France: What's New in Normandy for 2019
D-Day 75th Anniversary, 50 Tall Ships in Rouen, and more to celebrate in the province.
By Marley Henderson
The historic region of Normandy, France, is prepared to welcome many new things with open arms as 2019 approaches. As more travelers are coming and going, the region has made drastic changes to give tourists the most wonderfully, unique experience to enjoy.
From milestone celebrations to isolated resorts, Normandy is not short of places, activities, and attractions to relish.
With a rich history and a unique territory of France, Normandy has historically been a place of development and improvement. The region is scattered with beautiful architecture and areas that reflect the deep history, which is infamously known around the world.
Normandy is anticipating a large year of honor and celebration of its infamous history. As the 75th year milestone of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy are around the corner, residents will gather to celebrate peace, liberty, and reconciliation for the momentous occasion. The D-Day Festival will take place in June of 2019, and attendees will see a rich program of events bringing the memory of tragedy, while emphasizing the spirit of hope. Guests can expect to see key figures, events, and festivities such as parades, firework displays, air shows, and military re-enactments.
Following the anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, the region will be hosting its second annual Normandy World Peace Forum. Taking place in June of 2019, the Forum will serve as a platform for reflection and exchange on world tensions and strategies of peacebuilding.
Normandy's Newest Attractions
Some of the world’s finest tall ships will congregate for ten days during the summer months, 2019 marking the 30th anniversary of the Rouen Armada. Thousands of visitors and sailors from far and near gather on the banks of the River Seine in Rouen to celebrate and party.
Fifty ships annually make the trip to display their magnificent size and beauty, including the largest wooden ship to be built in the UK for over 100 years, Tenacious.
Other participants include military boats and submarines that will also line the quaysides, concluding with a parade along the river.
Norman Rockwell and New Cinema at the Caen Memorial
Caen Memorial Museum will be hosting an exhibit of over 70 paintings and illustrations created by Norman Rockwell, one of America’s most popular press illustrators and painters.
Normandy will be the first in France to ever display Rockwell’s work. A new cinema will allow visitors to experience the impact of the war in Europe through a 360-degree film that uses original archived footage.
La Cite De La Mer
Experience the ocean of the future at La Cite de la Mer. The family-friendly museum has recently undergone renovations, and will soon display the epic new The Ocean of the Future exhibition.
The film will embark viewers on an underwater adventure while learning about the deep sea and life beneath the surface. A great activity for the entire family on your next Normandy stop.
What's New in Normandy Gastronomy
Le Bel Ami
In a nod to author Guy de Maupassant who hailed from the area, Le Bel Ami Wine Bar and Bistro in Pacy-sur-Eure offers a decadent menu of wine and food. Guests will enjoy a relaxed ambiance accompanied by Mediterranean-style dishes made with fresh, local products. Their fine wine list is sourced from independent producers and can be perfectly paired with any meal.
New Normandy Accommodations
1872 Stadium Hotel – Le Havre
For any football fan visiting the area, Stadium Hotel is the place for you. The 4-star hotel is the first of its kind in France, providing guests with a unique, football-themed stay. Stay within the Oceane Stadium in one of the 20 premium high standard rooms, overlooking the stadium football pitch. The hotel offers additional facilities including a restaurant, a lounge bar, relaxation area, conference rooms, and a gym.
KM127 - Bottereaux
This is Normandy’s first eco-friendly, off-grid, luxury resort. Named after the distance in kilometers separating it from Paris, KM127 will extend across 111 acres. Opening in the fall of 2019, the resort will offer eight lodges, a restaurant, a permaculture vegetable garden, a low carbon footprint, and off-grid water and electricity supplies.
A New Travel App
New App: Normandy Secrets
Getting technical, a new mobile app, Normandy Secrets, was released. The app uses GPS so visitors can look up in real time everything the region offers to see and do. This tool has made it easier than ever to organize a travel itinerary on the go, while also providing recommendations for places you wouldn’t have normally heard of, or thought to do, giving travelers the ultimate, unique experience.
Make sure to download this app to your mobile phone during your next Normandy stay.
Find out more about Normandy on their tourism website. www.normandy-tourism.org
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Marley Henderson grew up in Ipswich, on the north shore of Massachusetts. She has a passion for travel and photography and enjoys the beach, boating and skiing.