Explore this screen as if you are exploring Cotentin. Discover all the treasures of a unique, one-of-a-kind land.
Your exploration of Cotentin begins with the Parc des Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin, an area covering over 30,000 hectares of wet grasslands.
Carentan proudly displays the traces of its medieval past, as well as its strategic position when France was Liberated on the 6th June 1944 by its Allies.
Discover the historic route known as "La Voie de la Liberté", featuring 1,200 kilometre markers.
Stop off in Saint-Mère-Eglise, the 1st town to be liberated in France, to explore the key sites of the Invasion of Normandy.
On Utah Beach, come and walk in the footsteps of the Allied Troops on the morning of the 6th June 1944 for the Normandy landings. At the Musée du Débarquement, on the beach, journey back in time and through history to learn all about what happened on D-day.
Come and admire the colourful little huts along the beach, the ideal place to relax and unwind facing the sea.
Food lovers will stop off in Quinéville to treat themselves to some local biscuits while enjoying the panoramic view of the sea and the Baie de Saint-Vaast.
The east coast is characterised by a long sandy beach stretching from the Baie des Veys in the south, all the way to the port of Barfleur, one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France® (Most Beautiful Villages in France) in the north. There is a whole host of seaside activities and fishing practices available here, and the town is very popular with fishermen, oyster farmers, recreational boaters and those looking to try out any sports related to the wind and sea.
Discover this historic place, made famous by the story of Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Wales, who was knighted at Quettehou church in 1346, and also characterised by the beginning of the Hundred Years' War.
Make a short detour to the town of La Pernelle for a panoramic view across the Val de Saire, Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, named Favourite Village of the French People in 2019, the Vauban towers, and the Saint-Marcouf islands in the distance.
This is one of the must-sees of Cotentin, thanks to the two Vauban towers, treasures of UNESCO World Heritage, built to protect Cotentin from English invasions, after the Battle of La Hougue in 1692. One of them is on the mainland, the Fort de la Hougue, and its twin in on Ile Tatihou.
Admire the maritime heritage from the seawalls. Lose yourself in the narrow streets, wander along the harbour, watch fishermen bringing in their fish and shellfish, enjoy some excellent oysters with a nutty taste, produced locally from the most ancient oyster basin in Normandy.
In the midst of the blue shades of the bay, discover the charming little island of Tatihou, accessible on an amphibious vehicle at high tide, from Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue.
Take a tour of the maritime garden and discover some exotic species. Not far from there, journey back in time at the Musée Maritime, where you can learn all about the Battle of La Hougue, and see some other collections related to the history of this coastline.
There is also a bird reserve on Tatihou island.
Barfleur, listed as one of the Les Plus Beaux Village de France® (Most Beautiful Villages of France), stands behind the large jetty that marks the entrance to the port, where the fishing boats coming back into the marina are a much-awaited attraction!
Barfleur proudly displays its medieval past, come and admire the Church of Saint-Nicolas and the shale roofing of the houses in this charming little fishing village.
The Phare de Gatteville
The Phare de Gatteville is an impressive 75 metres high and is the second highest lighthouse in France! Prepare yourself to climb the 365 steps to the top, with 52 windows along the way, and then admire the panoramic view of the Val de Saire and the pink granite rocks.
Then continue your exploration alongside the vegetable gardens that are famous throughout the local area. Stop off in Réthoville, at the Marie Ravenel water mill, an 18th century thatched cottage, for a very pleasant walking tour in the footsteps of this French poet and miller.
At Cap Lévi, it is very pleasant to walk along the shore, past the lighthouse and Napoleonic fort watching over the wild landscapes. Admire the superb little port on the way.
Anse du Brick
Along the Route du Val de Saire, the view of the sea is breath-taking. Anse du Brick is a favourite spot for surfers looking for the best waves. It is also the departure point for some great walks across the surrounding heathland.
Welcome to the Baie de Cherbourg. To the east, there is a wide range of leisure activities available at the Plage de Collignon, with the biggest artificial harbour in the world, covering over 1,500 hectares and military constructions, serving as the backdrop.
Life in Cherbourg is all about passing boats and ships and the tides! The town is protected by the seawall and forts that surround the harbour. There is also a fishing port, marina, commercial port, cruise port and a military port.
La Cité de la Mer is a must-see of Cotentin. Come and take a tour of this magical, fun, poetic, and educational place devoted to the exploration of the underwater world, in the Art-deco style former Transatlantic passenger terminal. Venture aboard the submarine Le Redoutable, and see what it's like to explore the depths. Experience for yourself the very last hours of the Titanic.
After Cherbourg, embark on your journey along the Route des Caps.
The seaside town of Urville-Nacqueville marks the entrance to the Pointe de La Hague. The long sandy beach is the ideal place for a long walk, to relax and unwind at the seaside, or for water sports at high tide. Take a detour down the town's streets to discover manors and castles, parks and gardens.
Landemer marks the beginning of the cliffs of La Hague. Admire the view of the sea and the staggering coastline from the viewpoint, and then all the way to the port of Omonville-la-Rogue.
Walk along the GR®223 hiking trail to really experience the full force of the elements and get the most out of this superb area.
Head to the village of Gréville-Hague, to "Gruchy". Stroll around this typical hamlet, in the footsteps of French painter Jean-François Millet, take a tour of the artist's childhood home, inspired by the wonderful landscapes of La Hague. Then walk to the end of the street and admire the superb view of the sea. If you're feeling energetic enough, you could walk along the GR®223 hiking trail which runs along the cliffs surrounded by ferns and heath, with particularly beautiful colours in the autumn.
Make sure you stop off in Omonville-la-Rogue to watch the local fishermen coming back to shore with their catch of the day. Taste some seafood out on the terrace or the famous Cotentin blue lobster (MSC Certified), caught off the coast of Cotentin.
Then follow the GR®223 hiking trail, for a great view from higher up.
Venture out to sea to feel the refreshing sea spray and sail along the wild coastline of La Hague.
Just outside Omonville-la-Rogue, don't miss the view of the Pointe de Jardeheu, and the ancient semaphore, that has now been transformed into holiday gîtes. Take in the sights from the Anse Saint-Martin all the way to the superb little Port Racine in Saint-Germain-des-Vaux, the smallest port in France!
Goury Le Cap de la Hague
You are at the edge of the earth!
Admire the view of the Port de Goury, the rather atypical lifeboat station and the lighthouse. Out at sea, you'll catch a glimpse of the swirls of the Alderney Race, one of the most powerful sea currents in Europe, that is particularly spectacular on stormy days!
The next must-see of Cotentin is the Baie d'Ecalgrain, with its sandy and pebbles beach surrounded by heathland and wild heather, it really is a picture-perfect place.
The cliffs of La Hague
The cliffs of La Hague and the iconic Nez de Jobourg are absolute must-sees for walkers looking to admire this wild area jutting out into the sea, opposite the Channel Islands, and to really feel the power of the elements, the salty sea air and sweet scents of gorse and wild flowers.
L'Anse & les Mares de Vauville
In Vauville, head towards the Jardin Botanique, classified a remarkable garden, then the Réserve Naturelle de Mare de Vauville, which is home to 170 species of bird and amphibian, that can be seen from the observatory.
The route then leads you into the heights. As you go around the bends, don't hesitate to stop off and admire the panoramic view of the coastline.
The Dunes of La Hague
In Biville, the footpath will lead you to the viewpoint right at the top of a vast group of dunes overlooking the sea. Why not take advantage of this perfect location to watch the sun go down!
There are a few bunkers on the sand, witnesses of recent historic events, that are lashed by the prevailing winds from the west.
The beach stretches all the way to the Siouville-Hague, a surf spot of Normandy.
Port-Dielette offers a rare opportunity for shelter on the west coast of Cotentin for boats stopping over, after having passed the Cap de Flamanville and the sheer cliffs.
It is worth stopping by Sciotot to enjoy the beach and fantastic area for watersports, as far as the Pointe du Rozel, where the footpath then leads to the statue of Maris Stella, Patron Saint for sailors.
The Cap de Carteret
If you follow the Hatainville bank of dunes, the footpath then leads up to the Cap de Carteret and the imposing lighthouse. From the top, there's an exceptional view of the sea down below, the Ecrehou islands and Jersey.
Go along the rocky ledge overlooking the Plage de la Potinière, famous for the row of white and blue beach huts, that really put the seaside resort of the Côte des Isles, Barneville-Carteret, on the map. It is now listed as a tourist resort.
Enjoy the pleasures of the sea at high tide for watersports, or go shellfish gathering on foot at low tide. Taste the local specialities of Cotentin in one of the restaurants on this fishing port that marks the entrance to the Route des Havres, with elegant villas making the place even more charming.
Now this is what happiness is all about!
Port-Bail-sur-Mer is a charming seaside village surrounded by salt marshes and meadows. The atypical bridge with thirteen arches (Pont aux XIII Arches) crosses through the town, with its fortified bell tower of the Eglise Notre-Dame, a church now used for cultural exhibitions.
There is a footpath that runs alongside this natural area dictated by the tides, and you'll catch a glimpse of the Dunes of Lindbergh, which can be accessed across the small bridge in the hamlet of La Rivière.
The Dunes de Lindbergh
The Dunes de Lindbergh cover an area of 80 hectares. To make sure this fragile environment is protected from the wind and sea, beach grasses have been planted to make the dunes more stable.
After the pleasures of the beach, stop off at the Manoir Du Parc, on your way to Saint-Sauveur-le Vicomte, to journey back in time and visit this manor house and grounds, some parts of which are listed as Historic Monuments.
Join onto the Route du Cidre (Cider Route) and the Clos du Cotentin. Come and discover an English fortress in Normandy.
The Château Médiéval of Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte still has its original fortified enclosure. Go on a guided tour of the castle to make sure you get the most out of your visit to this exceptional heritage site! A highlight of every summer is the Fête Médiévale on the 15th August, when the town is filled with the celebrations of ancient traditions.
The town of Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, nestled at the heart of the Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin, is classified a Station Verte and there are countless leisure and relaxing activities to do here. Go hiking through the forest to Mont de Besneville, where you will be walking across the mysterious landscapes of woods and heathland. In this wooded area, there is a discovery nature trail and an arboretum, with fantastic new colours to see in each season, as well as a great play area.
Valognes is a must-see in Cotentin for its heritage sites. History buffs will enjoy taking guided tours or attending conferences at the castles, manor houses, museums and classified churches.
The town is also home to some Gallo-Roman ruins, at the site of Alauna, an ancient Gallic town where you can still see the ruins of the thermal baths today. Take a tour of the area on a horse-drawn carriage, to explore the heritage sites.
To find out everything there is to know about the iconic beverage of Normandy, a tour of the Musée du Cidre is an absolute must. The Cidre Cotentin, made from the apples of the abundant apple groves in the prominent Clos du Cotentin Norman bocage, is protected by an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (Controlled Designation of Origin).
The Forêt de Brix
The Forest of Brix once stretched from Cherbourg to Valognes. In around 1665, it covered a surface area of 7,000 hectares, but over the centuries it has been divided up and some of the land has been cleared. A great number of century-old tree trunks were used to build the Rade de Cherbourg (harbour).
Let your imagination wander as you explore the little narrow paths that nurture countless myths and legends. Opt for a guided walking tour to make sure you don't get lost along the footpaths, in the footsteps of the Cotentin goblins...
The château de Bricquebec-en-Cotentin is an architectural treasure of the Clos du Cotentin, with its impressive polygonal-shape keep, one-of-a-kind in Europe. It was rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries and is an example of military architecture from the Middle Ages. In the Renaissance period, it became the residence for a distinguished and sophisticated court. In 1532, King Francis I came here.
Come and explore this lively little town centre. Not so far away is the Bois des Roches in Rocheville, listed as the most significant location for megaliths in the whole of Cotentin. There are covered passages here, and there is a certain mysterious atmosphere in the enchanted woods.
Before leaving this magical place and getting back to more ordinary roads, share with us the best of your Road trip across Cotentin, an authentic land, with the hashtag #CotentinUniquebyNature !