Geography of Normandy
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Normandy is not an homogeneous geographical unit but an old province, formerly a Dukedom, embracing two large areas with different geological structures, which become progressively younger from west to east. The sandstones, granites and primary schist of the Armorican Massif in the west give way to the Secondary and Tertiary Era stratas of clays, limestone and chalks which belong to the geological formation of the Paris Bassin. Normandy can therefore be conveniently divided into two quite distinct regions, Haute-Normandy, which lies northwest of the Paris Bassin, and Basse-Normandie, which resembles its neighbour Brittany and consists of an eroded foundation of ancient rocks.
Haute-Normandy is composed of two departments : Seine-Maritime and Eure.
As regards Basse-Normandie, there are three departments : Calvados, Orne and Manche.
In Upper-Normandy (Haute-Normandie)
In Lower-Normandy (Basse-Normandie)
The Floral Coast
Famous beaches where Normandy's attraction is the ability to escape from day to day life: stylish hotels, night clubs, casinos, fashion shows, air shows, international regattas.
The Landing Beaches - Mother of Pearl and Bessin
Le Cotentin :
Further towards the north a softer coastline is evident, the terrain changes into the large beaches of the west coast.
The west coast is sheltered from the east and north winds benefiting from the warm currents of the Gulf Stream. Here 100 kilometres of sand unfold like a long ribbon, occasionally intercepted by rocks and harbours and ending majestically at Mont Saint Michel. The sunniest beaches are here and the sea is a beautiful shade of deep blue.
This vast area of quiet landscape and dimly undulating plateaus, stretches from Pays de Caux to Pays d’Ouche.
- the Pays de Caux, Pays de Bray and Vexin Normand
- the Pays d’Ouche
- Vallée de la Seine
In the west, as well as in the vast cultured areas of the region of Caen-Falaise, this is the "bocage" area of Normandy, where the pastures and apple orchards are surrounded with hedges.
- the Cotentin
- forets de l’Orne
- the Perche
- the Pays d’Argentan
- the Bocage Virois
- the Suisse Normande
- the Pays d’Auge