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Sport and leisure activities


Beaches

A brief selection of some of the most beautiful beaches:

- In the Calvados: Courseulles-sur-Mer, Luc-sur-Mer, Colleville-Montgomery and Ouistreham-Riva-Bella.

- In the Manche: Barfleur, Siouville-Hague, Les Pieux, Barneville-Carteret, Gouville-sur-Mer, Agon-Coutainville, Bréhal, Granville and Jullouville.

The cleanliness of beaches can be consulted online:baignades.sante.gouv.fr (in English)


Bicycling

Bicycles can be rented from SNCF railway stations (and returned at a different station): Alençon, Argentan, Bagnoles-de-l’Orne, Bayeux, Caen, Coutances, Flers, Granville, Mortain, Pontorson, St-Lô, Sillé-le-Guillaume, Valognes, Villedieu-les-Poêles and Vire.

Basse-Normandie Cyclotourism – ligue.ffct-lbn.org.

Walking trails – www.voiesvertes.com.


Golf

Basse-Normandie Golf League – t 02 31 28 31 00 - www.liguedegolfdebassenormandie.fr (in English).

Pays-de-la-Loire Golf League – t 02 40 08 05 06 - www.planetgolf.fr.


Hiking

Grande et Petite randonnée Trails

The GR 22 Paris-Mont-St-Michel spans the southern part of the region, in particular the Normandy-Maine Regional Park.

The GR 22 A and 22 B cross part of the Orne, Calvados and Manche.

The GR 36 starts at Ouistreham crossing through Normandy as far as Le Mans.

The GR 221 goes through part of Swiss Normandy and the Cotentin.

The GR 223 (444km) skirts the north and west coasts of the Cotentin; fantastic views around the La Hague headland.

French Federation of Hiking – t 01 44 89 93 93 - www.ffrp.asso.fr.

Saint-Michel’s paths

The Mont-St-Michel was formerly linked to the main towns by pilgrims’ paths, which are gradually being signposted again (turquoise markers and signs).

Chemins aux Anglais – Two itineraries around 200km long, starting in northern Cotentin.

Chemin de l’intérieur – Starts at Barfleur, crossing through Ste-Mère-Église, Carentan, St-Lô, Coutances, La Haye-Pesnel and finishing at Genêts.

Coastal path – Links Cherbourg to Genêts, partially by hugging the coast and going through Le Rozel, Barneville-Carteret, Portbail, Lessay, Coutances, Granville and Jullouville.

Other paths lead to the Mont from Caen, Rouen, Chartres and Paris.

Paths of the Mont-Saint-Michel Association – t 02 31 66 10 02 - www.lescheminsdumontsaintmichel.com (in English).


Horse trekking

Some rural gîtes (and chambre d’hôtes) cater to riders and horses. Horse-drawn carriages and caravans are an excellent way of exploring the Orne and Calvados.

Normandy Equestrian Board – www.chevalnormandie.com.


Nautical sports and boating

Canoe-kayaking

Some of the region’s white water sports centres are located at: Pont-d’Ouilly, Clécy, Sillé-le-Guillaume and St-Léonard-des-Bois.

French Federation of Canoe-kayaking – t 01 45 11 08 50 - www.ffcanoe.asso.fr

In conjunction with IGN, the federation publishes a map of all of France’s practicable waterways Les Rivières de France.

Sand yachting

French Federation of Sand Yachting – t 01 45 58 75 75 - www.ffcv.org.

Sea kayaks

The main sea kayak centres are at Granville (excursions to the Chausey islands), Hauteville-sur-Mer, Portbail, Omonville-la-Rogue, Tourlaville, Réville, etc.

Sailing

French Federation of Sailing – t 01 40 60 37 00 - www.ffvoile.org

French Nautical Resorts – t 01 44 05 96 55 - www.station-nautique.com (in English)


Thalassotherapy and spas

Thalassotherapy

Le Normandy – At Granville - t 02 33 90 33 33 - www.lenormandy.com.

Prévithal - At Granville - t 02 33 90 31 10 - www.previthal.com (in English).

Institut de cure marine At Luc-sur-Mer - t 02 31 97 32 22 - www.thalasso-normandie.com.

Thalazur Ouistreham-Normandie At Ouistreham - t 02 31 96 40 40.

Spas

Thermes de Bagnoles-de-l’Orne – At Bagnoles-de-l’Orne - t 0 811 902 233 - www.thermes-bagnoles.com.

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