Manche has long been a firm favourite with holidaymakers, and it is not hard to understand why. It is basically a peninsula, so the sea and beaches are never far away, with facilities for swimming, sunbathing, boat trips and so on. Yet go a few miles inland and you will find beautiful countryside and wonderful views. There are plenty of opportunities for rural activities such as walking, cycling, horse riding, fishing, and golf.
There are many places of interest for sightseeing: large towns with elegant shops, quaint villages, museums, zoos, theme parks, botanical gardens, and of course famous sites such as Mont St. Michel and the waterfalls at Mortain.
The best guide to Manche is definitely the official departmental tourist office site
, Manche Tourism, available in English. From there, you can choose your interests and find out what there is available, where and when.
However, like all official sites it cannot make recommendations. Here are a few suggestions worth following up:
Mont St. Michel is a world heritage site and extremely popular. Its design and situation is unique, with sensational tides that come in at a speed faster than a horse can gallop! First, try looking at the short video available. Be warned that the site is crowded in peak season, especially August. There is also the world famous omelette restaurant on the street leading up to the site, called La Mère Poulard. The omelettes are expensive, but massive!
Villedieu Les Poêles is a town like no other. The name means literally “God’s Town, the Frying Pans” and you will soon see why. The town specialises in making lots of items in copper, not only pans! The shops are fascinating and most people can’t leave without buying some small memento to take home! There are museums displaying the copper produced. and sometimes demonstrations. Not far away, there is an excellent zoo at Champrepus.
At Mortain there is a waterfall (open to the public free of charge), but it worth looking not only at the large waterfall, but also the “small” one further on (about another 5 mins walk – follow the signs). However, the steps down are steep and not suitable for disabled people.
For a different, energetic outing, try the velorail at Cindé sur Vire. You can pedal along the former railway line in a special carriage!
If you have children, apart from the beaches and usual attractions, some places especially good are:
The Enchanted Village at Bellefontaine
Alligator Bay at Beauvoir
Ange Michel at St. Martin de Landelles (funfair attractions, and more!)
For full details of these or any other places, go to the official tourist site of Manche (see above). From there, you can check admission prices and dates/times of opening. Of course, it is always best to check this first before going anywhere!
Enjoy your stay in Manche!