La Manche in summer

Activities and outings: all our summer suggestions

 

 

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Photo, © Captain Yvon

It’s nearly the summer holidays: time to grab your swimwear and head to the beach. But there are also lots of other great things to do and see in summer in La Manche. Far from the crowds and the heatwave, try a watersport, cross the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel at night, chill on the beach or sip a cocktail at sunset. La Manche in summer is the perfect place to have fun, to challenge yourself or to just relax and unwind. Here are our top picks of things to do.

1

Discover Mont Saint-Michel far from the crowds

Do you dream of having Mont Saint-Michel all to yourself? Opt for an evening visit and your dream could become reality, even in summer. Stroll through the village after the day trippers have gone home, walk along the ramparts and then climb up to the Abbey to watch the new night show, “La Merveille retrouvée”. Put your headset on and listen to the story of Mont Saint-Michel, as you enjoy an immersive show with light and sound effects.

Bonus: from 7 p.m. the car park price is reduced.

 Book

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Photo, © Captain Yvon
And why not a crossing?

Fancy being all alone on the sand, your feet in the water, in the middle of the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel?

Your dream could come true with the guides of the bay! At sunset, the bay is all yours for a night time crossing, a truly magical experience you’ll never forget.

Crossing the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel

2

Try a watersport

With 360 km of coasts, La Manche is the perfect place to try your hand at watersports. The ideal conditions are met here: magnificent spots, top-notch equipment and expert instructors waiting to teach you.

With sports for adrenaline junkies or activities for young children, there’s something for everyone and for all levels. The different clubs of La Manche will accompany you in the activity of your choice, whether you prefer sand yachting on Utah Beach, catamaran sailing in Cherbourg, surfing in Sciotot, sea kayaking in Portbail, stand-up paddling in Hauteville-sur-Mer, wingfoiling in Granville or windsurfing in Jullouville. Make a splash in La Manche!

Which watersport is for you?

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Photo, © Captain Yvon
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    Photo, © Xavier Lechenaud
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    Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud
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    Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud
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    Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud
3

Tuck into moules frites

In La Manche, summer is synonymous with moules frites! Picture yourself sitting on a terrace with a nice glass of white wine and a delicious plate of moules frites as the sun sets over the sea!

In a white wine or a cream sauce, the mussels of La Manche are delicious however they’re prepared. Head to one of the coastal restaurants or paillotes (beach huts) to enjoy a 100% local speciality, made with cream from the area and bouchot mussels produced along the coast of La Manche.

Or enjoy moules frites?

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Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud
4

Enjoy the huge beaches

The long stretches of golden sandy beaches in La Manche are an invitation to relax and unwind. For a weekend or a longer holiday, enjoy a restful coastal getaway. From the north to the south of the department, you’ll find unspoilt beaches that are a world apart, gorgeous inlets and white sandy dunes. Grab your flip-flops, you’re sure to find the beach of your dreams in La Manche!

The best beaches

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Photo, © Captain Yvon
5

Stroll around the night and summer markets

To discover all the local products, crafts and specialities on offer in La Manche, head to the different markets held in summer. In Saint-Lô, there’s a market by the river on Thursday evenings, with a great atmosphere and live music. On Friday evenings, the courtyard of the Château de Regnéville hosts musicians, artisans and producers. In summer, the weekly markets are bigger than usual, with activities, tasting sessions and concerts for you to enjoy.

The markets in La Manche

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Photo, © Jim Prod

6. Participate in the festive events

Among the many events taking place in the department, here are four suggestions of ways to enjoy the festive atmosphere of La Manche in summer.

  • During the Sorties de Bain Festival, stroll around the streets of Granville and take your pick from around 50 different shows that are free of charge and accessible to all, including dance, theatre, circus and concerts.
  • If you don’t know the Chauffer dans la Noirceur festival, get to the beach in Montmartin-sur-Mer to enjoy contemporary music concerts with a great atmosphere! 
  • If you’re in Saint-Lô in August, check out the Normandy Horse Show. With equestrian competitions, events and activities for children, you’ll have a great time at the Haras National de Saint-Lô.
  • Then the Traversées de Tatihou festival is made for you. At low tide, cross to Tatihou island on foot to enjoy a concert in this magical setting. You’ll be humming nautical notes all the way back to the mainland!

Summer events

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    Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

    Chauffer dans la Noirceur

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    Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

    Normandie Horse Show

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    Photo, © David Daguier CD50

    Traversées Tatihou

7

Get back to nature at the Roches de Ham

Do you fancy some fresh air and greenery? Then head to the Roches de Ham to enjoy a unique spot in La Manche. There are lots of activities for you to try there, including hiking, kayaking, archery and mountain biking. Walk up to the promontory for a gorgeous view over the Vire valley. Next, head down to the river along the shady path, or stay at the top and treat yourself to a delicious crêpe!

What to do at the Roches de Ham?

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Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud
8

Follow the gravel route from Tatihou to Mont Saint-Michel

More than just a cycle route, a real adventure awaits you in the heart of La Manche. This tour crosses the territory from east to west, covering 285 km of roads and paths and passing some unmissable sites. Tatihou, Valognes, the marshes nature reserve, Coutances, the inlets, Mont Saint-Michel: hop on your gravel to discover La Manche and its treasures in five stages.

Cycling route Tatihou > Le Mont Saint-Michel

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Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

9. Challenge yourself with the sporting events

This summer, your mission is to push your limits! La Manche is the perfect playground for reaching your goal. Running, swimming, or both: test yourself during these sporting events.

  • During the Tatihougue event, combine running and swimming at the foot of the Vauban Towers in Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue and Tatihou. Alone or in a team, try one of the three routes proposed while you enjoy the exceptional scenery around you.
  • The Enduro des Sables proposes several different routes and distances on the beach in Agon-Coutainville. A magical race along the sand with the sea as a backdrop.
  • If you like open water swimming, then sign up for the Tour du Roc à la Nage. For more than 55 years, this competition has challenged swimmers with its star event: the 5 km swim around the famous rocky headland of Granville.

Sporting events

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    Photo, © Cyril Crespeau - Tatihougue
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    Photo, © Cyril Crespeau - Tatihougue
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    Photo, © Cyril Crespeau - Tatihougue
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    Photo, © Cyril Crespeau - Tatihougue
10

Watch the sunset from the best spots

Wherever you are in La Manche, follow the sun’s path

To catch the first pink shimmers, head east, to Tatihou, the marshes nature park or the Mortain region, for example. Between the sea and the countryside, the rising sun sets the tone for the day.

Lying comfortably on your beach towel or chilling on a terrace, enjoy the sunset over the sea, a magical moment as the sky turns a gorgeous red and is reflected in the water. The best spots are La Hague, the many beaches of the west coast, and Chausey.

Where to watch the sunrise and sunset?

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Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud