Honfleur was a little sleepy when I visited in late October, but I liked it that way. As pretty as this town is, I can only imagine how foreign vacationers and the local French must converge on this town by the thousands in summer.
I stayed for two nights. Not long enough. Although it's a small town and there isn't a long "must-see" list, it's just so beautiful, I wanted to hang out and take it all in for a few more days. But, if you only have a day or two like me, consider this:
WHERE TO STAY:
Les Maisons de Lea, converted from an old salt warehouse and three 16th-century houses, is a charming hotel located in the heart of Honfleur. Can you imagine how beautifully "French" this place looks in summer when the vines covering the facade are lush and green? Ahhh.
WHERE TO EAT:
La Tortue (The Turtle) was named after two people who, according to legend, fell in love on Turtle Island and vowed to open a restaurant in Honfleur. Here, seafood (what else?) is the specialty, as well as coussinet de pomme sauce caramel (apple filled pastry with caramel sauce). Mm-mmm.
WHAT TO SEE:
Vieux Bassin - Also known as the Old Port, it was the birthplace of numerous navigators, sailors and captains. Most notably, Samuel de Champlain who organized a crew from Honfleur to make his discoveries in Canada (particularly founding Quebec in 1608).
Church of Sainte-Catherine - Built by shipwrights in 1466, this is the largest wooden church in France. The church's bell tower, also made of mainly wood, was built across the square instead of atop the church to lighten the load of the church's roof.
The Lieutenance - The stone building located at the end of the Old Port refers to the 17th-century residence of the King's Lieutenant.
Church of St. Leonard - The facade of the church dates from the end of the 15th century and is an example of flamboyant gothic architecture.
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