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Cheap flights to Basse-Normandie

Normandy, one of the most historic regions of France, was once a great dukedom that rivalled the kingdom of France for prestige. One of its most famous personalities who lived here is William the Conqueror, who set out to conquer England in 1066 to assert his claim to the royal crown of England. Now, Normandy is divided between two administrative regions – Haute Normandie (Upper) and Basse-Normandie (Lower). The lower part of the region straddles Pays-de-la-Loire and Bretagne with the Centre region on Basse-Normandie's southeast.

Travellers going here will see prime agricultural territory, which specialises in providing dairy products, apples and different types of fruit, and mixed farming ventures. The most famous regional products also include cheese Camembert and drinks such as cider and Calvados. Racehorses also put the region on the headlines, as the area has several top breeding stables, which make Basse-Normandie and its upper half famous.

What to see & do

Caen, founded by William the Conquerer in the 11th century, is the capital of the Basse-Normandie region. Although almost fully destroyed during the 1944 Battle of Normandy, the city was rebuilt in the 1950s and ‘60s. Various landmarks can be found here, which showcase the city's position at the forefront of history. One of them is Le Memorial – Un Musee pour la Paix. It shows an insightful and vivid account of the battle of Normandy, with sound, lighting, film, and other audio-visual technology that somehow blend in with the original artefacts that evoke the harshness of war.

From here, one can check out the Abbaye-aux-Hommes, the most important medieval site in the city. This building, which now serves as the city hall, stands beside the magnificent Eglise St-Etienne with a Romanesque nave, Gothic choir, and the rebuilt tomb of William the Conqueror. The Musee de la Poste is also a marvel, as it was one of a small number of pre-war buildings that survived in the city centre. Lying near the Chateau de uillaume le Conquerant, this building evokes the resilient spirit of the city.

Those out to appreciate more of the heritage of Caen can venture to the Maisons Satie. One can find here various displays at the house of eccentric composer Eric Satie. Those wandering here can play Satie's music and hear excerpts from his writings. There is also the Musee Departmental Breton, which features Celtic culture and some historic artefacts. One will find here a great collection of Breton artefacts, from ancient jewellery, Roman mosaics, and plenty of other displays.

When in Basse-Normandie, one must go on to taste various delicacies. Salted butter and soft cheese are the main ingredients of various meals here. Those eager to eat its delightful offerings can look forward to a taste of marmite dieppoise, a hearty fisherfolk's stew served hot with chips or crusty bread. Those out to take the sting out of a cold winter can savour a glass of Calvados, a type of liquor with an alcohol content of at least 55%. Made from apples, this brandy can warm up the drinker fast with its potent mix. For dessert, tourists can look for tarte normande, a kind of apple pie with no top crust, which can be delicious after a meal.

How to get around within Basse-Normandie

When going around, travellers will find a variety of options. One is by rail, which is the most commonly used public transport in France. Caen is the main station, aside from Lisieux, Bayeaux, Trouville-Deauville, and Cabourg-Dives. There are also stations in various locations across the region, making it a convenient option for tourists. Ferry is also another mode of transport to take. There is a port in Ouistreham, with ferries to Portsmouth, Le Havre, and Dieppe. Renting a car is also possible, as the roads in France are in good condition. The main motorway is the A13 to Caen from Paris, which continues to Cherbourg. The A84, on the other hand, connects Caen to Rennes.

How to get there

Those venturing to Basse-Normandie can connect to Caen-Carpiquet Airport. Airlines serving here include Air France and Flybe which transport passengers from Figari, London-Southend, Lyon, and Nice.

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