Paris – the romance capital of the world. A city known for its breathtaking landmarks, historic attractions and thriving culture, Paris is the epicenter of northern France. But while there is so much to do and see in Paris, did you know that in just a few hours you could be in another incredible French location?
In just one day you can drive from Paris to Normandy by car. Rent a car in Paris and make once-in-a-lifetime stops at wonderful destinations along the way, including at Monet’s house at Giverny and the impressive ruins at Jumièges. Make the most of the exquisite French scenery and historic attractions along the way on this unforgettable day trip from Paris to Normandy:
Most known as the home of Claude Monet’s famous garden, Giverny is a must-see stop at the beginning of your drive. Explore the famous impressionist’s private collection of paintings and works, including a collection of Japanese pieces. The gardens are most famous for being the inspiration for some of his paintings, particularly the water garden. The house and gardens are open to the public for tours. We recommend buying your tickets online to avoid lines at the house, as this is a very popular attraction. The village is also surrounded by breathtaking hills that give you panoramic views of Giverny – if you feel like a hike!
The medieval city of Rouen is a masterpiece. With a tumultuous history, the city was once the capital of Normandy lined with half-timber houses, some of which still stand today. The city is also known as the place where Joan of Arc was burned alive – the spot that is today a historic landmark in the city in front of the modern L’église Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc. The impressive cathedral is also worth a visit, the Gothic structure features the tallest spire in France and some exceptional architectural details that should not be missed.
The Romanesque abbey at Jumièges contains some of the most beautiful ruins in France. With a history that dates back to around 600 AD, the church is located on the winding Seine River, and was continually a target for attack throughout its life. The abbey was rebuilt over the years, but was finally destroyed during the French Revolution and now its ruins serve as fuel for the imagination of this building’s impressive past.
The quaint seaside town of Honfleur in the Normandy region is worth the extra miles to the coast on your route. Stop off and explore the beautiful fishing port and marina, as well as the town’s many medieval houses, historic churches, and monuments. The town has a number of unique sights, including the Sainte-Catherine church, which is made almost entirely of wood, including its bell tower. Like so many towns in this area, Honfleur is also known for its famous inhabitants, including the composer Satie, whose family home is now a museum dedicated to his work and life.
Le Pays d’Auge
The countryside of Le Pays d’Auge is where the region sources much of its world-famous cheese, cream, and cider. Stop at timbered barns and farmhouses in the cider region, where you can sample some local tipple, including the region’s apple brandy, Calvados. The tiny village of Camembert is also worth a stop, even if its just to try some of its most famous export – the soft baked cheese of the same name.
The infamous D-Day landings in 1944 are still remembered in the region’s cemeteries, battlefields and memorials, and the small historic town of Bayeux is one of the closest towns to the landing beaches. Overlooked by its impressive Romanesque cathedral, with Gothic flairs, the town and its landmark somehow survived the war. The most well-known sight in the cathedral, and the town, is the Bayeux Tapestry, which was commissioned back in 1077 and tells the story of William the Conqueror’s invasion of England.
There is so much fascination with the precarious abbey of Mont St-Michel. Located on a tiny ancient island that is well over a thousand years old, the Gothic abbey at the very top of the island is the attraction that fascinates people the most, and it’s easy to see why. Climb to the top to avoid the crowded streets at the bottom of the island, and to get the best views of the region.
Paris to Normandy by Car with Auto Europe
With such an abundance of exciting attractions to see on a Day Trip from Paris to Normandy by Car, road tripping through France on a exploratory journey is far and away the most exciting way to enjoy a European vacation. When you’re ready to embark on your upcoming vacation, give Auto Europe a call or click, and reserve immaculate hotel reservations, international airfare, and of course, the best price on car rentals.
Charles de Gaulle Airport to Normandy – 2 hrs 39 mins (242.9 km)
Orly Airport to Normandy – 2 hrs 20 mins (186.1 km)