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You’ll experience the alchemy of landscape, art, gastronomy and authenticity in this off-the-beaten-track part of Normandy.

This tour follows the valley of the Touques River. This route provides charming scenery as the Touques meanders through apple orchards bordering ancient manors and wooden steepled churches.

Our drive will take us past Lisieux, home of Sainte Theresa of the Infant Jesus where the basilica shrine to her is visible for miles around. Just a few miles south of the city, the Chateau of St Germain de Livet is a fabulous example of Norman architecture complete with turrets, a moat and a glorious glazed tile façade

Livarot is just down the road with a stop to learn about the tasty cheeses of Normandy, their unique flavors so highly coveted that they merit a national protective branding label. We’ll taste some and you’ll be convinced that the grass really is greener in Normandy, the proof lies in the quality of the dairy products.

Once again, the Touques river leads us across country through the heart of the Pays d’Auge and its lovely rural topography to Coudray-Rabut where we will indulge in a welcome sip of hard cider, pear brandy, or the infamous apple brandy: Calvados. We’ll need some lunch after all this sampling and a stop in Deauville will fit the order. This glamorous beach town is home to the American Film Festival and to numerous equestrian events.

To round out the day, we’ll take the stunning coast road to Honfleur, located at the mouth of the Seine River. Honfleur is known as the jewel of Normandy. Its tiny, picturesque port gave inspiration to numerous painters such as Claude Monet and Eugène Boudin. The town houses a museum dedicated to the latter. We’ll stroll on cobblestone streets, along the Quai Saint Catherine with its twisted, medieval, half-timbered façade buildings, before visiting the largest wooden church in France: Saint Catherine’s Church.