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A Visit to Calvados, Normandy, France

Updated on June 6, 2015

Calvados: A Taste of France

The Calvados department is one of the more popular holiday destinations in Normandy, France.Taking in the Normandy coastline with seaside towns like Deauville and historic attractions like the D Day beaches and Bayeux there is plenty to see and do. However, just off the beaten trail into the Calvados countryside and further inland there are tranquil hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. From small villages like Blangy le Chateau to cities like Lisieux, the culture in the region is second to none. This small selection of some of my favourite Calvados places will give you a taste of this very special part of Normandy, France.

Photos are taken from my own private collection, all rights reserved.

Where is Calvados?

A markerLisieux -
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Calvados Normandy Travel Guides

Essential guides for your visit to Calvados

These essential travel guides and maps of the Calvados region will provide you with all the information you need to know for your visit. Travel guides outline the areas of interest in and around the region, including some of the beaten track information and the main tourist attractions. Also, pick up some tips for language, shopping and general enjoyment during your trip.

We have a copy of this Mitchelin map shown here. Although it opens up to a very large size, it does folder neatly and easily into manageable sizes for you to refer to during your trip. It is clear and easy to follow, and got us from A to B wherever we wanted to go.

Sat Navs with speed camera warnings are illegal in France since 2012, so why not go back to the good old days of map reading and travel with peace of mind that you are not breaking the law.

Lisieux Basillica
Lisieux Basillica


Lisieux is the capital of the Pays de Auge region in Normandy. It is probably the biggest town/city in the Calvados area. On the outskirts of the city you will find shopping parks and large hypermarkets such as SuperU and LeClerc and a variety of large department stores and diners too. In Lisieux town itself there are many souvenir shops, some of which may be a bit tacky and touristy. But looking beyond them, there are some quaint local shops too and clothes boutiques are certainly worth a visit.

You can't visit Lisieux without noticing the imposing building of the Basilica of St Therese of Lisieux. The basilica stands on the top of a hill overlooking the town and this beautiful building was dedicated to St Therese who lived and died in Lisieux. The Upper Basilica, The Crypt, The Adoration Chapel and The Bell Tower are all open to the public and there are a series of events that take place throughout the year.

Basilica de St Therese de Lisieux

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Inside the BasilicaLisieux Basilica - view from visitor approachEntering the basilicaThe impressive entranceThe painted domed ceiling over the main altar
Inside the Basilica
Inside the Basilica
Lisieux Basilica - view from visitor approach
Lisieux Basilica - view from visitor approach
Entering the basilica
Entering the basilica
The impressive entrance
The impressive entrance
The painted domed ceiling over the main altar
The painted domed ceiling over the main altar
Chateau de St Germain de Livet
Chateau de St Germain de Livet

Chateau de St Germain de Livet

St Germain de Livet is located 7km from Lisieux and is home to this charming chateau. The chateau consists of two parts, a 15th century timber framed manor house and a 16th century brick and stone residence. The Chateau belongs to the town of Lisieux and is surrounded by a moat fed from a nearby river. Inside you will see renaissance frescos and stunning ebony furniture. Outside, an impressive courtyard, turrets and tranquil gardens in which to enjoy a gentle stroll or picnic near the swans and wildlife.

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Calvados Souvenirs on Zazzle - Lisieux Basilica Gifts

Lisieux Basilica Fridge Magnet Souvenir

View the full range of Lisieux Basilica Gifts and Souvenirs Here on Zazzle

Pont l'Eveque
Pont l'Eveque

Pont L'Eveque

Perhaps the name Pont L'Eveque is more famous for the soft cheese named after it, but Pont L'Eveque is a quaint little town, just inland of the port of Caen. It is one of the few Normandy towns which still has buildings that survived WW2, although they are few and easy to pick out by their character, style and battle wounds. A small selection of shops and cafes line the main street through the town and the River Touques crosses through there. Just a 10 minute walk out of the town is the Pere Magloire Distillery, home to one of the regions most famous Calvados brandy producers. Definitely worth a visit, along with a sample or two of the delicious apple brandy and liqueurs.

Pont L'Eveque Cheese

Pont l'Eveque is famous worldwide for its delicious cheese, named after the town itself.

If you like strong, smooth cheeses, you will adore Pont l'Eveque. Available locally in supermarkets and shops it comes in every day use packs and/or gift style packaging. Be warned - this is very strong smelling cheese, not for the feint hearted! We brought some home with us once, wrapped in its gift packaging and stored safely in a sealed sandwich box in the boot of our car - we could still smell the aroma from the front of the car, mmmmm.....

Calvados Brandy

A True Taste of France

Most people associate France with good wines and champagne being the national beverages. This is indeed true, but whilst the best wine making regions tend to be focused further South, Normandy in the North lays claim to some of the best ciders and apple liqueurs in the world. One of these delights is Calvados Brandy, produced from apples grown in the region and distilled and bottled right in the heart of Calvados. If you've never tried it, but love other brandies, you must put this on your list of things to drink before you die. Imagine the full bodied taste of cognac infused with the refreshing taste of apples, and you are somewhere near experiencing the taste delight that is Calvados brandy.

Some Hidden Calvados Villages - Blangy le Chateau, Cormeilles, Moyeux

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Blangy le ChateauCormeillesA Wedding in Moyeux
Blangy le Chateau
Blangy le Chateau
A Wedding in Moyeux
A Wedding in Moyeux

Calvados on YouTube

Visited Calvados?

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Want Another Part of France? - Visit my other France Travel Lens here...

A Visit to Bordeaux in the Aquitaine Region of France
France is our favourite place to holiday, we've been visiting for over 15 years now. Usually, we stay in Britanny or Normandy, but in the Summer of 2010 we ...

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Visit to Calvados Guestbook - Did you enjoy this small taste of France?

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    • profile image

      Sitki 2 years ago

      At over 30-degrees today in Sydney this post has done nothing but set off a hainnrekg for a frost-cold glass of cider. Unfortunately i'm heading into work for the afternoon shortly cider swilling beforehand might not be a good idea! Your apple tree looks glorious. Congratulations!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Thank you for this lovely trip to France. It's somewhere I've always wanted to go. I haven't given up on that trip yet.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I love Normandy and Brittany, been there 5 or 6 times, but not for about 20 years. The scenery, the people, the food and drink, the old buildings, chateaux, landscapes, narrow winding country lanes, it's all wonderful. Thanks for sharing, blessed.

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 5 years ago

      You have visited Calvados also? Me too! Great lens.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Your photos are beautiful. I've been to France, but not to Calvados. I enjoyed this very much!

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 5 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Normandy is one of my favourite areas of France so I was really pleased to read your page about it and see the lovely pictures.

    • SoniaCarew profile image

      SoniaCarew 5 years ago

      Gorgeous picture. And yes, I did enjoy your article.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love the architecture in france and you have captured it beautifully

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Very nice article!

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i have never been to calvados but i know the drink. it is always used for cooking and making flambe. the photos are nice. thank you for sharing. now i know what to expect when i go there.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 5 years ago from So Cal

      The photos are great and provide an insight into this lovely place. Your page takes me (and probably many others) to a destination that we might never see otherwise. Thanks for a great tour.

    • Jillynn profile image

      Jillynn 5 years ago

      Just beautiful. Thank you.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      Thank you for the trip! I would so love to visit from your lovely lens and great photos.

    • profile image

      Auntie-M LM 5 years ago

      Oh, I would so love to go! Your photos are just gorgeous. Gorgeous!

    • SophiaStar LM profile image

      SophiaStar LM 5 years ago

      Beautiful photos! I have not been to this part of France but you sure make me want too:)

    • TravelDiaries profile image

      TravelDiaries 5 years ago

      I adore France, have never been to Normandy but I will for sure.

      thanks for sharing,

      Happy Travels