Friday, March 16, 2012

Day Trips Around Normandy France - Honfleur

France is so gorgeous that you can literally take a different day trip every single day of the week and always find something amazing to see.  Recently I showed you the the day we spent at gorgeous Étretat and today I wanted to show you Honfleur.  

Honfleur is a quaint historic coastal town located on the estuary of the River Siene.  We visited it on a lovely warm summer day - one of those days when the sky is so blue it almost hurts your eyes and it brings all the colours to life.  

Our French friends took us to Honfleur via a small town called Vieux-Port which is part of la Route des Chaumières (which translates as Route of Thatched Houses).   Vieux-Port is about a 45 minute drive from Honfleur and well worth stopping at on your way.   It is a postcard-pretty town along the River Seine famous for its tudor-style homes with thatched roofs and holly hedges.


I have never seen plants grown along the seam on thatched roofs, but they did that quite often here - on both gates and homes.  It apparently helps strengthen the seam.

When you finally do arrive at Honfleur after enjoying the gorgeous homes in Vieux-Port, you will not be disappointed.  Honfleur is the kind of quaint town where you find yourself spending the day ambling along pretty streets, climbing narrow stairs, poking your head down alleyways, enjoying the hustle and bustle of the harbour, and just generally soaking up the atmosphere.  Whenever my husband and I visit places like this we always wonder why we live where we do.  

At the heart of Honfleur is the picturesque harbour.

If you are thinking of visiting Honfleur with children - you might want to take a ride on the vintage merry-go-round near the harbour.

Sainte-Catherine Church in Honfleur is the largest wooden church in France.  I loved the patterns made in the wood shingles down the front side of the church.

It has a ceiling that was built to look like a ship's hull,

The town is full of lovely touches like this beautiful door, the chimney pots, the mermaid inset into the wall, and the window boxes full of flowers.

Of special significance for Canadians - well really for any history buff - is knowing that this is where Samuel de Champlain set sail from in 1608 to establish Quebec City.  They installed a plaque on a wall dedicated to him.

Writing this brings back such fond memories for me.  

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  1. I felt your feelings. You told so beautiful that ... Photos of the sky and the town is very beautiful and ...

  2. Such gorgeous photos! Thank you for sharing these. What a beautiful place.

  3. I have always wanted to visit this part of France and this seaside town in particular. That church is amazing! Thanks for the lovely tour, now I want to visit even more!

    Kat :)