Exploring the Port Town of Honfleur

We’re finally back in France!  After an amazing trip to Ireland (sooooo nice to hear people speaking English again), we were ready to return to discover the variety of beautiful sights that France has to offer.

We found ourselves in Normandy with an extra day to spare, and friends recommended that we check out the town of Honfleur.  Honfleur is a picturesque little town that sits right where the Seine River meets the English Channel, and has long been the inspiration of artists such as Claude Monet.

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The outer harbor of Honfleur, where fishermen unload their day’s catch.

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As you can imagine with a town on the crossroads of a major river and the coast, Honfleur’s history lies with maritime trade, especially in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Although nowadays it’s more of a tourist town, remnants of its history are still visible throughout.

Once arriving in Honfleur, our stomachs told us that it was time to eat.  We found a cute, cozy place to eat right on the water called Le Café de Paris, where we had a nice, relatively-reasonably-priced-considering-the-area meal with friends.

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Moules Frites (or Mussels and Fries) with Camembert and Apples – both specialities of the Normandy region

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Another speciality of this Normandy region – Tarte Normande – which is a tart made with apples, custard, almonds and caramel

Despite this big meal, we somehow still had room to go into Maison Georges Larnicol, which is well-known for its beautiful chocolate displays and its kouignettes, miniature versions of the buttery Breton kouign amann.

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Chocolates and shoes – what isn’t there for a girl to like?

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Looking in at some yummy kouignettes

After all of this, we really needed to work this all off.  The best way to do this was to take a walk through the nearby Le Jardin des Personnalités (Garden of the Fame), dedicated to the artists, navigators and historical figures who either were born, lived and/or worked in Honfleur.  It was a peaceful walk away from the crowds of the city center.

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Le Jardin des Personnalités

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After this, we walked back to the city center seeing some quaint sites along the way…

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The Old Lighthouse of Honfleur

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Saint Catherine’s Church, built in the second half of the 15th century

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The Lieutenance, a residence used in the 17th century by the King’s lieutenant and the former governor of Honfleur.  The real question is: How does one get through that door?

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The Vieux Bassin

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The harbor of the Vieux Bassin was built in the late 17th century due to the growing success of the town, which had made the old harbor to small to meet the town’s needs.  Each narrow house here actually has 2 entrances – one pictured here and the other one on the street behind the houses.  Because of this, each house has 2 owners.

Overall, I thought this was a quaint little town, but unfortunately its small size and the large number of visitors made for a bit of overcrowding.  I would highly recommend visiting this adorable little town mid-week or off-season and getting lost in this harbor town that has inspired so many artists.


A Savoir:

  • Le Café de Paris, 2 quai des Passagers, 14600 Honfleur.  +33 (0)2.31.89.33.44
  • Maison Georges Larnicol, 26 rue du Dauphin, 14600 Honfleur.  +33 (0)2.31.89.53.89.  https://larnicol.com

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