Discover Honfleur and its unique ambiance
Just 40 minutes from our hotel
Honfleur is also close to Cabourg, and its very name conjures up a certain charm. Its medieval character is still engrained into the modern town. Already important by the 11th century, the town had already seen its first significant developments two centuries beforehand when the Vikings landed in the Seine Bay. A sea and estuary port, its strategic location became part of its destiny, particularly during the 100 Years War, when many military expeditions to England left from Honfleur. Later, these would be replaced with expeditions of discovery and commerce, most notably that of Samuel de Champlain who founded Quebec. Soon after, merchant ships set sail for the Azores, the African coast, the Caribbean and Canada. Painters of the 18th and later 19th century were fascinated with the light here, starting with English watercolour and landscape artists, followed by Boudin and his Impressionist friends.
Music is also celebrated in Honfleur, being the birthplace of composer Erik Satie. At the Maisons Satie, discover or rediscover this brilliant and revolutionary composer, as much a man of letters and art as a composer. Explore this museum to the sound of his music in a way that is both playful and informative. Sound, light, images and objects all come together to create a whole.
A bit away from the town, the ten hectares of the Jardins des Personnalités have been another draw since their creation in 2004. Installed in a former estuary mudflat, wander round and discover boat-shaped topiaries in which busts of luminaries of Honfleur's historical and cultural heritage stand proudly. Among the personalities are natives of the town and area as well as figures who lived or stayed in Honfleur. Take a stroll and meet the likes of painters Eugène Boudin, Claude Monet and Johan Bartold Jonkind, composer Erik Satie, and writers Alphonse Allais and Charles Baudelaire. More recent additions include playwright Françoise Sagan and actor Michel Serrault.