Join this wonderful opportunity to explore France’s most picturesque Christmas fairs. At the heart of historical Rouen a magical Christmas market awaits, selling handmade gifts and crafts and festive mulled wine. Fascinating architectural masterpieces are also at your fingertips with Rouen’s cobblestone streets lined with pretty Gothic churches and timbered houses leading you to the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral. This well-paced itinerary also spends time in Honfleur; renowned for attracting painters and writers with its stunning beauty, the city also hosts a charming Christmas market, perfect for soaking up the wonderful festive atmosphere and picking up some seasonal gifts.
At London Tilbury Port, embark Magellan (3T) in preparation for an afternoon sailing.
Day 2 - Cruising River Seine - Rouen
This morning we cruise along the beautiful River Seine, before we arrive at lunchtime in the historical capital of Normandy, once named by Victor Hugo as ‘the city of a hundred spires’. Rouen is an enchanting place, especially its Old Town which boasts a maze of narrow, cobbled streets lined with charming half-timbered houses and dramatic Gothic churches. Maybe view the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral, a place of rich heritage dating back to the 4th century, and the outstanding Church of Saint-Maclou. Its Renaissance doors, altar, large-scale lantern tower and five-sided porch complete what is considered one of the best examples of the flamboyant style of 15th century Gothic architecture. Nearby, the Place du Vieux-Marche, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431, is dominated by the Church of St Joan of Arc. You might want to venture upriver to the charming village of Giverny, home of the painter Claude Monet who recreated the true beauty of Rouen in his work. If you simply want to get into the Christmas spirit, Rouen hosts a Christmas market right in the heart of the city. Surrounded by the fascinating medieval structures, the market consists of around 70 chalets decorated with a light dusting of snow and glistening Christmas lights. Food and drink and traditional arts and crafts and among some of the items sold, and don’t miss the deliciously-warm mulled wine.
Day 3 - Honfleur
Early this morning we arrive in pretty Honfleur, a city that has attracted many painters and writers to its charming narrow streets of half-timbered houses, and its old harbour that sits in a charming cove off the Seine’s tidal estuary. This picturesque city has numerous hidden gems residing in the beautiful streets including art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, fine souvenir shops and artists’ studios. The enchanting city looks all the more beautiful at Christmas, when the charming streets are filled with sparkling lights and a merry atmosphere. Honfleur is another on the list of best Christmas markets in Normandy, an intimate market consisting of enticing chalets placed in front of water houses, and the moored boats which make an unforgettable Christmas image.