Honfleur | The Belle of Normandy

Written by on August 8, 2019 in Guest Blogs

The old port of Honfleur in Normandy, small boats, tall ancient buildings surround it, colourful awnings on shops,

Honfleur is a French fishing village in the department of Calvados, Normandy. It sits on the southern bank of the Seine estuary where the great river flows into the Atlantic Ocean. If you love authentic old French towns, then you will find Honfleur one of the most beautiful there is.

What to see in Honfleur

Honfleur is a small town with a famous fishing harbour known as the Vieux Bassin. The first historical written record of Honfleur goes back almost a thousand years. The commercial port on the edge of the town was a primary import and exit point for goods to and from England many centuries ago. Visit Honfleur today and you will find that the natural beauty of its arrangement, architecture and setting is quite spectacular. It is a charming, peaceful and enchanting place. The Vieux Bassin is surrounded on three sides by pretty buildings – cafés, restaurants, souvenir shops mainly.

Honfleur was probably one of the earliest inspirations for French impressionist art. The natural and unpretentious beauty of the town attracted the early attention of some of the great artists. Courbet, Monet, Boudin and Jongkind often occupied the ‘Artist’s House’ on the edge of the town and there is a Eugene Boudin Museum in Honfleur. It exhibits many of his artworks spread over twelve hundred square meters across nine rooms.

Stroll among the back streets surrounding the old fishing port. There is much to see. Find the historical St. Catherine’s Church which is the oldest and largest completely wooden constructed church in the whole of France. It was built by shipwrights in the 15th century and is watched over by a separate bell tower close by. The wooden tower was separated due to the risk of fire from lightning. Today it’s a museum of French religious art.

Honfleur has a lovely public park: ‘Jardin des Personnalites’. This is a wonderful place to take a walk and observe the artistic representations of previous principal town occupants including some of the great impressionist artists.

‘Naturospace’ is well worth a visit. This home for butterflies is mesmerising as you watch them flitting about, their multicoloured wings fluttering softly.

You can see a lot in one day in Honfleur – but two days is better!

Bob Lyons is an ex pilot turned travel writer who likes nothing better than to roam in France…

Related Articles

Le Manoir de Paris | The Paris House of Horrors

At No. 18, Rue de Paridis, close to the Gare de L’Est is a house of horrors that’s popular with Parisians and visitors alike. Le Manoir de Paris is a theatrical show that’s very unusual. If you want a very different sort of Paris experience from the classic Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre type […]

Continue Reading

The mysterious French Beast of Gévaudan

History is full of horrible monsters. The Cyclops terrified the ancient Greeks, the Abominable Snowman haunts the Himalayas, and Godzilla stomps on Tokyo from time to time. The French have their own terrible creature and—unlike the others—this one was real. The mysterious Beast of Gévaudan ravaged the French countryside in the 18th century, killing so many […]

Continue Reading

France Bans UFOs!

France Bans UFOs!

Written by on March 1, 2020 in Guest Blogs

Châteauneuf-du-Pape, in Provence, in the south of France, is famous for its wines. The town’s name means “the pope’s new château” because many centuries ago a summer papal palace was built here. The main Palace of the Popes was in nearby Avignon. Popes need good wine to drink, so vines were planted, barrels were crafted, […]

Continue Reading

Cycling in the Ardennes

Cycling in the Ardennes

Written by on January 27, 2020 in Guest Blogs

La Meuse is a winding river which meanders its way through the French Ardennes and on into Belgium. It’s a haven for cyclists, especially if you enjoy cycling on the flat. A cycle path follows the Meuse for over 50 kms with incredibly scenic views on either side of the river where hills descend sometimes […]

Continue Reading

A taste of Collioure in the south of France

On summer evenings, the swallows dip and swoop in nervous arcs as if anxious to protect, or preserve, the close of day in its melancholy stillness. A light hovers over Collioure, on the Vemillion Coast in the Pyrenees-Orientales. Caught in a pale brushstroke of watercolor blue, a wash which holds the houses together as they […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top