Are you wondering what to do in February in Normandy? It can be a great time to visit as many of the popular sites that are busier during the summer months are blissfully quiet.
It has to be said that you can’t guarantee good weather at this time of year. Rain is a possibility but there are plenty of indoor activities that won’t be spoiled by a spot of inclement weather. However, you may be lucky enough to experience brilliant blue skies accompanied by sunny but cold weather.
Go Sales Shopping
The post-Christmas sales are on from 8 January through to 4 February. You’ll see signs that say ‘Soldes’ where sales are taking place. Remember that many shops close on Sundays, Mondays and also at lunchtimes. It’s just something you get used to after a while.
France has two pancake days and fortunately they’re both in February! The first day is Chandeleur which will be celebrated on 2 February this year. Read about the Chandeleur festival here.
The second pancake day is the equivalent of Shrove Tuesday in the UK and is also known as Mardi Gras. This year it will be on 25th February. Check out a recipe for sweet French pancakes here. If you’d prefer to eat out, this article looks at some recommendations for pancake houses in Coutances.
You might also find boulangeries selling galettes de rois. This flaky pastry cake is filled with frangipane. Traditionally they’re sold in January and the first few days of February.
Celebrate the Chinese New Year, attend a carnival or festival
Coutances will celebrate the Chinese New Year from 17th February through to 7th March. The town and shop windows will be decorated with a Chinese theme. And if you’d like to join in the entertainment, then a parade is planned for the final day.
The Granville carnival will be held for the 146th time from 21st – 25th February. For more information about the Granville carnival visit their webpage. You can peruse the programme of activities, timings and photos. Watch the video below for a taster of the fancy dress outfits, the decorated floats, the parade and the confetti fight.
The medieval and steampunk festival Normannia will be held in Rouen on 15th and 16th February. More information about Normannia is here.
Visit one of the key tourist sites
Not all tourist sites are open in February although many of the bigger ones are. Entry to the abbey at Mont Saint Michel will be free on Sunday 2nd February. All you need to do is to pay for your parking. The Mont Saint Michel page is here with heaps of information about what to do and see.
Many of the D-Day landing sites are open. This page is a comprehensive guide to the D-Day landing beaches. For example, Gold Beach sites open in February include the Arromanches Landing Museum, the D-Day Garden and the Longues-sur-Mer battery. At Omaha both the Normandy American Cemetery and Visitor Centre as well as La Pointe du Hoc are open and both are free to visit. Near Sword Beach, the Atlantic Wall museum in Ouistreham opens on 9th February. The Pegasus Bridge Memorial museum is open throughout February. The Juno Beach Centre at Courseulles-sur-Mer focusses on the Canadian sector and you can visit during February. There are several museums open around the Utah Beach area. They include the D-Day Experience and Dead Man’s Corner Museums at Saint-Côme-du-Mont, the Airborne Museum at Sainte-Mère-Eglise and the Utah Beach museum. The cemeteries and memorials are also open to visitors.
In Bayeux, the cathedral, tapestry, Commonwealth cemetery and the Battle of Normandy museum are open in February. You can also shop, eat out at one of the many restaurants or bistros and stroll around medieval Bayeux. There’s more information on the Bayeux page.
Other things to do in February include visiting a museum such as the maritime museum in Cherbourg or the centre for Peace and History in Caen, a walk on one of the many beaches, browsing a market and strolling around one of the nearby towns such as Granville, Coutances or Villedieu-les-Poêles.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of what to do in February in Normandy. However, hopefully it gives you a flavour of what’s on offer.
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