Steeped in history, the rugged splendour of this region in north-western France has played a disproportionately important role in European history, from the D-Day landings in 1944, to the Norman invasion of 1066. The area's rich and brutal history has given us some of the most memorable and moving works of human creation, from the astounding medieval monastery of Mont St Michel to the incomparable Bayeux Tapestry and the endless rows of white crosses, standing in green fields; a solemn tribute to the fallen. This is a place filled with natural beauty and historic significance - it's also the home of Camembert, cider and calvados; so there really is something for everyone.

Nature-lovers will fall for the wild coastlines and unspoilt spots such as the Chausey archipelago. Hop on the daily ferry from Granville and discover the archipelago's many islands and inlets. The seascape at low tide is a natural wonder, while walks on the main island will lead to beautiful beaches, turquoise waters and an abundance of wildlife.

History buffs will also be spoilt for choice, be that admiring the 230ft long Bayeux tapestry, visiting the Abbaye aux Hommes in Caen (home to the tomb of William the Conqueror), or exploring the many war memorials and D-Day beaches.

Travelling between beaches and quiet pastoral villages, make sure you take time to visit the Old Town of Rouen, home to Monet's favourite cathedral. Wandering through winding cobbled streets, you'll find a medieval gothic church on nearly every corner, while antique lovers can lose themselves in shops of Saint-Maclou. If you are a Monet fan - take a stroll through his gardens at the Jardins et Maison de Monet in Giverny. The gardens offer a window into the impressionist's creative world, while his colourful farmhouse exudes joyful creativity.

Finally, we can arrange private tastings at the finest cider and cheese producers in the region, where you can learn about the traditional techniques - many hundreds of years old - that make Normand delicacies anything but normal.

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Normandy
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