Normandy, France, The setting of the 1944 D-Day landings, home to the world-famous Bayeux Tapestry and producer of the fiery apple brandy known as Calvados, the historic northern region of Normandy is a perfect location for a holiday.
Offering a magnificent coastline, interesting towns and villages and the truly spectacular Mont Saint Michel, Normandy is universally appealing.
The city of Rouen is the capital of the region. The old part of town was heavily destroyed in World War II but has since been carefully restored.
Visit the Place du Vieux Marche where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for heresy in 1431. Roeuns Cathedrale Notre Dame is a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture.
Built between 1200 and 1514, it fascinated the artist Claude Monet who made it the subject of many of his paintings.
Take a trip to the village of Giverny nearby and visit the house where the artist lived from 1883 to 1926. He painted some of his most famous works here.
The old seaside resort of Dieppe is well worth a visit, particularly for its dramatic location between two limestone cliffs. Journey south from Dieppe to Etretat down the Cote dAlbatre (Alabaster Coast), named after the towering white cliffs that line it.
Stop off in the picturesque seaside resorts of Honfleur, Deauville and Trouville for a swim or to sample some local cuisine.
Journey inland to the famous town of Bayeux. The first French town to be liberated from Nazi rule during World War II, it is home to the Bayeux Tapestry.
Dating from 1077, the tapestry tells the story of the dramatic Norman invasion of 1066 in 58 remarkable panels. View this extraordinary piece of history in the Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in the Centre Guillaume le Conquerant.
On 6 June 1944 – D-Day – 135,000 Allied troops stormed ashore on the beaches of Normandy.
This action was to effectively bring the war to an end with the Allies going on to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation.
The troops came ashore along 80km of beach north of Bayeux. The fiercest fighting took place at Omaha Beach – a stretch of coastline 15km north-west of Bayeux.
Stroll along these peaceful beaches today and try and imagine what it must have been like to have been a soldier wading to shore on that fateful morning.
The Musee du Debarquement in Arromanches explains the importance of the invasion and is well worth a visit.
Bring your trip to Normandy to a spectacular end by visiting Mont St. Michel – a small quasi island in the west of the region, separated by approximately one kilometre of the sea from the mainland at high tide.
This tiny outcrop of rock sports a massive abbey featuring a number of architectural styles.
It is topped by a copper statue of Michael the Archangel killing a dragon and tailed by ancient ramparts and the houses of people who actually live on the island.
Try and see Mont St Michel at night when it is brilliantly illuminated.