Les Andelys dominated by a former fortress of Richard the Lion Heart, Chateau-Gaillard overlooks the river. Giverny is intimately linked to Monet who lived there; here you will find the famous Japanese-style water garden. Go too to see the paintings at Vernon.
Rouen is the port where Flaubert and Corneille were born; it is a museum town with its old districts of houses with timber framing, its gothic churches, its marvelous cathedral - the superbly designed openings of its immense facade, surrounded by pinnacles. It was in the place du Vieux Marche that Joan of Arc was burnt. Also see the Aitre Saint-Maclou, an old cemetery a unique place bearing some very old traces of rituals.
The pays d'Auge with its gentle hills and its bocage is a fertile land, a paradise for gourmets: cheeses, cider, and the famous calvados. Rich in manors and half-timbered farms. Not far away, Lisieux hosts the great christian pilgrimage.
Caen now has a "museum for peace" through the Memorial. Its convent and monastery are magnificent examples of Normandy Romanesque art. From the same era, you will also see the powerful ruins of Jumieges located in a beautiful setting, a fascinating and striking spectacle.
Take the pretty route des abbayes which runs alongside the Seine.
Nearby, the sunken valleys of la Suisse Normande - a truly rural scene - whose hills have a profusion of gorse and broom. Normandy has some fine forests. The forest of Ecouves and also the forest of Lyons (one of the finest beech groves in Europe), are ideal for outings; follow the routes and go into Le Perche with its beautiful verdant landscapes...
The Monts d'Aree and the Montagne Noire offer panoramic views over the countryside from a variety of perspectives. In the forest of Paimpont, set off in search of Merlin, the wizard..
There are many fortresses and chateaux to see in inland Brittany; that of Josselin, home of the Dukes of Rohan; the chateau de Vitre with its fortified town is one of the best preserved medieval constructions in Brittany - it also has the remarkable tapestries of Aubusson. The chateau Fougeres with its five towers and its overhanging walls stands on a bend. The medieval chateau de Combourg, near Saint-Malo where Chateaubriand spent his childhood.
A visit to the beautiful town of Poitiers is a must. Situated at the top of a promontory this is one of the major towns of Romanesque art. Visit its numerous churches especially Notre Dame; the statues on its facade are amazing. Take a trip to Futuroscope for a very "science fiction" voyage .
Le Mans, town of the 24 hour race and the Grand Prix of France Moto. Its racing track is legendary and in its museum you will discover cars from historical races, the oldest are almost sacred monsters..
Nantes, the capital of the Pays de la Loire. The Duchess Anne made this the capital of Brittany.
It was in its ducal chateau that the Edict of Nantes was signed. Wend your way through the narrow streets of the old town. Visit its superb cathedral with its flamboyant gothic style, its museum of Fine Arts with its wealth of 20th century Renaissance paintings. Go along the famous Pommeray passage, a covered walkway dating from 1843, which inspired so many artists with its pure style typical of the great passages of Brussels.