Visitors to Normandy this summer are being encouraged to think of the region as a place where you can experience a mini world tour and not just as green countryside and fishing ports.
The marketing department of the Normandy Tourism Board says that coming to Normandy is like visiting Ireland, American cities, the Swiss countryside, the Camargue and paradise islands all in one.
â€˜Normandy is full of surprises. It is more than pleasant green fields, apple orchards, flowers and placid cows,â€™ said a spokeswoman.
The Cotentin peninsula is likened to a wild and untamed part of Ireland with stone walls, rocky coast, cliffs and fields running down to the sea. Other attractions include Port Racine, the smallest port in France, the Goury lighthouse and the cliffs at Jobourg which at 128 meters are the highest in Europe.
The city of Le Havre is described as the most American city in France as its post Second World War architecture gives it a light and airy feel. In 2011 at the Cannes Film Festival the city was popularised in the film Le Havre directed by Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki who described it as the French Memphis.
The Suisse Normande is part of the region in Calvados and Orne that is known for its hills, valleys, forests, fast flowing rivers and rugged terrain. Climbers are attracted by the hills that rise to 300 meters. Rock OÃ«tre is regarded as one of the best view points in the west of France.
The Marais Vernier in the Seine Normand Regional Park in Eure is known for its wildlife and birds including herons, kingfishers, geese, storks and other migratory birds and has been likened to the Camargue in southern France. You can also find a herd of Scottish highland cattle grazing the land.
The Chausey islands are just an hourâ€™s boat ride from Granville. There 350 separate little islets at low tide and 50 at hide tide and they give the archipelago the air of having many lagoons. The intensity and transparency of the light is popular with artists. It is also where the granite to build Mont Saint Michel was quarried. Chausey is classified as a nature reserve for sea birds and it encounters the highest tides in Europe.