10 Beautiful Sites to Visit In and Around Honfleur 



10 Beautiful Sites to Visit In and Around Honfleur 

Perhaps Normandy’s most picturesque (and most photographed and insta-worthy) port, Honfleur is the perfect short-break destination for travellers who love art and history.

Located on the Seine estuary, just opposite Le Havre, Honfleur looks good in every light and under every angle. From the Sainte-Catherine church to the old harbour, via the surrounding countryside, here are 10 gems you shouldn’t miss as you explore this Calvados town. 


1. Visit to the Old Basin of Honfleur

Head to the beating heart of Honfleur: the Vieux Bassin and its picturesque port! Half-timbered houses teeter above the shimmering water, sailboats gently sway in the wind, a gentle hum rises from the cafés overlooking the water…it’s like a painting by Eugène Boudin! 

Le Vieux Bassin © OTC Honfleur

2. Step inside La Lieutenance in Honfleur

For a breathtaking view of the Old Bassin and the port of Honfleur, head to La Lieutenance, part of the remaining vestiges of the fortifications that were built in the 14th century. After an extensive renovation, the building is now open to the public and houses a heritage and architectural interpretation centre and artists’ residency. 

View from La Lieutenance © C. Frémont

3. Visit to the Apreval manor in Pennedepie

The Apreval Manor, the very essence of Pays d’Auge, will tickle your senses! Much more than a simple visit, this bucolic getaway delivers the gourmet secrets of Calvados, an authentic apple elixir from Normandy. Expand your visit to the orchard, where green hills blend with the seascape.  

Fruit picking at the Manoir d’Apreval © Vincent Rustuel / Calvados Attractivité

4. Admire the medieval houses of Saint-Sulpice-de-Grimbouville

Admire the romantic allure of these historic buildings, whose misshapen walls are made of wood and stone and worn by time. Nearby, the La Risle marsh makes for a whimsical stroll. 

Maison Médiévale © Aurélien Papa

5. Tour to Mont Joli from Équemauville

Climb to the heights of the steep slope on the Côte de Grâce in Équemauville, a neighbouring town to Honfleur. From the top, enjoy sweeping views of the Norman landscape: the majestic bridge of Normandy, Honfleur’s port and beach… Take a peak at the Notre Dame de Grace chapel, a highly recommended visit to prolong this moment of absolute calm. 

Mont Joli ©Best Jobers

6. Visit to Grestain Abbey in Fatouville-Grestain

Wander through the majestic ruins of this centuries-old monastery, with the sun’s rays playing hide and seek between the stones and prolong your time there with a walk in the abbey’s park. 

Abbaye de Grestain ©Aurélien Papa

7. Visit to the Church of Sainte-Catherine in Honfleur

In the heart of a lively town square, amid the many cafés, the Sainte-Catherine church in Honfleur stands tall. With its wooden slates, pretty vaults in the shape of inverted boat hulls and completely separate bell tower, this church has a unique character!  

The bell tower of Sainte-Catherine ©Le Masson Banning Lover

8. Visit the Saint-Hélier Church in Beuzeville

Push the doors Saint-Hélier church and be amazed by the kaleidoscope of colours made by the stained glass windows.  

St Hélier © Loic Lagarde

9. Visit one of the many art galleries in Honfleur

Honfleur inspired many an artist and the town welcomed quite a few notable figures over the years, including Claude Monet, Eugène Boudin, Camille Corot, Charles Baudelaire donc, Erik Satie, Alphonse Allais, Raoul Dufy and, more recently, Françoise Sagan, Michel Serrault, France Gall. Today, the town is still a refuge for artists and you can step inside the many art galleries in town to discover contemporary artists who’ve chosen the ever-changing light of Normandy as inspiration for their work.



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10. Board the flagship of William the Conqueror

Opening in spring 2024, the swanky new centre La Mora will be opening. Step back in time to experience the reconstruction of William the Conqueror’s warship, inspired by the famed Bayeux Tapestry. The project aims to be completed by 2030 since they will be using traditional methods to build the ship.

Lead photo credit : © Pierre lefort/Flickr

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