Embark on a historic sailboat rental in Normandy casting off from Le Havre. In 2005, this former Norman port city was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Although large parts were destroyed during the 1944 WWII bombings, the city was rebuilt by a visionary architect, Auguste Perret, and has since been of interest to avant-garde designers. The concrete walls of Le Havre indeed have stories to tell.
Less than 10 nautical miles (NM) from Le Havre is the port of Honfleur. Its slate-roofed houses reflected in the peaceful waters of Vieux Bassin form a postcard-perfect image. Interestingly, this is the port that Samuel de Champlain departed from to settle in what is today known as Quebec City in Canada. Both Norman and Parisian and increasingly frequented by its Belgian and British neighbors, Honfleur manages to remain traditional all whilst remaining loyal to its roots… A wonder to visit!
One of the great turning points in the history of the 20th century occurred in France, when the Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy, a decisive phase in the resolution of the Second World War. Sail west to see the memories of the war and the D-Day anchored in the landscape. The coast is still dotted with old German cannons and numerous bunkers, while war memorials are present in almost every village, at every bend in the road. The ''Landing Beaches'' encompass a region that stretches 80km along the Calvados coastline, as far as the department of La Manche.
The next stop on your sailboat rental in Normandy has to be Cherbourg – the town with the largest artificial harbor in the world – 1,500 hectares protected by 4km of seawall. Moreover, the port has the deepest aquarium in Europe (11m depth) … La Cité de la Mer is a must ‘sea’ attraction for animal lovers. Here you will also get the chance to see the largest submarine open to the public.
It’s called the Monaco of the North because, like its southern sister, the city is built on rocky mass facing the sea. Moor at Port de Hérel and discover Granville – a fishing port and famous across France as being the town where fashion icon Christian Dior was raised. A visit to the Dior museum is a must. Here you will get the chance to see stunning haute-couture collections. The Dior gardens, which overlook the sea, are also worth a visit. Port de Hérel makes for an ideal anchoring point as it’s a stones throw from the town centre and just 10 NM form the Chausey archipelago.
Save the best until last and be sure to visit the incredible Mont-Saint-Michel. This haunting and historical monument will surely be the highlight of your sailboat rental in Normandy. Try to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid peak tourist hours!
Throughout Normandy, the climate is warm and temperate. On average, the warmest months are from June - September with the coolest being during January and February. Given its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, temperatures here are mild. Expect maximum temperatures in the summer of 20-25 and sea temperatures of 17-20 degrees Celsius. The best time of year consider a sailboat rental in Normandy is between June and September.
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