Historic Honfleur in northern France's Lower Normandy region is a quaint little port with a rich cultural and artistic heritage. One of France’s most visited towns, Honfleur – with its beautiful 15th and 16th century architecture and distinctive harbour – was the inspiration for Impressionist painters and poets.
Vieux-Bassin, Honfleur’s colourful old harbour, is lined with 16th to 18th-century lofty slate-and-timber fronted houses. Its sloping cobbled streets have long been a subject for artists including Claude Monet and native son, Eugène Boudin.[ReadMoreMob]
A visit to the 15th century St. Catherine's Church, a vaulted timber structure erected by shipbuilders, is a must, as is the maritime museum and Notre Dame de Grâce – a 17th century chapel containing various paintings and models. The chapel also offers fabulous views of the town, the Seine estuary and the impressively-engineered Normandy Bridge that crosses it.
Just over an hour away from Honfleur, the town of Bayeux – specifically the Bayeux Tapestry Museum – is home to the Bayeux Tapestry. The legendary embroided cloth is nearly 70 metres in length and depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England, culminating in the Battle of Hastings.
Honfleur is known for its impressionist painters, the most well-known being Monet.
Saint Catherine’s church is made entirely of wood and is in fact France’s largest timber-built church. The previous stone church was destroyed during the hundred years’ war and was replaced with the new wooden church in the late 15th century. Opposite the church is a separate bell tower made of oak.
Honfleur is home to many other churches, including the Chapel of Notre Dame de Grace. The Chapel was re-built in 1615 by sailors and local people, and is a pilgrimage site to Our Lady of Grace. The chapel is dedicated to protecting sailors and fishermen. It sits on a hill and is surrounded by trees, providing spectacular views.
Cruises to Honfleur
Waterways of Belgium & France • T2113
- A five-night journey of discovery
- Explore the charming cobbled streets of Honfleur
- A journey along the Western Scheldt River to Antwerp
Rivers & Cities of France & Belgium • L2118
- An inspirational summer cruise adventure
- Immerse yourself in Rouen’s rich & diverse history
- Discover Antwerp’s abundance of iconic attractions
Cultural Cities of France & Spain • L2120
- An immersive journey of French and Spanish cities
- Capture Bordeaux’s arts, culture and wine heritage
- There’s a rare visit to Saint Malo and charming Honfleur
Wine Regions of Portugal, Spain & France • L2128
- Indulge yourself in the flavours of Portugal and France
- Join the celebrations at Madeira’s annual Wine Festival
- Visit the tropical gardens and landscapes of Madeira
Canaries & Portugal with Funchal Flower Parade • L2211
- Witness a fusion of floral colour on this springtime cruise
- Explore Madeira’s lush landscapes and tropical gardens
- Delight in the maritime history of La Coruña and Lisbon
Rivers & Cities of France • T2117
- A mesmerising journey of discovery
- Sail the picturesque Gironde and Garonne rivers
- Visit the beautiful coast of Brittany for a rare call at Belle Ile
French Cities & Spain • S2122
- A full-flavoured cruise of French cities and scenic cruising
- Borealis sails the Gironde and Garonne rivers to Bassens
- Visit La Pallice for La Rochelle, and St Malo on the Brittany coast
French Cities with the Seine • L2134
- An in-depth exploration of the beautiful River Seine
- Explore Normandy’s capital in search of the Cathédrale de Notre Dame
- Be charmed by Honfleur’s historic maritime city