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What to do around Rouen? 5 must-see getaways!

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Joel Fulleda
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Explore extraordinary places around Rouen

Immaculate beaches, charming towns and walks accessible to all, the region around Rouen promises astonishing discoveries! So if you have already visited the city from top to bottom, you will have plenty to make great getaways for a day or a weekend in Normandy by exploring the surroundings. Here are our 5 must-see getaways!



Stroll in Honfleur

Located 1 hour by car, via the Normandy bridge which spans the Seine, Honfleur is a charming city to discover around Rouen. Over a thousand years old, it is full of architectural treasures. With its small cobbled streets surrounded by half-timbered houses typical of the region, Honfleur is easily explored on foot. Park the car and let yourself be transported into the medieval atmosphere of the place! Your steps will take you to its typical little port, called Le Vieux Bassin, which houses old trawlers that seem to come from another time. All around, you will be able to admire the residences of the 17th and 18th centuries, former houses of the shipowners, they are listed as Historical Monuments. 



The port of Honfleur

Walking on the boards, in Deauville

A stone's throw from Honfleur, on the Côte Fleurie, Deauville is not to be missed around Rouen! This internationally renowned seaside resort has been a popular destination for Parisians since the mid-19th century and the growing craze for Normandy. Listed as Historical Monuments, the famous Planches de Deauville are a must. On approximately 650 meters, this promenade was created in 1923 to allow the ladies to be able to walk without sinking in the sand and without soiling their beautiful dresses.





The boards of Deauville

On the sea side, you can see the typical umbrellas of this beach and made locally. While strolling on the Planches, you can also admire the 450 Art Deco style bathroom cabins, another symbol of Deauville. They are separated from each other by white wooden barriers where you can read the names of American actors or directors, who came here as part of the annual film festival.

See the cliffs of Étretat

Image of épinal and pride of the Normandy coast, Étretat is known the world over. The village was popularized at the end of the 19th century, when sea bathing was known to cure many ailments. Very trendy vacation spot, this small village has welcomed a few celebrities, from Maupassant to André Gide, including Maurice Leblanc and his Arsène Lupine.

The village and the beach of Etretat

The opening of its Casino in 1852 will also help to make it known. Today, Étretat has managed to keep its romantic soul and its sweetness of life. Incredible, the sunset on the cliffs, in itself deserves the trip. And the villas of the village will charm you with their legendary beauty. A great visit to do around Rouen!

Discover Fécamp

A little further north, Fécamp is well worth the trip for a trip around Rouen. Classified as a “City of Art and History”, it is resolutely turned towards the sea and fishing. Long the first French port for cod fishing in Newfoundland or Iceland, the city has a prestigious past whose heritage is still clearly visible. Today, Fécamp also attracts many boaters, as well as lovers of water sports such as kitesurfing or paddle boarding.





The port of Fécamp

On the city side, it conceals beautiful architectural treasures. Let us quote the Benedictine Palace, whose visit is essential: in this 19th century palace, you can admire splendid and varied works (paintings, sculptures, ironwork, etc.). And history buffs will not fail to stop by the Abbey of the Holy Trinity, which traces the time of the Dukes of Normandy in surprising gigantism.


Hiking in the region

Around Rouen, there are many hiking possibilities. Often located on fairly flat terrain, the trails are suitable for all levels and all ages. Meet for example in the metropolis of Havre-Seine, where 33 signposted routes are offered, from a few kilometers to more than twenty. The more adventurous can take a Grande Randonnée trail, like the GR21, which crosses the Seine Maritime right through, from Tréport to Le Havre. This 190 km walk, between the Alabaster Coast and Norman groves, will offer you very varied landscapes: cliffs, small ports, forests, deserted beaches ... To prepare your walks, the website of the city of Le Havre allows you to access to an interactive map which will offer you several routes according to your criteria. 



The GR21 hike

Ready to discover all these wonders around Rouen?

Historically oriented towards the sea, the Rouen region will charm you. With its incredible variety of landscapes shaped by winds and swells, there is no doubt that these escapades will make you want to come back. Without forgetting the towns and villages, legacies of a prestigious past. Do you have other favorites around Rouen? Do not hesitate to share them with us in the comments! And if you plan to organize a stay in the area with a child, read the experience of a family.


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