When I visited Étretat last month, we rented an Airbnb in Le Havre. Apparently, my landlady grew up in that town! During an afternoon apéritif with my family at their home next door, she recommended that we stop in Honfleur! She said it was a beautiful and historic french town. It turned out to be great advice, as Honfleur is only ten minutes out of the way driving from Le Havre to Paris. We decided to spend a quick afternoon there, before heading to Paris for the weekend.
Honfleur is in the French Department of Calvados. It sits right at the estuary that connects the Seine to the English Channel, just across the Pont de Normandie from Le Havre. Honfleur was historically an important trade city, due to the convenient location. What is especially iconic of the city is the Vieux-Bassin, or Old Harbor. This port is the subject of many paintings, including some by my favorite artist – Claude Monet!
The port is truly beautiful. I can see why it was such a popular subject to paint! The houses that surround the port were all built between the 16th and 18th centuries, each skinny in true northern fashion. The first floors of these houses have mostly been converted to restaurants. After walking around a bit, we chose a nice restaurant along the harbor to eat lunch while enjoying some cidre.
Though the port is what I automatically envision when I think of Honfleur, the rest of the city is equally worth exploring! Towns like this are my favorite part of being in France – strolling enchanting cobblestone streets filled with old buildings, bakeries, and gorgeous cathedrals. Honfleur has a couple different neighborhoods with slightly different styles. It’s a great city to explore by foot. Honfleur was just as charming as my landlady said it would be! Well worth the detour. 🙂