A Visit to Calvados, Normandy, France
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?
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 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 LisieuxClick thumbnail to view full-size
Chateau 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.
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, Normandy
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.....
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, MoyeuxClick thumbnail to view full-size
Calvados on YouTube
Have you experienced Calvados yet, or would you like to?
Useful Calvados, Normandy Websites
- Tourisme à Pont-l’Evêque et aux alentours
Vacances, séjour et week-end avec l’Office de tourisme Blangy-Pont l’Evêque en Normandie (site Officiel). Proche de Deauville, Trouville et Honfleur. (...)
- Welcome to Calvados, the true spirit of Normandy!
Just like Calvados itself, once you've enjoyed a taste you'll want to come back for more! Discover our land of rich pastures, babbling brooks and quiet country lanes. Here in the heart of Normandy, close to the ferries, you will find one of the most
- Office de Tourisme de Lisieux Pays d'Auge
Site officiel de l`office de tourisme de Lisieux - Normandie
- The Basilica - Sanctuaire Sainte ThÃ©rÃ¨se de Lisieux
The idea of building a basilica at Lisieux in honour of the newly canonised saint (1925) met with much opposition from the local clergy. The town (...)
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