Itinerary For a Normandy Road Trip in a Motorhome

July 20, 2023 in Destinations, Routes, Tips for Travellers & France

Normandy. A gorgeous region on the northern coast of France that offers stunning nature, historic sights and delicious food. It’s one of the closest holiday destinations to the UK — it takes less time to travel from London to Normandy than it does from London to Edinburgh! Normandy is best explored behind the wheel of a motorhome, as you can find some of the best campsites in all of France in the region. We’ve rounded up the best of Normandy into a 1-week road trip itinerary. 

While you can embark on this trip in summer, we recommend heading across the channel just before or after the peak season to avoid the crowds. Now it’s time to dust off your French, pack your swimsuit and head to Normandy!

Coast of Normandy

Getting to Normandy

Driving from the UK to Normandy in a motorhome is easy. Simply head down to Folkestone and take the Eurotunnel to Calais. It’ll take about thirty-five minutes to cross the Channel. We recommend doing this early in the morning if possible, so you can spend the rest of the day exploring Calais. 

Alternatively, if you plan to hire a motorhome in France for this trip, you can take the ferry from Portsmouth to Caen and start your journey there. 

Normandy Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1 — Dieppe

Driving distance: 118 miles

The drive from Calais to Dieppe should take about two hours and fifteen minutes. This will be one of your longest drives on this Normandy road trip, so it’s best to get it out of the way immediately. 

Dieppe is a picturesque coastal town that played a big part in the Second World War. On the 19th of August, 1942, an Allied raid of over 6,050 infantry suffered heavy losses and was ultimately unsuccessful. This played an important role in ending the war, and Dieppe aims to commemorate that.

Things to do in Dieppe:

-Pay your respects at the 19 August 1942 Memorial. This large stone memorial overlooks the beach and honours the fallen Canadian and French soldiers. A lot of the history in this region revolves around its role in World War II, so you’ll see a lot of historic sites on this Normandy itinerary.

-If you happen to be visiting Dieppe on a Saturday, be sure to visit the Dieppe Market. You’ll find delicious local produce and fresh seafood. It’s also the perfect place to find a souvenir for loved ones back home.

-Head to the historic Château de Dieppe. This stunning castle was erected in the 14th century and offers incredible views of both the city and the sea. It also houses the Dieppe Museum, where you can learn more about the history of this charming town.

Staying at: Camping Municipal du Colombier

Struggling to adjust to the French heat? As soon as you park your motorhome, you can pull on your swimsuit and cool off in this campsite’s pool. The swimming pool isn’t the only highlight of this campsite, as it also offers spacious and private pitches, perfect for the first night of your Normandy itinerary.

453 Rue Louis Loucheur, 76550 Offranville, France

49.872190, 1.042653

Cosy campervan bed set up overlooking beach in Normandy

Day 2 — Sotteville-sur-Mer and Étretat

Driving distance: 14.7 miles and 37.2 miles

The first stop of the day is Sotteville-sur-Mer, a charming little fishing village. This drive should take you about thirty minutes — just enough time for your coffee to kick in!

Sotteville-sur-Mer is nestled between white chalk cliffs that might remind you of Dover. You can take a concrete stairway all the way down to the beach. These 231 steps were once used to transport pebbles from the beach to the village so that they could be crushed into emery powder. Take a stroll along this gorgeous stretch of water, and then head back to your motorhome to continue your road trip in Normandy.

Driving from Sotteville-sur-Mer to Étretat should take about an hour and fifteen minutes. Once you arrive, you’ll likely be ready for some lunch. You’ll easily find a nice place to eat in the centre of Étretat, and then it’s time to explore this cosy town.

Things to do in Étretat:

-The incredible natural beauty of Étretat has inspired artists such as Henri Matisse, Eugene Boudin, Claude Monet and Gustave Courbet. One of these artists' favourite places to paint was the Elephant and the Needle, a majestic natural rock formation in the cliffs of this piece of coastline. Head here to witness the stunning view that inspired priceless works of art.

-If you’re feeling inspired to see some more art, head to the Étretat Gardens. This cliff-top experimental garden is filled with ‘living sculptures’. The gardens are influenced by Claude Monet and surround a villa that once belonged to Madame Thébault, an actress from Paris.

-Spend some time in Étretat’s quaint town centre. It is filled with shops, restaurants, cafes and art galleries. A local speciality is cider, so be sure to have a glass, or bring a bottle back to your campsite for the evening.

Staying at: Camping Aiguille Creuse

This campsite has everything you need for a night in paradise. You can rent bikes from the campsite to explore the local area, make use of their washing machines and dryer, and even order fresh bread to be delivered each morning.

24 Résidence de l'Aiguille Creuse 76790, Les Loges, France

49.698713, 0.275779

Woman reading a book whilst relaxing in a campervan

Day 3 — Le Havre

Driving distance: 17.3 miles

The drive from Étretat to Le Havre should take about forty minutes along a route that closely hugs the coast. 

Le Havre was largely destroyed during the second world war due to Allied bombing. It was rebuilt by Belgian architect Auguste Perret, who is best known as a mentor to Le Corbusier. His post-war modernist vision is clear throughout the town, and it earned the first UNESCO designation for an urban centre back in 2005. Today Le Havre is loved by art enthusiasts as well as architecture fans. 

Things to do in Le Havre:

-A trip to Le Havre is not complete without a trip to the Andre Malraux Museum of Modern Art. Known simply as the MUMA, many come to Le Havre just for this art museum. It boasts one of the largest collections of French impressionism in the world, including works by Monet, Sisley, Renoir and Boudin.

-What do you do with an old fortress? Well, in Le Havre, you build a botanical garden inside and convert it into the ‘Hanging Gardens’. This stunning park is filled with thousands of plant species. Stroll through the gardens, visit the greenhouse, and grab a refreshment in the delightful tearoom.

-Spend the afternoon at Le Havre Beach, one of the loveliest beaches in Normandy. You’ll find plenty of eateries scattered around it as well.

Staying at: Camping La Foret

This is the perfect campsite for cycling enthusiasts. It lies right at the heart of the Boucles National Park, allowing you to experience this gorgeous area during your road trip. The campsite is surrounded by cycling routes, so be sure to bring your bikes or rent them nearby. Camping La Forest is even endorsed by the Camping and Caravanning Club.

582 Rue Mainberte, 76480 Jumièges, France

49.434805, 0.828980

Campervan parked in front of cliff in Normandy

Day 4 — Caen

Driving distance: 59.5 miles

Wake up early and pack up your motorhome, you’ve got a full day ahead of you! The drive from Le Havre to Caen should take about an hour and twenty minutes. 

Caen is famous for its museums, stunning surroundings and historical sites. It’s the location of a direct ferry to Portsmouth and a popular stop for many Normandy road trips. 

Things to do in Caen:

-One of the most famous landmarks in Caen is the Memorial Museum. This museum offers a comprehensive exhibition of the D-Day landing on Normandy’s beaches. It includes a 20-minute documentary about the war. It’s a great way to introduce little ones to this difficult slice of history.

-After the museum, you might need a moment to gather yourself again. We recommend taking a stroll along the Canal de Caen a la Mer. It’s a waterway that links Caen to the sea and takes you past charming little homes and cafes.

-There are many beautiful structures to visit in Caen. Head to Caen Castle to see the remains of the 11th-century fortress built by William the Conquerer. Does that name sound familiar? You might remember him from the Battle of 1066 and as the first Norman king of England. Additionally, visit the Abbaye aux Hommes, which was also founded by William, and St Peter’s Catholic Church.

Staying at: Camping Le Bout de la Ville

This campsite offers spacious pitches with hedges to provide privacy for you and your travelling party. It’s dog-friendly, so your pup will be welcomed just as warmly as you are. It’s located just outside of Caen, which will allow you to enjoy a calm evening after a busy day in the city, and position you perfectly for your trip to Falaise tomorrow.

23 Rue du Village, 14320 Laize-Clinchamps, France

49.082774, -0.400647

Campervan parked along coastline of Normandy

Day 5 — Falaise

Driving distance: 22.3 miles

The drive from Caen to Falaise should take about forty minutes in total and is a peaceful route. Unfortunately, you’ll be leaving the coast for a bit now, but don’t worry, your road trip in Normandy will end back by the bright blue sea. 

Falaise is best known as the birthplace of William the Conquerer and from the battle at Falaise Pocket during WW2. It’s a town proud of its history, surrounded by stunning countryside. 

Things to do in Falaise:

-Walk around the old town and feel like you’ve been transported straight to a fairytale, complete with charming half-timbered houses, cosy stores and terraced restaurants. You’ll quickly spot the stunning Church of Saint-Gervais and Saint-Protais, which dates back to the 11th century.

-An unusual thing to do in Falaise is visit the Museum of the Automaton. This unique museum features over 200 moving mechanical exhibitions, which date back to the 19th century and depicts scenes from everyday life as well as fairytales.

-Make your primary school teachers proud by learning more about William the Conquerer from the well-known Battle of 1066. You can head to his castle, which also provides a panoramic view of the town from a high crag. And in town, you can spot the statue erected in his honour, featuring him on horseback. 

Staying at: Camping du Chateau

The biggest challenge at this campsite is trying to leave after only one night, as most travellers report extending their stay once they see how nice it is. You’ll just have to pitch up and find out why yourself. 

1 Rue du Val d'Ante, 14700 Falaise, France

48.895643, -0.204981

View over rooftops in old French town in Normandy

Day 6 — Saint-Fraimbault

Driving distance: 44.7 miles

Drive about an hour and fifteen minutes from Falaise, and you’ll quickly spot the beautiful village of Saint-Fraimbault. This village’s claim to fame is consistently winning the ‘four flowers’ award in the annual Village Fleuri (Villages in Bloom) competition, which is the highest accolade offered. If you can time your Normandy road trip for spring, it will definitely be worth it to see Saint-Fraimbault at the height of its bloom.

Things to do in Saint-Fraimbault:

-To truly immerse yourself in this village’s floral delights, head to the Roseraie de Lassay-les-Châteaux. You can spend hours wandering through this delightful rose garden. It even features a playground for the little ones.

-There are two castles worth visiting while in Saint-Fraimbault. The first, Château du Bois Thibault, is a ruined castle from the 15th century that is listed as a national historical monument. The second, Castle Lassay, is also from the 15th century and in much better condition. In the summer, historical reconstructions allow visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history of this castle. And every other year, a zip line is installed across the castle courtyard for an unbelievable adrenaline rush. 

Staying at: Camping Municipal de Saint-Fraimbault

This campsite is situated beside the lake and offers grassy pitches. It’s maintained by the local municipality and beloved by motorhome travellers passing through the area. Pitch your motorhome here and explore the village on foot.

Bellefontaine, 61350 Saint-Fraimbault, France

48.487036, -0.698104

Woman reading map overlooking Mont Saint-Michel

Day 7 — Mont Saint-Michel

Driving distance: 41.9 miles

We’ve come to the final stop on our Normandy motorhome road trip itinerary! Enjoy the drive to Mont Saint-Michel, which should take about an hour and ten minutes. You’ll quickly start smelling the salty sea air again. Be aware that parking close to the island is quite expensive, but it’s worth it to be able to walk over to the island and get the full experience. 

Mont Saint-Michel has long been a place of pilgrimage, with the medieval monastery dominating the top of this small island. It’s considered to be the crown jewel of Normandy and one of France’s most recognisable silhouettes. Many compare it to a castle in the clouds, too beautiful to be real as it appears to float on the sea. You won’t be surprised to hear it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Things to do in Mont Saint-Michel:

-The star attraction on Mont Saint-Michel is the Benedictine abbey occupying the highest point of this small island. Make sure to book your tickets well in advance, as they can sell out quickly in the peak season.

-There are three museums worth visiting in Mont Saint-Michel. The Maritime Museum is obviously important given that this town rests on an island and witnessed countless navy battles over the centuries. The Historical Museum of Sound and Light covers 1000 years of the island’s history in one magnificent show. Finally, the historic house of Bertrand Du Guesclin features well-preserved medieval furniture and artefacts.

-Given that you’ve got limited time in Mont Saint-Michel and there is plenty to see, we recommend taking a walking tour of the town. A guide can tell you all about this magical little island and the rich history its residents experienced.

Mont Saint-Michel at sunset

Staying at: Camping Château des Lez Eaux

After a day of exploring Mont Saint-Michel, you can return to your motorhome and pitch up at this lovely campsite. It’s located on the grounds of a château and features high-quality facilities. The perfect place to toast to the end of your Normandy road trip!

240 Route de Lezeaux, 50380 Saint-Aubin-des-Préaux, France

48.796992, -1.525509

Et voilà! There you have it, some of the best destinations in Normandy fit nicely in a 1-week road trip itinerary. From here, it’s either a matter of extending your trip further into France or turning around to make the sorry trip home. We hope that you’ve enjoyed your time in Normandy, and that you've relished in plenty of cheese and cider. 

Looking to extend your trip to France? Check out itineraries for a Provence road trip and the Napoleon road trip.