The crammed together, timber-framed houses of Honfleur's delightful waterfront simply beg to be painted, and the waterfront beauty has been immortalised on the canvases of artists like Monet, and Honfleur's celebrated son, Boudin. Located in scenic Normandy, where the Seine opens out into the Channel, this is one of France's - and the world's - most spectacular, historic harbours.
Impossibly picturesque, the Vieux Bassin's Norman harbour townhouses are an artist’s dream, reflecting out onto the still water, between bright wooden fishing boats. It may be gorgeous, but it’s also a historically important port, and Samuel de Champlain's epic voyage - which resulted in the founding of Quebec - launched from these waters. Take a stroll back in time, as you wander cobbled streets where flowers spill down walls or sit to indulge in Calvados – brandy made from Normandy's famous apples. A museum dedicated to Eugene Boudin, the town's influential impressionist artist, displays visions of the harbour and region, as well as paintings of the town's stunning wooden church. Wander to Eglise St Catherine itself, to see the twisting structure, which is France's largest wooden chapel. Constructed from trees taken from nearby Touques Forest, it replaced the stone church that stood here previously, which was destroyed during the Hundred Years War.
Out of Honfleur, The spectacular Pont de Normandie cable-stayed bridge loops up over the Seine's estuary, bringing excursions to Le Havre even closer. The pensive, sombre beaches of the D-Day landings stretch out across Normandy's coastline, while the Bayeux Tapestry unfurls within reach of Honfleur's picturesque scenery.