Normandy – escapade in the Manche region

Normandy – escapade in the Manche region

Article updated on 12.12.21

In November 2021, we decided to drive to Normandy in order to get a breath of fresh air, enjoy the beautiful scenery of the coast, treat ourselves to crepes and cider and who knows, maybe surf some waves.

With no fixed plans, our route took us to Normandy and Brittany for a fortnight. Between walking, surfing, restaurants and visits to towns, here are some tips we would like to share with you.

Le Cotentin

Sciotot - Les Pieux

We started our journey in the Cotentin in Sciotot in November 2021. A very small village with a few alleys, 2 restaurants (Sauve qui Pleut and Le Vent de Mer), A surf school, lovely little houses by the sea and a beautiful sandy beach. A perfect place to relax and enjoy the charms of the Manche and the Cotentin.

We were lucky enough to stay in an old renovated stone house with a sea view via Airbnb. (ref. La petite maison)

Beach of Sciotot

View from La Petite Maison


The next part of our itinerary is on the Côte des Isles to discover the lighthouse of Carteret.

In front of the lighthouse, a customs path offers you magnificent landscapes all along the walk. Imagine, in front of you, you have the Manche, behind you the lighthouse, on the right the long beach of Vieille-Eglise, all surrounded by wild landscapes, what more could you ask for?

And, it seems, in case of great weather (which was not our case) you can see the Jersey island. Besides, in summer, there are boat connections to go to the island.

Beach of La Vielle Eglise

Lighthouse of Carteret

Lighthouse of Carteret

Where to park ? There are two parking lots, one right next to the lighthouse (here) and one on the road to the lighthouse (here) within 300 meters.

In November 2021, they were free and no height restrictions.

Before leaving, go for a walk along the Potinière beach (parking here) where you will find the charming little white and blue cabins. None of them look alike. You will find a multitude of blue gradations between their door and their window, it is magnificent!

The cabins - Barneville

The cabins - Barneville

The cabins - Barneville


Lighthouse of Goury

Our journey continues in the region of Cherbourg and more precisely in the northwest of Normandy to admire the lighthouse of Goury which is also called the lighthouse of La Hague. Built on the rock “le Gros du Raz”, it is located 800 meters from the coast.

According to the Normans, this is where the strongest current in Europe is found. We will therefore avoid going swimming there 😉

Goury lighthouse from the top of the road

Lighthouse of Goury​

Lighthouse of Goury​

Bretteville and Maupertus-sur-Mer

On our way to the Cap de Levis lighthouse, we discovered by chance two small surf spots that seemed very nice.

While leaving the city of Cherbourg in direction of Fermanville, Bretteville is the first village that we crossed. While going along the sea on the main road, we saw some surfers in the water. Having let our boards at the Airbnb, we stopped to watch people surfing this little beach break. The waves were small, but consistent, perfect for longboarding.

After some research on the spot, it seems that the surf conditions are inconsistent and that it would not work in summer. The ideal swell direction would be north, northeast.

You can find surfing conditions here.

Plage de Fermanville

Beach of Fermanville

Waves on the beach of Fermanville

Surf in Fermanville

After having drooled on these small waves which gave us too much desire to throw ourselves in the water, we took the road again to arrive a few minutes later on another surfing spot very nice: the beach of l’Anse du Brick. A beach break in the middle of a beautiful creek with waves bigger than Bretteville.

The best reported surfing conditions at Anse du Brick are said to occur when a west/northwest swell combines with an offshore wind blowing from the south. The spot would also not work in summer.

(Click here to see the live surf conditions)

Beach of Anse De Brick

Beach of Anse De Brick

Lighthouse of Cap Lévi

After the various stops made on the road, we finally arrive at the lighthouse of Cap de Levi. Surprisingly, it is not cylindrical like most lighthouses, but has a geometrical, square shape… a good excuse to make a detour and have a look. On our way there, we passed by the charming Pignot harbor, full of beautiful little fishermen’s boats.

When we arrived at the parking lot, we took a nice little walk between the lighthouse and the Fort of Cap Levi which runs along the coast (it takes about 20 minutes round trip).

Apparently, it would be possible to sleep in the fort. We didn’t test it, but the spot is very cute, perfect to spend a nice night in an unusual place (for more information, see their website

Where to park ? You can choose to park either next to the lighthouse (here) either next to the Fort (here).

In November 2021, they were free and no height restrictions.

Lighthouse of Gatteville

To close our tour of lighthouses in Lower Normandy, we went to the lighthouse of Gatteville.

It is possible to visit this lighthouse, but not with any effort, because you will have to walk up the 365 steps.

The Normans will say that it is the highest lighthouse in Europe (according to #wikipedia it is the second 🤫). In addition to its height of 75 meters, this lighthouse has several funny aspects related to a year:

  • 365 steps like the days
  • 52 windows like weeks
  • 12 levels like months

It’s not every day that you come across a lighthouse with key numbers like this!

When to go ? We were lucky enough to arrive at the lighthouse during the low tide which allowed us to be able to walk around the lighthouse. So we advise you to watch the tide times to have the chance to have fun jumping between the rocks like we did 😉

Bonus for epicureans

Brewery - Les Travailleurs de l'Amer

On our way back from a day of wandering, we felt like having a beer (for a change…) And as coincidence makes things better, we came across the brewery “Les Travailleurs de l’Amer” while crossing the village Les Pieux.

A nice organic microbrewery created by two beer lovers.

Very good beers with a nice identity, as much visual as gustatory. If you are interested, you can find more information about them on their website:

La Maison du Biscuit

The most tempting attraction of the region is for the gourmets; the cookie factory in Sortosville-en-Beaumont, La Maison du Biscuit.

Certainly very touristy and the products quite expensive but it is a place that is worth the detour. When we arrive, we find ourselves immersed in a 1900’s decor which gives us a good sight and the good smells awaken our taste buds.

When to go ? La Maison du Biscuit is open every day from 8:30am to 7:00pm.

It’s up to you, either you go on a bad weather day to do a little activity despite the weather at the risk of everyone thinking like you. Or you go on a morning when it opens and hope that there will be “almost” nobody there.

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