natural heritagenatural heritage
©natural heritage|PO Deschamps

10 activities in Normandy

Looking for activities in Normandy for the school holidays? Zoo, places of remembrance, tourist attractions, hiking… Discover 10 must-do activities and ideas for outings near Rouen to do or discover during your Normandy stay.

The Zoo

by Cerza

How about a real safari at the zoo de Cerza during your family vacation? Just 1 hour from Rouen, you’ll find over 1,500 wild animals living in semi-liberty in a 78-hectare zoological park. The first parc de loisirs normand, it’s one of Normandy’s most popular activities for young and old alike.

Animations, lodges, a mini-train safari and a 3D cinema await you. Discover 120 species from 5 continents on 2 walking tours to observe the animals.

The Memorial

of Caen

Eager to discover the history of the Battle of Normandy? Head for Caen and its Mémorial. A unique museum retracing key moments in 20th-century history. Just a few minutes from the landing beaches, this place will plunge you into the heart of the World War II but also into that of the Cold War and the stakes involved in keeping world peace.

Two routes punctuate the visit, one dealing with daily life before 1945 and the other after that same date. The many archives, exhibitions and objects present in the Memorial take visitors back in time and remind everyone that peace is still fragile today.

La Cité de la Mer

of Cherbourg

Inaugurated in 2002, the Cité de la Mer de Cherbourg has become a must-see tourist attraction in Normandy. Housed in Cherbourg’s former Transatlantic station, France’s largest Art Deco building dating from the 1930s, the Cité de la Mer is a museum built around the famous French submarine, the Redoutable.

This cultural venue is made up of several areas: the “Titanic, return to Cherbourg” area, “The ocean of the future”, “The great gallery of machines and men”, “The Redoutable” or even “Cherbourg’s Transatlantic Maritime Station” and “The films of La Cité de la Mer” are to be discovered throughout the visit.

Dive into a marine universe like you’ve never been able to. A unique experience to share with family and friends.

A spa treatment

in Bagnoles de l'Orne

During your stay in Normandy, head for the Orne department for a relaxing break in a green bower. Located in the heart of the Normandie-Maine Regional Nature Park, the town of Bagnoles de l’Orne is the only spa resort in the north-western part of France.

Disconnect and treat yourself to a spa treatment in the Grand Domaine or take advantage of the numerous leisure or outdoor activities. Hiking, mountain biking, archery, horse riding … there’s plenty to do in this little corner of Normandy paradise.

Le Viaduc

de la Souleuvre

Located between Caen and Granville in the Calvados department, the Viaduc de la Souleuvre is a disused railway structure. In the heart of the Normandy bocage, this site has been brought back to life with many unusual activities.

Bungee jumping, zip-lining, summer tobogganing … and many other thrilling activities are on offer at Viaduc de la Souleuvre. You’ll also find fun activities and games for children to spend an unusual day in this little corner of Normandy.

Hiking in the bay


Cross the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel and enjoy a unique experience. On foot or on horseback, discover numerous hiking trails during one of your weekends in Normandy lands.

Sink into the shifting sands, meet the local flora and fauna and admire the infinite horizon on foot, that’s the program fora crossing of the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel.

Accompanied by a professional who knows the terrain, take to the open sea and roam around the Mont. Winter or summer, day or night, the show is always on.

The Benedictine Palace

of Fécamp

Erected in the late 19th century, the Palais Bénédictine is an architectural gem of Gothic and Renaissance inspiration. Located in Fécamp in Seine Maritime, not far from Rouen and the cliffs of Etretat, this venue is at once a museum, a distillery and a cocktail design workshop.

Like the town’s nautical activities, the Palais Bénédictine is a source of pride for the locals. The museum houses a collection of works, furniture and ironwork related to the heritage of the Palais Bénédictine and its industrial past.

The tour then takes you to the distillery, where you’ll discover the various stages in the creation of the famous liqueur amid the copper stills in the ageing cellars.

After a tasting, the visit concludes with the workshop where you can learn how to create a cocktail using Bénédictine.

Christian Dior Museum

of Granville

If you love romance and elegance, stop off in Granville to immerse yourself in the universe of Christian Dior. Located in the villa Les Rhumbs, the couturier’s childhood home, visit this mansion, its exhibitions and its garden overlooking the sea to grasp a little more of this artist’s work.

The collection is completed every year, with outfits and accessories multiplying with each new acquisition. Take advantage of the villa’s chic setting to learn more about the world of fashion and Christian Dior’s work.

A Normandy stopover that will make you love the refinement of French haute-couture.

The American Cemetery

of Colleville-sur-Mer

Let your emotions grip you as you wander the aisles of this out-of-the-ordinary place of remembrance. Located above the beach of Omaha Beach, on land belonging to the commune of Colleville-sur-Mer, the American Cemetery was inaugurated in 1956.

This cemetery is a perpetual concession donated by France to the United States. This cemetery honors the American soldiers who died during the Battle of Normandy in World War II.

It brings together the graves of 9,387 soldiers. A chapel, a memorial and a garden for the missing complete the ensemble. It is one of Normandy’s most emblematic places of remembrance.

Château Gaillard

des Andelys

Incarnate a knight and set out to conquer Château Gaillard! Overlooking the Seine, its geographical position aroused interest in mastering and controlling the river.

It was Richard the Lionheart, then King of England and Duke of Normandy, who had Château Gaillard erected on this cliff to protect the duchy and Rouen.

An architectural masterpiece, a visit to the château also offers breathtaking views over the Seine valley.