I spent last week in and around Le Havre, France, and I must say I was impressed with the variety of shore excursions offered in this region in Normandy. During four exceptionally full days, we visited:
- The D-Day Landing Beaches, including Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery and Gold Beach. Visiting these places brings to life the heroic story of the Normandy landings. Without the sacrifices of young soldiers on June 6, 1945 (and of course, before and after), Europe would not be the Europe we know today.
- The stunningly beautiful Alabaster Coast, which we saw from the gorgeous little farming and tourist town of Étretat. This place inspired painters like Claude Monet. Need we say more?
- Charming Honfleur. Its picturesque port inspired many well-known artists. Le Havre is the birthplace of Impressionism, by the way, so the region attracted many of the great artists in France.
- The Benedictine Palace at Fécamp, where we got to sample that precious liqueur, made from 17 herbs and spices, a health elixir no doubt.
- And of course, Paris. For those arriving by ship, Le Havre serves as the gateway to Paris, only two hours away.
There is also the city of Le Havre itself, where cruise ships arrive and depart. Many cruise passengers may be tempted to skip Le Havre and make for the full-day shore excursions. My advice is to try to mix the two if possible.
D-Day Landing Beaches
The Alabaster Coast
We walked – and walked – in Paris. Pumping our pads, however, we did manage to see the best of the city. To view the 12.8-kilometer route we walked on the day we were in Paris, click here.