La Manche in spring

Our suggestions for outings and activities
Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

In spring, the days get longer and the sun gradually warms up the waves. Plants bloom and birds chirp away, and you start to feel like heading outdoors again. So put on your walking shoes or hop on your bike and we’ll take you to discover La Manche in spring! With D-Day events, the first festivals, visits to parks and gardens, outdoor sports, nature outings and birdwatching, there are lots of different ways to enjoy La Manche in spring.


Escape to Chausey

Chausey is one of the hidden gems of La Manche, and the Grande Ile is a great place to drop anchor for a day or a weekend, just a hop away from Granville. Spring is the ideal season to visit Chausey and to admire its stunning scenery as everything begins to bloom again.

Leave the crowds behind and unwind in a place that’s a world apart. There are no cars on the islands, just plants, wildlife and the sound of the sea: what better place to reconnect with nature and get back to basics? Our tip: relax on the beach at the end of the day and take in a fantastic Chausey sunset.

What to do in Chausey ?

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Join the D-Day commemorations

Spring in La Manche is marked by festivities linked to the Normandy landings. On the symbolic date of 6 June, head to Carentan, Utah Beach or Sainte-Mère Eglise to take part in the commemorations.

Every year, there’s a whole programme of events, including parades of old vehicles and costumes, ceremonies and air shows. You can also take the opportunity to delve into the history of the Battle of Normandy and the Second World War as you explore the different museums dedicated to D-Day.

D-Day festivities

Photo, © Didier Griffouilière pour Motor Life Style

Watch the return of migratory birds

After the winter, the marshes turn green again in spring. The “white marsh” phenomenon gradually gives way to grasses, the first buds appear, the birds return and so do the hikers!

Spring is back in the marshes, with a host of activities for families to enjoy: kayaking, cycling, boat trips and birdwatching. In spring, the migratory birds come back to the Regional Nature Park and the nesting birds settle in. It’s also the perfect time to spot white storks. Don’t forget your binoculars!2

The Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin Regional Nature Park

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Live it up at the Papillons de Nuit festival

This unmissable musical event in the Manche is held every year during the Whitsun weekend. For two or three days, party to the biggest hits by the national and international acts that hit the stage there every year. The Papillons de Nuit is the first of the many festivals held in La Manche throughout the year. What are you waiting for, book your tickets!

The big events

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Stroll around the parks and gardens of La Manche

In La Manche, lots of gardens are open to the public. Spring is the ideal season to enjoy their magical atmosphere, gorgeous colours and sweet scents. These gardens are a great place to find inspiration or to just get away from it all.

Because of its unique climate, bathed by the Gulf Stream, some unusual plants grow in the parks and gardens of the Cotentin Peninsula. You’ll be surprised to discover the exotic species growing in the Jardin Botanique de Vauville, or the plants flourishing in the shelter of an old lazaretto in Tatihou. The parks and gardens of La Manche are also home to numerous bird species, and some even boast a château. Take the opportunity during your visit to discover the heritage of La Manche.

The main parks and gardens

Photo, © Best Jobers
  • Photo
    Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud
  • Photo
    Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud
  • Photo
    Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Head to Champrepus Zoo

In the April holidays, what could be better than a trip to Champrepus Zoo, not far from Granville. Your kids will be thrilled to discover all the different animals there. The zoo also has lots of gorgeous gardens (exotic, Madagascan, tropical and Asian), which are at their best in spring, with gorgeous flowers and scents.

If you’re mad about animals, the “zookeeper for a day” experience is made for you! For a few hours you’ll step into the shoes of a keeper: preparing food, feeding the animals, turning them out and mucking out their enclosures! An unforgettable experience!

Activities for families

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Go on a bike ride: La Manche is the perfect playground

For a breath of fresh air, hop on your bike and explore the country lanes of La Manche. With its many cycling routes, the department is the perfect place for a bike ride: the Véloscénie, the Vélomaritime or the Velo WestNormandy, the choice is yours!

For seasoned cyclists, test your limits on the May bank holiday weekends on the cyclosport routes.

Cycling in La Manche

Photo, © Captain Yvon

Admire the spring tides

The first spring tides of the year often take place in the springtime, when the very high tides drench the coast of La Manche and completely change its appearance. It’s said that the tide here races in at the speed of a galloping horse, which is quite a sight!

When the coefficients are highest, you can watch as the Mont Saint-Michel becomes an island again: a magical moment! With landscapes that change every six hours, visiting La Manche during the spring tides is the perfect time to try a unique experience such as crossing the bay on foot.

The best viewpoints for watching the spring tides

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Go kayaking in the great outdoors

As a great way to combine nature and sport, why not try kayaking? In La Manche, you can enjoy this activity in different places. In the Vire river valley, with its pretty countryside, you can paddle towards the lovely Roches de Ham.

Or you could head into the Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin Regional Nature Park, the perfect opportunity to admire its flora and fauna from the water. During the spring tides, you can also go kayaking in the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel. If you’re lucky, you might be able to paddle on the famous mascaret, or tidal bore, but be careful, this is only for experts!

Where to go kayaking?

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Go hiking at the Mortain waterfalls

In the Mortain region, which was one of the oldest mountain ranges in France, you’ll find two lovely waterfalls. Explore this haven of greenery on your way to the falls, the largest of which has a 25 metre drop. We recommend visiting in spring, when the gorgeous scenery here is at its best after the winter rains.

At this time of year, nature is slowly waking up again, producing one of the lushest settings in La Manche. At the top of the Grande Cascade stands the Abbaye Blanche, dating back to the 12th century. During your walk, listen out for the whispering goblins: legend has it they hide in the waterfalls!

The Mortain waterfalls

Photo, © Aymeric Picot