Motorcycle road trip on the roads of Normandy
A motorcycle tour in Normandy is an ideal opportunity to enjoy the many faces of the region. On the one hand, the trip reveals beautiful seascapes, beaches that have left their mark on history, but also inland, rural areas that invite you to stroll around, discovering the villages and the gastronomy. And don't forget to visit the big cities of the region, which have an interesting heritage and a rich cultural life. A motorcycle road trip in Normandy, which you start after renting a motorcycle at the Yamaha Rent agency in Rouen or Déville-lès-Rouen, is perfect to get closer to nature, to better understand the history of France and simply to disconnect. The region has everything it takes to make you want to come back.
The first thing to do is to go to Rouen or Déville-lès-Rouen to join the motorcycle rental agency, which offers motorcycles and scooters for a safe trip. We then spend two days in the city of Seine-Maritime to discover its charms and its surroundings. We take the direction of the Old Market Square to see its half-timbered houses, the cross paying tribute to Joan of Arc and then stop at the terrace of a café or a restaurant. Religious monuments are another must with the Notre-Dame de Rouen cathedral, the Saint-Malo Catholic church and the Saint-Ouen abbey church. To enjoy Rouen for a couple of days, make yourself comfortable in one of the vintage decorated rooms of the Hotel de l'Europe. There is also a car park just 30 metres away. The next day, you can go to the Musée des Beaux-Arts in the morning, and then continue in the afternoon with a motorbike trip to the Côte des Deux-Amants. Once you have contemplated the panorama of the Seine valley, you can then go on to discover the site of the Amfreville locks, where many barges pass through. A gourmet break at the Guinguette des Écluses d'Amfreville-sous-les-Monts is then made around their specialty: mussels.
Before reaching the next destination where to put the suitcases for a few days, we pass in the morning by the abbey of Jumièges, one of the oldest and most important Benedictine monasteries in Normandy. Its destruction in the 19th century earned it the name of "the most beautiful ruin in France", and the least we can say is that it exudes a strong sense of romanticism. After driving through the green landscapes of Normandy, we arrive in the town of Argentan in the Orne region, where we settle down enthusiastically in one of the rooms of the Manoir de Coulandon. This splendid medieval manor house is set in a relaxing rural setting. The town itself has a beautiful heritage ranging from the Gallo-Roman era to the Middle Ages and the modern era. Art and crafts are also present with two key places: the Fernand Léger-André Mare museum and the Maison des dentelles. We also take advantage of the stay to take a good dose of countryside with the plain of Argentan that surrounds the town. You can walk along the edge of the fields and see the cereal crops, before noticing that horses are present in large numbers. Moreover, 15 kilometres from Argentan is the National Stud of Le Pin, a jewel of the equine world. A former royal stud farm founded under Louis XIV, the summer is an opportunity to see a horse show after visiting the stables. Before leaving Argentan, you should consider stopping by the Bistrot de l'Abbaye, which offers fresh, regional cuisine in an inn that is none other than a former religious building
After these few days spent inland, we get closer to the Normandy coast with a stopover in Caen. The first day takes visitors to the main monuments of Caen: its castle, the Men's Abbey, the Ladies' Abbey and the church of Saint-Pierre. Although the city was rebuilt in many places after the Second World War, it has still preserved other beautiful old buildings such as those in the medieval district of Le Vaugueux. After having dined at La Véranda, which offers a fine French cuisine, we move to the Hotel des Quatrans for a restful night in a modern room. There is a public car park in front of the hotel and a secure covered car park 100 metres away. A stay in Caen includes a trip on two wheels to the D-Day beaches, to Utah Beach, Omaha Beach or Juno Beach. We take the opportunity to visit places such as the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer and the D-Day museum in Utah Beach. To keep with history, a visit to the Caen Memorial, designed to commemorate the Battle of Normandy, is also a must. Before leaving, and in case of doubt about the motorcycle, you should note that a Yamaha dealer is located in Caen.
Themotorcycle route continues along the Normandy coast with a stop in Honfleur. What a pleasure to stop in this quiet little town, so beautiful with its Vieux Bassin and its old houses reflected in its waters. At noon, a visit to the Écailleur is an opportunity to taste a fish dish, with a view of the port! Immediately afterwards, a digestive stroll takes holidaymakers to the beautiful monuments of the 15th century Sainte-Catherine church and the 12th century Notre-Dame de Grâce chapel. After having criss-crossed Honfleur, taken a bucolic stroll through the Jardin des Personnalités and spent one or two nights at the École Buissonnière, a bed and breakfast with atypical rooms scattered around a playground, you can head for Le Havre. An immersion in the city goes through the Perret district and its singular architecture, through the Saint-Joseph church, looking like a lighthouse, and through a trip to the beach to enjoy the sun and the sea. We will stay at the hotel Le Petit Vatel for its pretty decoration in the marine style. Then, the visit of Le Havre continues quietly with a time at the Jardins Suspendus, another at the André Malraux Museum of Modern Art, where the collection of impressionist paintings is the second in France after Orsay
For this penultimate leg, you will only have to drive 30 minutes from Le Havre to stop at Étretat and enjoy its wonders and breathtaking marine panoramas. In Étretat, the first thing to do is to enjoy the immense white chalk cliffs and the arches that plunge into the turquoise sea. For the sporty, a paddle ride allows you to pass directly under these amazing formations. Located on the seafront, the hotel Le Rayon de Mer is a charming address to put down your suitcases, with a four-poster bed, balcony and noble materials. On another day, you can go to the neo-futuristic gardens of Étretat to discover plant designs and works of art, with a magnificent view along the way of a UNESCO World Heritage site, the cliffs. Then, don't miss the chance to go a little further north and stop for a while in Fécamp, in the Pays de Caux. Here you can sit on the beach, stroll along the dyke, and inevitably pass by the Benedictine Palace, a monument of unusual architecture where Benedictine liqueur has been made for over a century. As for the pleasures of the table, a visit to Fécamp is a golden opportunity to enjoy a good seafood platter at La Marine, a restaurant with a Norman decor and a beautiful view over the marina. The Normandy road trip can end with a return to Rouen or Déville-lès-Rouen to return the bike.
Motorcycle travelers can get information on tours and tips at the tourist offices of Rouen Normandie Tourisme & Congrès, Argentan Intercom, Caen la mer, Honfleur terre d'estuaire, Le Havre Étretat and Fécamp. For more information on motorcycle rental in Rouen, visit the websites of Yamaha Rent Rouen and Yamaha Rent Déville-lès-Rouen