Sea and ‘bocage’: 10 reasons to come to Coutances and nearby seaside resorts

Wouldn’t you say that Normandy is an obvious choice for your next holiday?

Be prepared to be enchanted! Here are a few good reasons for staying in ‘Coutances mer et bocage’:

1 – Experience our history

The history of our region is anchored in our roots. Different people have shaped our history over thousands of years: great battles have been fought in Normandy and history made, forming the basis of many exhibitions and places we can visit and worship at today. These emotionally-charged places are waiting to be discovered or rediscovered so their memory will never die.
Tancrède Museum in Hauteville La Guichard, Gavray Castle, the landing beaches, Regnéville Maritime Museum... await your visit.

Nature is abundant and sublime in Normandy. Our land is the perfect marriage of lush ‘bocage’ vegetation and dramatic coastline.
The French sculptor Auguste Rodin said, ‘The realities of nature surpass our most ambitious dreams.’ The ‘Coutançais’ (Coutances and vicinity) is the proof. One minute, you find yourself in the middle of pastureland and grazing cows, the next beside the sea, contemplating windswept rocks… every day is different and throws new light on our natural environment.

2 – Admire the landscapes

3 – A perfect location

‘Coutances mer et bocage’ is ideally located at the centre of the Cherbourg/Rennes/Caen triangle, about 3 hours from Paris, half an hour from the Calvados border and not far from the Mont-Saint-Michel. Getting here by rail is easy and the road network and A84 motorway are convenient for motorists. We are in the west of Normandy, in the heart of the Manche ‘département’ (Cotentin peninsula), which makes our area the perfect starting point for visiting Normandy, since we are within easy driving distance of the most emblematic tourist attractions.

Normandy is renowned for its gastronomy and Camembert is our top Norman product famous the world over. The ‘Coutançais’ is home to many producers committed to offering quality products from locally-sourced ingredients. Sample Camembert from Gavray, andouille (a spicy smoked pork sausage) from La Baleine, Lemasson cider, oysters and seafood… and take a stroll around our colourful markets.

4 – A rich gastronomy and land

5 – Discover the high tides

Ours is a maritime region, which rhymes with wind, salty sea air and spray coming off the waves. Fabulous scenery for summer bathing and, following high tides, explore the fascinating wildlife left behind and take advantage of the expanse of sand to go shellfishing. At high tide, feel the thrill of the elements – emotion guaranteed!

Music fans will enjoy open-air and indoor concerts at Normandy music festivals. National and international
artists perform every year, the best-known shows being those of the annual Coutances ‘Jazz sous les pommiers’ festival in the spring, the open-air ‘Chauffer dans la noirceur’ festival in Montmartin-sur-Mer, and also in bars and cafés which put on live music for the ‘Zic sur le Zinc’ summer festival.

6 – A land of festivals

7 – Go and conquer our rich heritage

If you’re looking for culture, love historic monuments or just want to know more about our heritage, the list of places to visit is long: cathedrals, castles, museums, churches, vestiges, abbeys, parks and gardens, manors. Coutances is certified, ‘Land of Art and History’ and all of the above sites are showcased and promoted via guided tours, brochures and audioguides.

The variety of nature and landscapes gives rise to many leisure activities. Get away from the beaten track and have a go at sand-yachting, stand-up paddleboarding, ice karting, paragliding, even observe the bore (‘tidal wave’), running up the foreshore or admire the dolphins in the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel.

8 – Experience things you have never experienced before

9 – Be at the heart of thousand year old fairs

Open-air fairs form part of our ancestral traditions and cultural Norman identity. Sometimes dating back to thousands of years, they continue to attract as many visitors today as in the past.
The Saint-Luc Fair (Gavray), held in October, is just one example. Originating from the time of Richard the Lionheart, it is the second biggest fair after the renowned Lessay Fair, held in early September. A unique day out – only in Normandy!

Coutances in Normandy, an area so rich and diverse,offering exceptional festivals, must-see places to visit, novel activities enveloped in breathtaking scenery for all to enjoy… why look any further… you have just found your next holiday destination!

10 – Have an unforgettable holiday