La Maison des Druides is located in the heart of the Orne. Orne is the ideal landscape for hikers and nature lovers, while further south, the valley of the Orne rock faces and peaks are popular with mountaineers. Orne is also the equestrian center of Normandy.
Orne is the most southern department in France and has a population of only 300,000. Orne is bordered to the north by Calvados and Eure, in the east by Eure-et-Loir, in the south by Mayenne and Sarthe, and in the west by Manche. The capital is Alençon. The Orne department is named after the river of the same name.
The Orne department is still largely undiscovered by tourism. La Suisse Normande is perhaps the most hidden place between the rivers Noireau and Orne. This area is ideal for hiking enthusiasts and forms a surprising mountain backdrop with deeply cut valleys and brisk slopes, creeks and wild water.
There is so much to see, do and discover in this beautiful region ….. Too much to mention in this site. Some notable, well-known, places:
A beautiful, rugged landscape that is reminiscent of the Alps. Only the tops of the Suisse Normande are nowhere higher than 300 meters, not really mountainous. The landscape is formed by the meandering river (the Orne) and there is a lot of forest. The slopes of the deep, green valleys are steep and the water currents in the river gorges have carved beautiful and often surprising landscapes in the rocks. You will find picturesque villages and can make beautiful walks.
This is a nature reserve with woods, meadows and rolling hills. To discover everything about it, you can start a visit at the Maison du Parc located in Nocé. In May the apple trees bloom, where cider and calvados are being made. In June it is cherry time and in September you will find blackberries in abundance along the many country roads.
This park is a wonderful area for every nature lover. In the vicinity you will find various castles, museums and historic towns such as Sillé-le-Guillaume and Beaumont-sur-Sarthe.
In the park you will find many riches. There are rare animal species, and also remarkable landscapes such as heather with heather, peat and lime hills.
The park starts at La Manche in Mortain and continues towards Donfrontais and Bas-Maine.
The big difference with the Regional Natural Park of the Marshes of Cotentin and Bessin is that 25% of the area is covered with forest and forest. Like the forest of Mortain that stretches on the domain of the Park Normandie-Maine.
Some notable sites within Parc Naturel Régional Normandie-Maine:
La Fosse Arthour
This is a gap of 70 meters deep. It owes its fame to the ferocious character and beauty of the place. It is an ideal place to go hiking but also to climb. The site is also related to numerous legends. One legend was the tale that a king and his wife had to live separately, each in a cave on each side of the river. He was only allowed to visit her after sunset, but one day she broke this rule. He was dragged into the abyss and his queen jumped desperately after him.
La cascade de Mortain
Le Grande cascade de Mortain is one of the few waterfalls in the Normandy region. The water of the Cance falls 20 meters lower on the sandstone rocks. There is a dense vegetation. The smaller waterfall lies in the shade amidst the greenery and is an ideal hiking spot. It was excavated by the Cançon, a tributary of the Cance, and by the construction of stairs one can easily walk the gorge. The fresh scent, the gentle sound of running water, the singing of the birds and the beautiful surroundings make these waterfalls an unmissable hiking spot in Normandy.
The spa town of Bagnoles-de-l’Orne, nestled in lush greenery, in the heart of the Andaines forest, is known for its healing water. It enjoys a privileged natural environment, conducive to relaxation and relaxation. recreational sports such as hiking, horse riding and mountain biking, golf or tennis.
The spa, specialized in the treatment of rheumatology and phlebology, offers medical treatments, wellness and fitness stays in the Cerny area.
But Bagnoles-de-l’Orne also has the charm of the Belle Epoque and Art Deco architecture: casinos, hotels and villas spread out on both sides of the beautiful lake are so many testimonies. Turrets, arch windows, skylights, balconies and other architectural details bring an unmistakable stamp to the whole.
Another attraction is the old castle Goupil, the seat of the town hall, and its park-arboretum rich in more than 150 species of trees!
There is a lot of entertainment, entertainment and festivities throughout the year. Highlights of the resort are the summer Friday, a street arts festival on Friday evenings in July and August; Les Clés de Bagnoles, music festival, Sundays in July and August at 17.00; the pyromelodic show on the lake on 15 August; the Gourmet Gourmand autumn festival in September.
The artists’ village lies on the winding river Sarthe. It is nestled in the heart of the Alpes Mancelles, in the Normandy-Maine Regional Nature Park, and is one of the most beautiful villages in France. The romantic village inspired many famous painters, such as Corot, Courbet and Harpignies. The picturesque bridge over the brook, the beautiful stone houses, the Romanesque church and the Gothic chapel of Petit Saint-Céneri are all on display.
The church of the village contains beautiful old frescoes, dating from the 12th and 14th century.
From the bed of the church you can see a beautiful view of the green edges of the Sarthe.
The cuisine of Normandy is world famous. The recipes are often very simple and make this food a treat. The region is best known for its fish, seafood, milk, cheese (or rather: cheeses!), Cider, calvados etc. Dishes with the name ‘Normande’ (Norman) are solid dishes where there with cream or a lump of salted butter. On this page you will find Norman recipes that we have made ourselves, and which we serve to our guests (table d’hote). Note: these are vegetarian dishes, or with fish!
February 6, 2019:
Camembert in the oven
Last night we made this delicious recipe. It’s very simple to make!
Buy Camembert AOC in a wooden box and remove the packaging. Put it back in the box. Make a few notches and fill them with a few sprigs of rosemary and a dash of Calvados. Place it in a warm oven (200 degrees) for eight minutes. Serve with either baked potatoes or baguette, a green salad and a glass of dry cider. You can eat it as a kind of cheese fondue.
The village of Carrouges is located in the Orne, in the heart of the Normandy-Maine Regional Nature Park.
Carrouges knew his fame at the end of the 15th century, with the construction of the church by Jean de Blosset.
Besides the natural environment for hiking and other outdoor activities, the village Carrouges is known for its castle that was founded in the fourteenth century by Jean de Carrouges.
Located on a hill above the valley of Varenne, the medieval town of Domfront, founded in the eleventh century, has preserved many testimonies of its rich past. The charming squares and narrow streets are perfect for walking, the Romanesque donjon from the 12th century, a remnant of the old feudal castle, the towers of the ramparts, the picturesque half-timbered houses, the private mansions or courtyards will enchant the walkers. To these discoveries is a beautiful view of the surrounding bocage landscape added from the Panorama square and the castle garden.
Under the city, on the banks of the Varenne, stands the church Notre-Dame-sur-l’Eau from the 11th and 12th century, a beautiful example of Norman Romanesque art.
With the label “Site Remarquable du Gout”, the “bocage domfrontais” invites you to discover its specialties, such as pear-wine and calvados, two alcoholic drinks made from pears and apples from the region.
As a former city of the Dukes of Normandy and capital of the Orne, the city of Alençon, known since the 17th century for its lace, has a rich architectural and cultural heritage.
The old Alençon, a source of inspiration for the famous novelist Balzac, is littered with houses with wooden facades and mansions with cast-iron balconies and truly invites to be discovered. Among the sights that are not to be missed are the Notre-Dame church with its magnificent portal from the 16th century in flamboyant Gothic style; the house of Ozé, former residence of the Duke of Alençon, with an orchard with old species; the castle of the dukes with its tower with meis-cords (cages); the birthplace of Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux with its chapel …
Another attraction of the city, the Museum of Fine Arts and Lace, is housed in an old Jesuit college and houses sumptuous collections of lacework and paintings.
Every Thursday and Saturday morning there is a market full of colors and smells on the Place de la Magdeleine, at the foot of the Notre-Dame church.
This imposing 18th century castle, built in stone and brick, overlooks the beautiful garden with three terraces.
The castle is still inhabited and houses the library of Chancellor Pasquier, one of the largest private libraries in France.
Besides beautiful furniture, you can also view different tapestries and an altarpiece of the fifteenth century in the chapel.
The Carrouges castle was built between the 14th and the 17th century. It lies on the edge of Maine in Normandy, in the heart of the Normandy-Maine Regional Nature Park. It has an elegant gate building from the Renaissance.
The beautiful castle, built of brick, granite and slate, is surrounded by canals. It offers luxurious apartments with a Renaissance and classic décor. You can visit the Louis XI room, exactly where the king stayed in 1473, as well as the dining room and the monumental fireplace, the portraits and the paintings that the former owners of the castle, the kitchen and the collection of copper pots, or the beautiful staircase of honor.
Around the castle is a beautiful park of ten hectares, with gardens, bushes and an orchard and beautiful wrought iron gates (17th century).
There are several events throughout the year, including: candlelit visits on Friday nights in the summer season, concerts, exhibitions, children’s entertainment etc.
Undoubtedly the most striking piece of Normandy. A bit further away from La Maison des Druides (1.5 hours drive), but definitely worth a trip!
The abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel with its impressive monastery is located on an island off the coast of Normandy. The abbey among the most beautiful sights in France! The abbey is easily accessible from the mainland. There are extremely large tidal differences in the bay. From the abbey you have a great view over the bay! There is much to see, such as the Benedictine monastery, a beautiful cloister from the 13th century, the knight’s hall, the refectory and the miracle. It is special to visit the abbey in the evening, there is then a tranquil atmosphere. In the summer months you can enjoy concerts and cultural events that are organized here.
This is a beautiful cathedral of the thirteenth century. A pure gem of Gothic art whose choir is a remarkable masterpiece of Gothic art.
The cathedral is the flagship of enlightened religious sites in the Orne.
Many think of the Second World War in Normandy. On the beaches of Normandy began the liberation of Europe by the day known as D-Day. On the historic morning of June 6, 1944, three million Allied soldiers crossed The Channel to liberate Europe and put an end to the war.
You can see several remnants of these days along the coast. Think of the impressive American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. There are 10,000 soldiers buried there who were killed in the war. On the beaches you can still find the concrete “caissons” in the sea and bunkers and tanks. You can also visit the war museum Arromanches.
By car you can visit the five landing beaches in Normandy. Through a scenic route along the coast you can visit the beaches and places at your own pace.