Even in a country that boasts one beautiful village after another, called Les Plus Beaux Villages, Honfleur France stands out. And, is one of our favorite villages.
Nestled into the crook where the Seine River empties into the English Channel, Honfleur France is one of the most visited villages in France. The town has some how managed to evade destruction over the years, and has maintained its original character to this day.
Honfleur France has drawn, and still draws, artists of all kinds to embrace the light, its picturesque backstreets, harbor, and unique buildings. Monet, Boudin, and Courbet are just a few of many that made the artistic pilgrimage here.
Today the tradition continues. For a town of its size, there are dozens of galleries and studios that line its streets. And, its not unusual to find painters along the harbor doing much as their predecessors have done. Catching the beauty on canvas.
Jo and I were absolutely enthralled while strolling the streets, and meandering in and out of the many enticing shops and boutiques. As usual, the allure of the variety of restaurants and cuisines is a difficult battle to win.
Honfleur France: Things to See and Do
Vieux-Bassin (or, old Dock) is so central to what makes Honfleur, well… Honfleur. You won’t be able miss this part of town, even if you wanted to. Lined as it is with a multitude of cafés, bars, and restaurants, this is the perfect place to come, relax, eat and drink, while watching the sailboats motor in and dock near by.
La Lieutenance is an oddly shaped building at one end of the boat basin. This is all that remains of the fortifications that used to control the entrance to Honfleur’s harbor.
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Chapel is a little bit of a climb out of Honfleur, but well worth your time and effort to see. We are so glad that we found this sanctuary above town.
Built between 1600 and 1615, the chapel is a reminder of the mariners that were lost and the families that remember them. When you enter, you will notice the model ships hanging inside, and posted along the walls, personal notes to lost sons and fathers.
Moving symbols of lost loved ones.
Sainte Catherine’s Church is an amazing church. Not only does it have a unique exterior, the interior is equally intriguing.
Built in the 15th century, the wooden church, unique in its own way, was constructed by local ship builders. When you first enter you will notice that the ceiling of the church resembles the inside of a row boat turned upside down.
Honfleur France: Places to Stay
Honfleur has some wonderfully homey places to stay that are comfy and welcoming. This time we stayed in a great bed and breakfast, that wasn’t all fusty and staid like so many in the US are.
La Cour Sainte-Catherine is where we decided to stay during our visit to Honfleur France, and strongly recommend you consider it as well. Though not right in the heart of all the action, something we like, it is only a few short blocks away from it all.
La Cour Sainte-Catherine is one of the most comfortable places that we have ever had the pleasure to stay in. Our hostess, Liliane Giaglis, was gracious and welcoming. Breakfast is included and is served in the garden or the café right next door.
About the only negative that I can come up with was getting to the B and B. The streets are very tight. Certainly, not our hosts fault. And, the parking. It was great to have off street parking, but to call it convenient, would be a long reach.
We absolutely love this place!
74 Rue du Puits, 14600 Honfleur, France
+33 2 31 89 42 40
If you are interested in staying right in the thick of the action not far from the St. Catherine’s church and the harbor, and you prefer hotels to B and B’s, then Hotel du Dauphin just might be the place you are looking for.
10 Place Pierre Berthelot, 14600 Honfleur, France
+33 2 31 89 15 53
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