Honfleur is an enchanting port town in Normandy where tourists go to bask in the splendor of its vibrant waterfront, rich historical treasures and remarkable artistic legacy. Walk around Honfleur’s picturesque narrow streets flanked by colorful timber house-fronts, charming cafes and a wealth of historical…
Honfleur is an enchanting port town in Normandy where tourists go to bask in the splendor of its vibrant waterfront, rich historical treasures and remarkable artistic legacy.
Walk around Honfleur’s picturesque narrow streets flanked by colorful timber house-fronts, charming cafes and a wealth of historical landmarks. Visit the Seine estuary and see for yourself the magical atmosphere that has inspired many impressionist masters such as Monet, Courbet and Boudin, to name a few. And, if you need a change of scenery, all it takes is a short drive to the scenic countryside for a trek along the lush forest of Saint Gatien. Without a doubt, this charming little town offers something special for everyone.
Honfleur is a short two hours drive from Paris and makes for a popular day trip destination. However, unless you are really pressed for time, the town has so much to offer that it is worth more than just a one day visit.
A walking tour of the area is definitely a must-do. Start your exploration around Saint Leonard where the Tourist Office is located. It is the best place to ask for valuable information, brochures, maps and instructions to help you get the most out of your Honfleur walking tour.
Then, off you go to Vieux Bassin, the animated 17th century Old Harbor bustling with so much energy. Its marina is crowded with colorful sea vessels and its waterfront is lined by charming terraced restaurants for al-fresco dining. Wander the port’s narrow cobblestone streets and click away with your camera as you pass by incredibly narrow and colorful timber houses.
If you are a history buff, you might want to check out Saint Etienne Church that is now home to a Marine Museum. The Normandy Culture and Ethnographic Museum, located just behind the church, is also worth a visit. Not far away is the 16th century wooden church of Saint-Catherine that has amazingly withstood the test of time to this day. After seeing this one-of-a-kind church, don’t be in a hurry to leave because there are some exquisite restaurants and art galleries to discover and enjoy in the area.
If you want to get to know Honfleur’s famous residents throughout its long history, visit Le Jardin des Personalities where you will find a lovely garden dotted by several sculptures of the town’s most beloved inhabitants. You can also visit the Eugene Boudin Museum where you can learn more about this great Impressionist painter and see dozens of his most impressive works. Moreover, you might want to get a glimpse of the inspired life of composer Erik Satie in his eponymous museum, located a short distance from Saint Catherine Church.
If idyllic parks and gardens are what you are looking for, then the area around the sea wall at the mouth of the Seine is the perfect destination for you. The site’s lush surroundings and beautiful gardens make it an ideal jaunt for those who love to take long walks in a gorgeous setting. Take lazy strolls along the bank of the river and find a quiet spot at Le Jardine Retrouve public garden to soak up the scenic view.
Finally, do not miss a visit to the early 17th century Notre Dame de Grace Chapel located on the hill of Cote de Grace overlooking Honfleur and the Seine. It makes for an interesting historical excursion with a breathtaking panorama of the Honfleur area to boot.