Le Mont-Saint-Michel (50 minutes)
An unforgettable sight as if from a fairy tale
A magical island topped by a gravity-defying medieval monastery, the Mont-Saint-Michel counts among France’s most stunning sights. For centuries one of Europe’s major pilgrimage destinations, this holy mount is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as is its breath-taking bay.
Dinan (1 hour 20 minutes)
The port where time has stood still
Dinan is without doubt one of the most attractive and best preserved small towns in Brittany. With its 1.8 mile (3km)-long ramparts, half-timbered houses, attractive port and cobbled streets filled with art galleries and craft shops, it’s worth a day of anyone’s time.
Dinard (1 hour 25 minutes)
Stunning 19th Century and Art Deco buildings and restful seaside walks
This chic seaside resort is all about the glamour of yesteryear with glorious villas, beautiful beaches and excellent restaurants.
Cancale (1 hour 20 minutes)
An attractive old fishing village famed for its oysters
Mention Cancale to a Frenchman or a foodie and the instant response will be ‘oysters’; the magnificent molluscs have been cultivated in this attractive fishing village for hundreds of years. There are also breath-taking views over the Baie de St Michel and scenic walks around the coast.
St Malo (1 hour 20 minutes)
An historic city port with a fully restored walled quarter
Walking through the cobbled streets of St Malo’s old town feels like you’ve stepped back in time. This popular tourist destination and busy ferry port offers visitors an authentic glimpse into Brittany’s important seafaring past. The most popular district is intra muros or ‘inside the walls’. The tall granite buildings, most of which were restored after being bombed during the war, house an interesting mix of shops and cosy restaurants to suit all tastes.
Granville (1 hour)
A seaside resort with a fabulous view
Granville commands stunning views of the Bay of the Mont Saint-Michel from its fortified headland. Enjoy this invigorating resort’s wonderful array of ports, quarters and beaches, plus its museums, one devoted to local genius Christian Dior.
Lac de la Dathée (20 minutes)
A spectacular natural setting for golf, water sports and fishing
A 43 hectare lake set in beautiful Normandy countryside, Lac de la Dathée is a glorious location for walking and picnics. Anglers will enjoy fishing, particularly for carp and pike; water sports enthusiasts can rent canoes, kayaks, pedalos, catamarans and sailboats; and the 18-hole golf course is one of the most picturesque that you can imagine.
Bayeux (1 hour 10 minutes)
An historic city with the world-famous tapestry depicting the conquest of England
Bayeux boasts a fabulous historic centre with a magnificent cathedral as well as its world-famous, UNESCO-listed tapestry depicting the Norman conquest of England in 1066. The city had the great good fortune to be swiftly liberated by the Allies in June 1944, but its war museum and British cemetery recall the sacrifices made in these parts.
D-Day sites, museums and memorials
The D-Day landings of 6th June 1944 were a turning point in World War II. There is so much to see within a short drive of Serendipity at Le Vieux Moulin, from Caen city and its war museum to the beaches and the poignant reminders of the allies’ sacrifice at the war cemeteries.
See where the Allied troops of Britain, America, Canada and many more countries landed on the now-famous beaches to begin the liberation of Europe from German occupation. There are excellent museums along the coast.
Arromanches (1 hour 25 minutes)
No other port is more closely linked with the liberation of Western Europe after D-Day. Along with the staggeringly big concrete blocks remaining from the Mulberry Harbour towed over from Britain in June 1944, war museums bring the massive Allied operations here back to life. But Arromanches is also an appealing resort today.
Sainte-Mère-Eglise (1 hour 15 minutes)
Quaint, quiet Sainte-Mère-Eglise became involved in one of the greatest exploits in military history in the night of 5 to 6 June 1944, as D-Day began. American paratroopers were dropped all around the area, and in the village itself. Famously, American soldier John Steele was left dangling for a time from the medieval church as his parachute got caught on its tower.
Falaise (1 hour 5 minutes)
Birthplace of William the Conqueror
A tremendously imposing medieval castle still dominates the town of Falaise. It acts as a reminder that this was the birthplace of the fearsome William the Conqueror, although the fortifications you now see date from after his time. Falaise suffered appallingly in the latter stages of the 1944 Battle of Normandy, but it has attractions beyond its great fort.
Domfront (30 minutes)
History comes to life in the medieval quarter
The Castle of Domfront was built on an outcrop of Armorican sandstone and is a remarkable defensive site. Today the area around the castle is home to shops, bars and restaurants in attractive medieval buildings.
Bagnoles-de-l’Orne (45 minutes)
An elegant spa town with a casino and racecourse
Built beside a romantic lake and hiding in magnificent forests, this charming thermal spa town nestles in the Normandie-Maine Regional Nature Park. With an elegant casino and racecourse as well as its renovated thermal spa centre, Bagnoles-de-l’Orne makes for a deeply relaxing break.
Fougères (55 minutes)
1000 years of history
The main reason to visit Fougères is to see its magnificent castle, one of the finest fortresses in Europe, but this little town on the Brittany-Normandy border also has a lovely medieval district and a lively Saturday-morning market.
Other fascinating and beautiful attractions within easy reach include:
The picturesque and enchanting harbour of Honfleur (1 hour 45 min)
The oldest and most aristocratic national stud in France that is Le Haras du Pin (1 hour 20 minutes), known as the equestrian Versailles.
The fashionable and glamorous seaside resorts of Deauville and Trouville (1 hour 40 minutes)
Caen (1 hour 15 minutes) is an historic and strategically important city from The Hundred Years War to World War II.
La Suisse Normande (50 minutes) is a delightful, steep, wildish stretch around the Orne Valley south of Caen where you can enjoy water sports, hiking or rock-climbing.
Six villages In Normandy have been awarded the Plus Beaux Villages de France (meaning “France's most beautiful villages”) label. Three of them are in easy reach: Barfleur (1 hour 45 minutes), Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei (1 hour 20 minutes) and Beuvron-en-Auge (1 hour 25 minutes)
Cabourg (1 hour 30 minutes) is a stylish resort with magnificent Belle Époque architecture.
There’s more to the pretty and historic village of Camembert (1 hour 35 minutes) than just cheese!
Alençon (1 hour 30 minutes) is an historic and charming architectural gem, also famous for lace-making.
We know Le Mans (2 hours) as the home of one of the world’s most famous car races but the old town has lovely narrow streets and stone houses.
Rennes (1 hour 20 minutes) is a vibrant university city with picture-perfect medieval streets and an impressive parliament building.
Attractions within easy reach
Normandy is blessed with a wide selection of beautiful destinations ranging from UNESCO World Heritage sites to villages listed as "Les plus beaux villages de France", as well as exciting experiences for all the family.
Here are just a few of our favourites, with approximate driving times: