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Day Trips and Sights

La Petite Princerie is an oasis of peace and tranquillity so you could choose to stay and enjoy the mature grounds.

And whilst a little self-indulgence is always welcome, Normandie offers such a diverse range of interesting activities, it would be a shame to miss out on all that is literally on our doorstep.


Capital of the Bessin area, Bayeux is a very pretty village and has deep historic roots stretching back to Roman times.

It boasts a fabulous historic centre as well as its world famous, UNESCO listed Bayeux Tapestry depicting…


… the Norman conquest of England in 1066.

The Bayeux Tapestry was probably made in southern England. However, Bayeux, which has long been a wealthy trading town, also has a long tradition in many crafts, including lace and porcelain. This was also an important religious centre, and you will encounter the substantial buildings of former monasteries as you wander around the old town.

Although what you see only goes back as far William the Conqueror’s reign – the duke, also King of England by the time, was even present at the cathedral’s consecration in 1077.

The city had the good fortune to be swiftly liberated by the Allies in June 1944, its war museum and British cemetery recall the sacrifices made.


Driving from La Princerie to Bayeux is east via Isigny-sur-Mer approximately 33 miles (55 km) and will take you about 45 minutes.

More information can be obtained from the Bayeux Tourist Office

Bayeux Tourisme

Source - Wikipedia and Normandie-tourisme

Mont Saint-Michel

One of France's most recognizable landmarks, visited by more than 3 million people each year, Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

A magical island topped by a gravity-defying medieval monastery…


…. The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times and since the 8th century AD has been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name.

The structural composition of the town exemplifies the feudal society that constructed it: on top, God, the abbey and monastery; below, the great halls; then stores and housing; and at the bottom, outside the walls, houses for fishermen and farmers.

The staggering location has long inspired awe and the imagination. The story of how the mount turned into a great place of Christian pilgrimage is colourful. Aubert, bishop of the nearby hilltop town of Avranches early in the 8th century, claimed that the Archangel Michael himself pressured him into having a church built atop the island just out to sea.

From 966 onwards, the dukes of Normandie, followed by French kings, supported the development of a major Benedictine abbey on the Mont-Saint-Michel. Magnificent monastic buildings were added through medieval times, one vertiginous section being nicknamed The Marvel.

The abbey became a renowned centre of learning, attracting some of the greatest minds and manuscript illuminators in Europe. Vast numbers of pilgrims visited, despite warring cross-Channel royals. However, the ramparts at the base of the island were built to keep English forces out.

Other fine buildings went up along the steep village street, now converted into museums, hotels, restaurants and boutiques for today’s tourists.


Driving from La Princerie to Mont Saint-Michel is south via Saint-Lô approximately 75 miles (120 km) and will take you about 1½ hours.

More information can be obtained from the Mont Saint-Michel Tourist Office

Tourist Office

Source - Wikipedia and Normandie-tourisme


Caen is a very attractive city on the River Orne and one of the oldest university towns in France it is bustling with activity with many vibrant cafès and restaurants.

It is well known for its historical buildings built during the reign of…


… William the Conqueror who was buried there and for the Battle for Caen, heavy fighting that took place in and around Caen during the Battle of Normandy in 1944, destroying much of the city.

Brimming with exquisite art and fashion boutiques alongside superb markets selling fine wines and fresh produce, Caen provides an indulgent shopping experience.

The rich tastes of Normandie can be experienced not only in the dairy and seafood dishes served in Caen's excellent restaurants but also at the street side crêperies and pátisseries. In particular, the Vaugueux quarter has a number of excellent restaurants. Veal and pre-salé lamb, reared on the salt marshes of the Mont St Michel area are local specialities.


Driving from La Princerie to Caen is east via Bayeax approximately 52 miles (85 km) and will take you about 1 hour.

More information can be obtained from the Caen Tourist Office

Caen Tourisme

Source - Wikipedia

Monet's Garden

Claude Monet noticed the village of Giverny while looking out of a train window.

He made up his mind to move there and rented a house and the area surrounding it…


… In 1890 he had enough money to buy the house and land outright and set out to create the magnificent gardens he wanted to paint.

Some of his most famous paintings were of his garden in Giverny, famous for its rectangular Clos Normand, with archways of climbing plants entwined around coloured shrubs, and the water garden, with the Japanese bridge, the pond with the water lilies, the wisterias and the azaleas.

From this Clos Normand of about one hectare, Monet made a garden full of perspectives, symmetries and colours.

Monet lived in the house with its famous pink crushed brick façade from 1883 until his death in 1926. He and many members of his family are interred in the village cemetery.


Driving from La Princerie to Monet's Garden is east via Caen approximately 157 miles (250 km) and will take you about 2 ½ hours.

More information can be obtained from Normandie Tourisme

Normandie Tourisme

Source - Wikipedia and Normandie-tourisme

Le Mans

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923

It is one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world…


… and has been called the "Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency".

The event represents one leg of the Triple Crown of Motorsport; other events being the Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix.

The brutality of this race can be readily understood by comparing the list of teams who set off from the start line against the roster of cars that survive for the full duration. Of the 60 cars which qualified for the 2017 race, only 49 cars ran the full duration successfully.

Over the years, Le Mans influenced events have sprung up all around the globe, popularising the 24-hour format at places like Daytona, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, and Bathurst.


Driving from La Princerie to Le Mans is south via Alençon approximately 150 miles (240 km) and will take you about 2 ½ hours.

More information can be obtained from the Le Mans Automobile Club de l'Ouest

Le Mans ACO

Source - Wikipedia

National Parks

La Princerie is situated in the ‘Parc Naturel Regional des Marais de Cotentin et Du Bessin’ and is one of just 51 French National Parks.

An area of outstanding natural beauty it is a must for…


… photographers, walkers and cyclists.

The Reserve Naturelle Nationale Du Domaine De Beauguillot at the end of Utah Beach is bird sanctuary and a major stop-over for Scandinavian migrating birds.

45,000 hectares in size among which 30,000 hectares are wetlands extends over two départements: the Manche and the Calvados.

From the Vire and Douve marshes to the Veys bay, through the hedged farmland, dunes and moors landscapes, the Regional Nature Park of Cotentin and Bessin Marshes is a fantastic place to visit.

The park's visitor centre, Les Ponts d'Ouve, is located in Saint-Côme-du-Mont.


Saint-Côme-du-Mont is only 6 miles (11 km) about 15 minutes from La Princerie

More information can be obtained from Parc Naturel RĂ©gional

Parc Naturel RĂ©gional

Source - Wikipedia

Christian Dior Museum

The Christian Dior Museum is the only “Musée de France” dedicated to a couturier.

Christian Dior's childhood home stands on the cliff facing the Channel Islands in Granville, Normandy, not far from Mont St Michel.


In addition to an annual thematic exhibition, it organises an autumn-winter exhibition, “Une maison, des collections”, showing its permanent collections and its most recent acquisitions.

In June 2012, it obtained the “Maison des Illustres” label from the Ministry of Culture.

Progressively, the idea of turning the villa “les Rhumbs” into a place dedicated to Christian Dior’s memory became a real project, driven by the curator Jean-Luc Dufresne, the couturier’s little cousin.

In 1987, the exhibition “Christian Dior, the other himself” at the Richard Anacréon modern art Museum, in Granville, led to the creation of a collection, first composed of donations from Christian Dior’s close relations, most of all from his two sisters, Catherine and Jacqueline, and from partners. Then, the curator added items purchased by the town of Granville.

From 1991, year of creation of the association “Présence de Christian Dior”, the constructions were made gradually. Until 1995, the town of Granville was in charge of the acquisitions while the association was working on donations. Since 1995, the association “Présence de Christian Dior” heads the acquisitions with the help of Dior Couture and Dior Perfumes – and also the help of the LVMH company, of the town of Granville, and of the regional acquisition fund for the museums. In 1997, the creation of “showcase rooms” allowed the museum to show models and accessories in the best conditions and to open regularly the villa to the public.

The centenary of the couturier’s birth, in 2005, was the perfect time for big transformations and then for the memorable exhibition “Christian Dior, man of the century”, recognised as being of national interest.

Preserving the inalienable collections, enriching them thanks to an active policy of acquisitions, and introducing the work of Christian Dior through exhibitions and cultural events organised in the villa Les Rhumbs constitute the essential task of the association.


Christian Dior Museum in the town of Granville is about only 50 miles (75 km) south from La Princerie

More information can be obtained from the officlal Christian Dior Museum website

Christian Dior Museum Website

Source - Christian Dior Museum website

La Princerie
Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Manche
50480, Normandie, France