ROL Cruise recommends…
Amble around the enchanting Vieux Bassin
With a name that translates to ‘old basin’, Honfleur’s Vieux Bassin is infinitely more attractive than its moniker may suggest. Situated on the Seine estuary, this beating heart of Honfleur is lined with beautiful narrow houses - built between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries and decorated in a veritable kaleidoscope of colours. There’s a fantastic selection of waterfront restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy a coffee and a pastry, watching boats gracefully floating into dock.
Explore the port’s proud artistic tradition
Given Honfleur’s artistic heritage, a visit to one of the city’s many galleries should be near the top of your itinerary. One such exhibition space is the Musée Eugène Boudin, a few streets away from the Vieux Bassin. There, you’ll find an outstanding collection of works associated with the city and its river. These include pieces by painters as Monet and Courbet as well as Boudin himself, one of Honfleur’s most famous sons.
Witness the craftsmanship of St Catherine’s
One of Honfleur’s pièces de résistance is St Catherine’s Church, a place of worship made entirely of wood. This impressive structure was constructed by locals in the fifteenth century, after a previous stone church was destroyed during the Hundred Years’ War. Given the naval background of those who handmade the church, it was created in the shape of an overturned double hull. St Catherine’s has a separate oak bell tower; this space is now occupied as an annexe to the Musée Eugène Boudin.
Enjoy a moment of grace
To drink in glorious scenery across Honfleur and the Seine estuary, make your way to the 100-metre-high Plateau de Grâce. You’ll enjoy stunning views of the striking Pont de Normandie, too - a quirky, mile-long suspension bridge which links Honfleur and Le Havre across the Seine. While you’re there, you can pay a visit to the atmospheric Notre Dame de Grâce, a chapel which has served pilgrims for centuries.