUR per person.
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The beautiful town of Honfleur
During our journey in the coach, our German tour guide gave us all sorts of interesting information about Normandy and life here. Our journey took us north of the Seine until we crossed the 2.1 km long cable-stayed bridge Pont de Normandie. The bridge crosses the mouth of the Seine and connects Le Havre on the right bank in the north with Honfleur on the left bank in the south.
A short time later we arrived in the picturesque town of Honfleur, a municipality with about 8,000 inhabitants, which lies directly at the mouth of the Seine into the English Channel. In total, we had two hours to explore the city. First, our tour guide showed us the most important spots and explained a lot before we could leave on our own. And we really have to say: the city center of Honfleur around the harbour basin really thrilled us. In addition, there is plenty of sun and a bright blue sky. What more do you want?
We sat down at the dock for a few minutes and watched the action. In front of the narrow houses, one café follows the other, painters stand by the water with their easels and many tourists stroll along the promenade. Gorgeous!
From the harbour basin there are many small picturesque alleys where you can find countless half-timbered houses. In some cases there was hardly anything going on away from the harbour basin, so that we could stroll through the alleys and take photos in peace.
A highlight of Honfleur is the church of Sainte Catherine, a church from the 15th century. It was built entirely of wood by ship carpenters with two twin ships and a roof construction that resembles ship hulls, and was equipped with painted glass windows and other works of art. A special feature here is that the church building and the (free-standing) church tower are placed separately from each other on the Place Sainte Catherine. We haven’t seen that before.
Part of the city tour was also a visit to a Calvados distillery. Since this was actually “only” a shop with tasting, we preferred to use the time to stroll through the city.
In Honfleur there are many shops selling Calvados, because the amber-coloured apple brandy comes from Normandy. The name derives from its protected designation of origin, the Calvados département. However, Calvados can only be described as those that come from a region of eleven well-defined Normandy regions.
The small French seaside resort of Deauville
Our next port of call on our excursion was the small seaside resort of Deauville on the Atlantic coast, where about 4,000 inhabitants live. From Honfleur we are by bus along the so-called flower coast (French) Cote Fleurie) and reached the village after about 30 minutes drive.
Originally there was a small farming village called Dosville, whose inhabitants lived on agriculture and cattle breeding. In the middle of the 19th century, Duke Charles de Morny, a half-brother of Napoleon III, acquired this property and created a new town in this square within just four years, which was called Deauville from 1860. His goal was to create a fashionable seaside resort near Paris with neo-Norman villas and a racecourse to attract aristocratic guests from Paris, France and the world. At the beginning of the 20th century, a casino was built and various luxury hotels were built. Deauville developed magnificently; more and more artists, fashion designers and businessmen came to the coastal town. Later, international tourism became more and more and even today Deauville is a popular holiday destination for locals but also long-distance travellers.
Directly on the beach of Deauville there is a very nice wooden plank path since 1923. There are also small beach cabins bearing the names of well-known Hollywood actors and directors who have already visited Deauville for the American film festival. This takes place annually in the seaside resort since 1975 and makes it a hotspot of international stars during this time.
We also ran down to the water and were able to get a better impression of how incredibly wide and long the sandy beach actually is. We noticed here the countless colorful umbrellas, which glow in five strong colors along the beach.
The area between the beach and the first row of houses didn’t really please us. Here you will find expensive hotels, such as the “Le Normandy” and “Royal Barriere”, but somehow we lacked a promenade with small shops, bars and restaurants.
We have noticed that Deauville is an expensive pavement based on the hotel prices that hung out at two hotels outside: for one night you pay more than 650 euros in the cheapest room – of course without breakfast. Crazy! Your money can be got rid of not only in hotels, but also quite well in the casino of Deauville, which is the fourth largest in France. We only took a small look at it, because you would have had to register for a game anyway.
Unfortunately, we only have a total of just under an hour to explore Deauville before we took the bus back to our pier in Caudebec-en-Caux. It was another beautiful day, where we could get to know Normandy from a new side: from our own walk through Caudebec-en-Caux to a visit to the picturesque town of Honfleur ❤ to a visit to the seaside resort of Deauville.
All travelogues from our Seine River CruiseOur river cruise with A-ROSA VIVA (offers at A-ROSA) led us for 7 days from the metropolis Paris along the Seine to the highlights of Normandy. Start of the journey is the city of love Paris, further to charming provincial towns like Les Andelys, an impressive cathedral in Caudebec-en-Caux and a trip to Honfleur and Deauville, the port city Rouen with countless half-timbered houses and an impressive light show in the evening, an excursion to Le Havre and Étretat, on the traces of Claude Monet in Vernon until it goes back again to the multicultural metropolis Paris. In between, the Seine winds its way between wide meadows and forests, apple orchards and castles.
1. Day Seine River Cruise with A-ROSA VIVA (France)
1. Day Paris – Photo spots for the Eiffel Tower & the Louvre (France)
2. Day Les Andelys, Chateau Gaillard & Castle of Vascoeuil (France)
3. Day Caudebec-en-Caux – Tourist Attractions & Photo spots (France)
3. Day Honfleur & Deauville – A day trip to Calvados (France)
4. Day Rouen – Medieval alleys & half-timbered houses (France)
5. Day Le Havre & Etretat – A day trip to the Atlantic coast (France)
6. Day Vernon & the Gardens of Claude Monet in Giverny (France)
7. Day Paris – Tourist Attractions, Things to do & Photo spots (France)