12 must-do things to do in Eure

Eure

Discover some of Normandy’s treasures when you visit Eure. Here are the twelve must-sees in this département.

Little known for its tourist appeal, the Eure region is nonetheless overflowing with interesting places of interest. Just an hour from Paris, visiting the Eure is easy. You’ll quickly be transported to the heart of the countryside, with its many plateaus, valleys, forests and rivers.

As well as a refreshing landscape, Eure is also a department steeped in history. It was here that the famous Impressionist, Claude Monet, produced his greatest works. A foundation has been set up in his memory.

If you’re in the mood to get away from it all, now’s the time to discover this region and its treasures. To help you make the most of your stay, Generation Voyage has selected the must-see things to do in Eure.

1. Giverny

Giverny

View of the church of Sainte-Radegond de Giverny Photo credit: Wikipedia – Jmpn photographie

It’s inconceivable to visit the Eure without passing through Giverny. Considered one of the most beautiful towns in France, Giverny’s charm is unparalleled. Best known as the birthplace of the famous painter Claude Monet, Giverny is brimming with exceptional sites.

In addition to the foundation dedicated to the painter, the town of Impressionism is home to the feather garden, the artists’ brasserie, the Giverny tithe and, of course, the Musée des Impressionismes. This is also where you’ll find the Hôtel Baudy. This is a former studio where artists such as Cézanne and Rodin would stay to find inspiration.

If you don’t want to miss out on any of the town’s sights, there’s a route you can take to fully immerse yourself in its artistic ambience. It’s called the Sentier de Giverny.

Giverny is located at the gateway to Normandy, just 1h15 from Paris. It’s the perfect place to recharge your batteries for a weekend or even a day. You’ll be immersed in a world of color, with charming houses and flower-filled gardens. As you stroll through the town’s narrow streets, take the time to stop off at the workshops, art galleries and boutiques that call Giverny home.

2. A boat trip on the Seine

Bord de Seine

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Pecold

What else is there to do in Eure apart from discovering its picturesque villages? If you’re in the mood for nature and escape, opt for a boat trip along the banks of the Seine. This allows you to discover the variety of landscapes while on the water. You’ll be transported to another world, far from the stress and bustle of big cities.

Several options are available for this walk along the water’s edge. Cruises of two to four hours are available for a brief getaway. And if you prefer a total getaway, six- or eight-hour cruises are ideal, with optional breakfasts and lunches included.

During the cruise, you’ll discover the windmill route and the natural landscapes cherished by the Impressionists.

3. Claude Monet

Musée Giverny

Photo credit: Shutterstock – andre quinou

Immerse yourself in the world of the master of Impressionism with a visit to the Claude Monet Foundation. Here you’ll discover his home and gardens, which were his favorite places to find inspiration.

Claude Monet’s house has been faithfully preserved. The period furniture, Japanese prints and earthenware are authentic. Opposite the house is the painter’s studio, where he revealed the full extent of his genius. Le Clos Normand is as colorful as the artist’s work.

The garden of the master of Impressionism is a veritable treasure trove. It’s a work of art in its own right, created by his passion for gardening and color. Whatever the season, flowers are omnipresent.

Despite the years that have passed since the artist’s death, the magic is still there. Within this timeless space, you’ll find the water garden with its Japanese bridge, water lilies, wisteria and azaleas. The Japanese Bridge and Water Lilies are among Claude Monet’s major paintings.

The painter lived in this house in Giverny for 43 years, from 1883 until his death in 1926.

4. Biotropica wildlife gardens

Biotropica

Photo credit: Facebook – Biotropica en Normandie

Come and visit the Eure and its wealth of wildlife at Biotropica’s wildlife gardens.

This park transports you to seven different worlds:

  • The tropical greenhouse: exotic animals hide behind dense vegetation;
  • The penguin cove: head into the cold to watch a nautical ballet of penguins;
  • The Australian bush: here, kangaroos populate the territory;
  • The African bush: wild animals straight from Africa will amaze you during your visit to the Eure ;
  • Asian gardens: a gentle touch with red pandas and dwarf otters in this space dedicated to Asia;
  • Pelican Lake: two hectares devoted entirely to these impressive birds;
  • The children’s farm: young and old alike will be delighted to touch goats and discover the more unusual species found on the farm.

In all, the Biotropica wildlife garden offers a three-hour visit to discover a wide variety of animal species: mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians… they’re all here. The aim of this animal park is to delight visitors, but also to repopulate endangered species.

5. Bernay

Bernay

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Pack-Shot

Immerse yourself in a typically Norman world with a visit to the town of Bernay. Stroll through the narrow streets and discover the unusual stores. Among Bernay’s must-sees is the bookshop Le Rouge et le Noir, offering hundreds of literary works. L’atelier du rêveur transports you back to childhood with its multitude of toys. And of course, enter the premises of the antique dealers to unearth treasures.

To recharge your batteries, try local specialties in one of Bernay’s traditional restaurants, Le Bistrot. The beams are exposed and antiques are everywhere in the decor. Sitting by the open fire, soak up the atmosphere and smell the delicious dishes as they circulate. It’s time to enjoy!

Every Saturday morning, the market offers local produce to residents and visitors alike. Normandy’s inhabitants are in a frenzy at this weekly rendezvous.

Depending on the period of your visit to the Eure, you can attend local events such as the puppet festival, the bouquinistes au bord de l’eau, the festival côté cour, côté jardin, and so on.

6. Château Gaillard

Chateau-Gaillard

Photo credit: Shutterstock – zebra0209

Château Gaillard is a must-see in the Eure region. King Richard the Lionheart’s former fortress takes you back to medieval times. Built over 800 years ago to protect Normandy from French invasion, the château stands watch over the Seine.

Faced with wars between the Kings of England and France, Richard the Lionheart built this fortress in record time. It took just one year to build this military edifice. The Château is strategically located at the top of the hill at Les Andelys.

Today, the fortress is no longer used for military purposes, but as a tourist attraction. As well as learning about French history, you’ll enjoy one of the finest views of the Seine. After your visit to the château, stay until sunset to enjoy an exceptional panorama.

7. Riding in the Vernier Marsh

Marais Vernier

Photo credit: Shutterstock – andre quinou

Visiting the Eure means enjoying a weekend of peace and quiet. Nothing beats a stroll through the Marais Vernier, where nature reigns supreme.

Located in the Seine Normandy Loop Park, the Marais Vernier promises total relaxation. From a panoramic tower, you can observe the entire ecosystem that inhabits it: ducks, migratory birds, frogs, swans and more.

To explore the Marais Vernier and recharge your batteries, take a ride on the back of a horse. Several riding centers offer hourly, half-day or full-day rides. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, climb aboard and become one with the environment around you.

Along the way, you’ll come across other horses, Scottish cows, thatched houses and apple orchards. The Marais Vernier site is classified as a site of ecological interest at European level. The main aim is to preserve the flora and fauna that live here. Man is only passing through this protected area.

8. Lyons-la-Forêt

visiter Eure - Lyons-la-Forêt

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Pliny

Classed as one of France’s most beautiful villages, Lyons-la-Forêt is a must-see if you’re visiting the Eure region. A romantic, bohemian getaway awaits you in this Norman commune.

The atmosphere is unique, with half-timbered houses and burnished wood. In fact, it was here that the adaptation of Madame Bovary was filmed.

Lyons-la-Forêt is a town that attracts all kinds of artists; Maurice Ravel, Louis Aragon and André Breton have all settled here to find inspiration. To soak up the Norman atmosphere, enjoy a coffee on the terrace and observe the life of the village and its inhabitants.

Just 1h30 from the capital, Lyons-la-Forêt is the ideal place for a romantic getaway. You’ll be able to sleep in charming hotels, sample local specialities in fine restaurants and hunt for rare objects in local galleries and antique shops.

9. Domaine d’Harcourt

visiter Eure - Domaine d'Harcourt

Photo credit: Facebook – Harcourt

Immerse yourself in the Middle Ages with a visit to the Harcourt estate. This land of lords is a must-see in the Eure region. The Harcourt estate is home to one of the best-preserved fortresses in Normandy.

Built of earth, wood and stone, Château d’Harcourt dates back to the 12th century. The permanent exhibition tells the story of the fortress and the great families of France.

In addition to the building, the Harcourt estate boasts an impressive arboretum. It’s the oldest in France, with over 500 varieties of trees and shrubs. You’ll be impressed by the size of the trees (some are over 40 meters tall) and their age (some are over 150 years old). The ideal time to visit the Domaine d’Harcourt is in autumn, to admire the colors of the season.

10. Le Bec-Hellouin

visiter Eure - Bec-Hellouin

Photo credit: Flickr – isamiga76

A small village in the Eure department, Le Bec-Helloin has a real charm about it, with its colorful houses and flower-filled alleyways. Are you on Instagram? Now’s the time to take some exceptional photos in this typically Norman commune. The village is home to the 10th-century abbey of Notre-Dame-du-Bec.

Discover monastic life inside the building and enjoy a relaxing stroll around the abbey. If you’re staying for the day, take a bike ride along the greenway.

11. Local specialties

visiter Eure - Mirliton Pont Audemer

Pont-Audemer’s famous mirlitons Photo credit: Facebook – Office de Tourisme de Pont-Audemer Val de Risle

What to do in the Eure? Taste the local specialties, of course. You won’t be disappointed. Normandy products come in 1001 flavors: milk, cheese, apples, …

One of Eure’s culinary must-haves: Pavé du Plessis. It’s a delicious cow’s milk cheese that can be used as an alternative to Camembert.

For the meat, Pont-Audemer sausage is a clever blend of ground pork and apples.

If you have a sweet tooth, try the Pont-Audemer mirliton. It resembles a Russian cigarette with praline mousse. A real treat!

And as all good cheese is accompanied by wine, the Eure region offers you its Vernon wine for an exceptional meal.

12. Notre-Dame d’Évreux Cathedral

visiter Eure - Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Evreux

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Parsifall

It’s impossible to visit the Eure region without passing through its capital, Évreux. Here, it’s the Notre-Dame cathedral that’s worth the detour. Gothic in style, it’s the city’s most impressive building. Since 1862, the cathedral has been listed as a historic monument.

Inside, you can admire a series of 14th-century stained glass windows. The first stones of the cathedral were laid in the 4th century. The monument has undergone two fires and has been remodeled over the years to exceptional effect.

How do I get to Eure?

If you want to visit the Eure, the best place to start is Evreux. In fact, you’ll be able to visit all the department’s must-sees from here. From Paris, Evreux is 1h40 away. To reach it, take the A13 freeway. For sustainable travel, don’t hesitate to carpool!

You can always opt for the train. Once you’ve arrived at Gare Saint-Lazare, an inter-city train will take you to Gare d’Évreux.

Where to sleep in Eure?

The majority of hotels, Airbnb apartments and youth hostels are located in Evreux and the surrounding area. To find the most suitable solution, we recommend you use a hotel comparator.

Now all you have to do is pack your bags and set off to discover the Eure!

Map of hotels and accommodation – Normandy