Tourists from all over the world flock to Normandy all year round to experience its 620km of coastline and beaches 2 hours from Paris, landmarks such as Mont-Saint-Michel, centuries of history and iconic events. Normandy is popular for its unspoilt landscapes and lifestyle. With climate change on everyone’s minds, it strives to be a sustainable tourist destination that takes care of people and the environment.

All systems are go

After two tough years due to the pandemic, all systems are go for Normandy tourism (5.9% of GDP in Normandy). Visitor numbers are on the up since 2022. The region is just two hours from Paris, making it a great destination for weekends and short breaks. France is increasingly affected by heatwaves in summer so Normandy is attracting more and more visitors looking for a cooler climate. But that’s not all. With mass tourism having an increasingly detrimental effect, tourism in Normandy stands out for its authentic, carefree and community feel.

Normandy provides a peaceful and restful setting with its unspoilt coastline, pretty sea resorts, friendly towns, countryside everywhere and countless bike paths all within easy reach of Paris, Northern Europe and Atlantic Europe. Its history captures centuries of events, from the Middle Ages to World War II, making it a land of memory home to outstanding heritage (UNESCO monuments and sites, abbeys, mansions etc.).

Key figures for Normandy tourism

  • 80 million overnight tourist stays per year
  • 12 million admissions to the main sites
  • 10th biggest region in France in terms of tourism consumption
  • 40,000 jobs
  • 64 tourist boards and 169 tourist offices.
  • 9 UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • 12 5* hotels
  • 22 casinos

Areas of excellence

Normandy is a multi-faceted destination with countless areas of interest. You can’t cover it all in just one holiday, leaving visitors hungry for more and wanting to come back. 

Sabina Lorkins/Anibas Photography – Normandie Tourisme
Observatoire d'Arromanches sur les plages du débarquement en Normandie

War tourism

The D-Day beaches and its history are still a major attraction for tourists in Normandy. Historical sites and memorials attracted over 5 million visitors in 2022. The Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer (Calvados) holds the record for all of Normandy’s attractions with 1.7 million visitors. The Caen Memorial is the 6th most popular site in Normandy. The annual D-Day celebrations (80th anniversary in 2024) are a golden opportunity for the world to pay tribute to the heroes of the liberation.

Mont Saint-Michel and its bay

These two UNESCO gems in Normandy continue to dazzle visitors from all over the world. The awe-inspiring site has undergone extensive work to make it accessible in recent years and is one of the most popular landmarks in France.

Emmanuel Berthier – Normandie Tourisme
Baie du Mont Saint Michel en Normandie
Thomas Le Floch – Normandie Tourisme
Jardins de Claude Monet à Giverny en Normandie

Impressionnism

Normandy’s beautiful scenery and unique light inspired countless Impressionist artists to move to the region and paint here. Claude Monet was one of them. His house and gardens in Giverny are the 4th most popular visitor attraction in Normandy.

Medieval Normandy

A trip to Normandy is a trip back in time, starting with the Saint-Clair-sur-Epte Treaty that founded the region in 911. Meet William the Conqueror at his châteaux, abbeys and the famous Bayeux Tapestry. Get to know historical figures such as Joan of Arc in Rouen and Richard Lionheart in Eure.

Julien Hélie
Tapisserie de Bayeux
Arnaud Poirier – Normandie Tourisme
Canoe kayak entre amis en Suisse normande

Experiential tourism

Aside from landscapes and visitor sites, Normandy is bursting with unique experiences. Fly a mini blimp, press your own organic apple juice, go dog sledding, experience life as a Viking and soak up the joys of rock pooling. In total, Normandy Tourism promotes over 70 Normandy Experiences.

Plus: The Normandy Region and Tourism support other areas with high potential for growth: horse riding, water sports, cruises, business tourism, site visits, social tourism, spiritual tourism and more.

Sectors that live off tourism in Normandy

  • Guest accommodation. This area covers hotels, campsites, holiday homes and rentals between individuals. It accounts for 3/4 of tourist expenditure in Normandy. It has high potential for growth with room for luxury and eco-friendly accommodation.
  • Catering. Normandy is one of the best-known regions in France when it comes to food and drink. Norman chefs put all their talent and expertise into showcasing local flavours. There are 20 Michelin-starred restaurants and a whole host of good eateries (80,000 in total) to suit any budget.
  • Culture, sports and leisure: Spending on culture, sports and leisure services among tourists is higher in Normandy, accounting for 9% of tourism consumption compared to 5.7% nationwide. Most of the 22 casinos champion safe gambling. We love a flutter in Normandy!

Get the green light!

The industry has expanded cycling tourism, public transport and promoted local tourism to reduce reliance on car journeys in Normandy.

Cyclotouristes à la gare de Pontorson en Normandie
Thomas Le Floch – Normandie Tourisme

La Normandie sans ma voiture

Normandy Tourism has fifty weekend ideas to encourage visitors to leave their cars at home. They include accommodation, restaurants, activities and visitor sites that are all within easy reach on foot or using public transport (La Normandie sans ma voiture). Normandy Tourism is also exploring a specific walking or cycling route between train stations.

Thomas Le Floch – Normandie Tourisme
Hébergement vélo au camping de Pont L'Evêque

A sustainable tourism resource centre

Draft a carbon report, lower your carbon footprint, invest in your transformation and more. A sustainable tourism resource centre provides relevant information to support Normandy tourism professionals and businesses in their energy and social transition.

Virtual tourism to visit Normandy from your sofa

Interactive tour of the Scriptorial in Avranches, augmented reality at Château de Falaise, Sées digital religious art museum experience: the rise of e-tourism in Normandy is another way to promote the destination and keep a handle on your carbon footprint.

Stéphane Maurice – Normandie Tourisme
Chateau_de_Falaise-Stephane_Maurice-Normandie Tourisme

Major events in tourism in Normandy

  • Normandy Impressionist Festival
    March to September
    Every two years, the regional festival hosts a hundred exhibitions, events and workshops celebrating Impressionism, one of the world’s most popular art movements.
  • D-Day
    June
    Normandy hosts a chief of state every year on June 6th on one of the D-Day beaches to pay tribute to the veterans and soldiers who gave their lives to liberate France and the rest of Europe from Nazism.
  • Normandy World Peace Forum
    September
    An annual event for everyone in Caen attended by experts and government representatives to discuss global conflict and build peace.
  • Deauville American Film Festival
    September
    The 2nd biggest film festival in France after Cannes. Stars flock to the 10-day event celebrating the best American blockbusters and indie films since 1975.

Employment: the Normandy tourism industry needs you

The Normandy tourism industry employs up to 40,000 people a year and over 50,000 in peak season. These figures put it 10th in terms of employment in French regions. But there’s still a shortfall, especially in hospitality and catering. The Umih hospitality union says there are 5000 unfilled positions throughout the region.

The tourism industry needs housekeepers, wait staff and versatile catering staff to welcome visitors. Major events such as the 80th anniversary of D-Day in 2024 and the Olympics, which Normandy will play host to alongside the capital, will only increase demand for staff.

En_terrasse_au_restaurant_La_Potiniere__Barneville-Carteret_-_Coraline_et_Leo-Normandie Tourisme
Coraline et Léo – Normandie Tourisme

Welcome on board seasonal workers!

The region is working on a welcome package with a kit containing information about places to stay and things to do in Normandy to attract new recruits, especially seasonal workers. The region hopes to provide seasonal workers with accommodation in college boarding houses in prime visitor locations. They are trialling the concept this year at Lycée Sorel in Honfleur.

Business opportunities in Normandy tourism

Danielle Dumas – Normandie Tourisme

Are you an entrepreneur at heart? Normandy tourism is your land of opportunity and support. AD Normandie is a regional development agency that can help fund your project. The region, départements, CCIs, Chambers of Trades and Regional Chamber of Agriculture are here to guide private tourism projects. These organisations also help businesses that want to open their workshops to visitors. 

Tourism courses in Normandy: you’re spoilt for choice

The region wants to attract people to work in the industry and upskill employees with an impressive range of specific tourism courses at universities and colleges. Normandy universities have designed several Master’s degrees in tourism engineering.
All the courses include sustainable tourism modules.

Where can you study tourism in Normandy?

Cabines de plage de Gouville sur mer dans la Manche

News in the tourism industry in Normandy

AJ Hackett: Normandy, a natural choice

He introduced people to adrenaline-pumping experiences when he bungee jumped off the Eiffel Tower in 1987. AJ Hackett has set up bungee jump sites around the globe attracting thrill-seekers from all over the world. What fuels him? Creating unforgettable experiences in incredible places. One of them is the Souleuvre site in Calvados, the famous New…

Parapluie de Cherbourg: an umbrella for any weather

Cider in Normandy: the apple of the region’s eye!

La Cité de la Mer in Cherbourg: an iconic maritime adventure

British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer: honouring D-day heroes

Haras National du Pin: Normandy’s iconic equestrian site

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