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While this region of France isn’t a place where you’ll find a lot of vineyards, you’ll definitely see plenty of stunning orchards growing several kinds of apples.
Because apples grow here so abundantly, cider is the name of the game!
As there are several fantastic cider producers, there is even an entire Cider Route in Normandy you can drive along to taste and purchase this delightful beverage.
So in this Normandy Cider Route guide, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about visiting the Cider Route in Normandy as well as the perfect 1-day itinerary!
What Exactly is the Normandy Cider Route?
Located in the Pays d’Auge (an area that sits along the departments of Calvados and Orne) are several little towns like Cambremer, Beuvron-en-Auge, and Bonnebosq that make up a route where there are several cider farms.
This area is east of Caen and south of Deauville, and can be visited as a day trip from either city.
The Cider Route (or Route du Cidre in French) will lead you to several amazing farms and orchards, and you’ll drive past many lovely villages with charming half-timbered houses that are classic for Normandy.
There are over 20 farms to choose from and visit! These farms are designated as the Cru de Cambremer producers, and the A.O.P. Pays d’Auge ciders are amongst the best quality here.
You’ll see that there are also signs that point you to various farms along the route. However, I recommend perhaps doing a little research (or just stealing my Normandy Cider Route itinerary below), and having a bit of a plan ahead of time.
What Products Are Grown Along the Cider Route in Normandy?
Cider, of course!
I mean, yes, cider is grown here, but it is not the only apple beverage or product made here. For starters, there are different kinds of cider.
The farms here have the Cidre AOP Pays d’Auge as I discussed above, but there is also Cidre Brut (which is a dry cider), Cidre Doux (a sweeter cider with less alcohol), and Poire (a cider made from pears).
While many ciders in the US tend to be alcohol-free, the ones made along the Normandy Cider Route do have alcohol. Usually, Cidre AOP Pays d’Auge and Cidre Brut have around 4-5% alcohol, while Cidre Doux tends to have 2-2.5%.
Another big beverage made here is Calvados. There is also a Calvados Pays d’Auge AOP as well. Calvados is an apple brandy that is made by distilling the cider and fermenting it into an eau de vie. It is aged in oak casks before being sold as Calvados. The longer it ages, the smoother it becomes to drink.
For the Calvados Pays d’Auge AOP, it must be double distilled.
Calvados can be served in many ways including in cocktails or on its own as an aperitif or digestif.
Another famous drink of the region is Pommeau, especially the Pommeau de Normandie AOC. Pommeau is made by mixing apple juice and Calvados. This drink is great to end a meal as the sweetness goes well with chocolate or apple-based desserts.
Aside from these alcoholic beverages along the Route du Cidre, you can also enjoy regular apple juice, pear juice, apple cider vinegar, and more depending on the place you visit! Many farms also sell things like honey, cheeses, etc. too.
Perfect 1-Day Itinerary For the Normandy Cider Route
Now that you know more about the Cider Route in Normandy, France, and what products you can expect to find there, let’s talk about the perfect 1-day Cider Route itinerary.
I was in Normandy in September 2023 on a fun 7-day road trip. During this road trip, I definitely wanted to check out the best of the Cider Route, buy Normandy cider, and perhaps go on a tour of a Calvados distillery.
So if you want to have a great day along the French Cider Route in Normandy, you’ll love this itinerary that I made!
Stop 1: Desvoye Cider and Calvados
D146, 14340 ST AUBIN LEBIZAY
We started our day driving from Deauville, where we spent a few days during our Normandy road trip. Here, we began our first stop of the morning to Desvoye Cider and Calvados.
This place is a third-generation family-owned farm, and the interior of the tasting room is super charming with old farming equipment. They grow around 20 varieties of apples for their cider, all of which fall under the Cider AOP Pays d’Auge requirements.
While you’re here, ask for your first “degustation,” which means tasting in French. Many tastings along the Cider Route will include samples of ciders, Calvados, and Pommeau.
Here, we tasted Cider AOP Pays d’Auge, Pommeau de Normandie, Calvados, and even their other ciders. I particularly enjoyed the Cider AOP Pays d’Auge as well as the Brut.
Hours: April-June (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:30 am-12:15 pm and 2-6 pm). July-August (Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-12:15 pm and 2-6 pm). September through March (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 am-12 pm and 3-5 pm).
Tours: This place does offer tours in French during the summer, but reservations must be made in advance and cost €4 per adult.
Stop 2: Calvados Pierre HUET
5 Av. des Tilleuls, 14340 Cambremer
Next up, you’re going to head to one of the larger cider and Calvados farms in Cambremer. Calvados Pierre Huet dates back to the 1800s and is in its 5th generation now.
With its success and popularity for tasting, they even built a new reception area in 2010. Today, they’re all about sustainable production, and they grow over 25 types of apples here!
A tasting here also includes several of their ciders and Pommeau. Of the ciders, the Cidre AOP Pays d’Auge is definitely the best!
But, what they’re most famous for is their Calvados. They have a whole range of aged Calvados, from 2-3 years to 30+ years.
And, if you ask nicely, they may let you try an older Calvados if it’s available in the tasting room!
This is a great place to pick up a bottle or two of cider or a small bottle of Calvados to enjoy later in your trip.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 am-12:30 pm and 2-6 pm. Sunday and public holidays 10 am-1 pm and 3-6 pm. Closed on Sundays and public holidays from October-March.
Tours: Tours are offered in English (unless a group already reserved it in French) from April through September on Monday and Tuesday at 2:30 pm. It is offered in French from October through March from Monday-Friday at 11 am and 3 pm. It costs €3.50 per adult.
Stop 3: Les Jardins du Pays d’Auge
Av. des Tilleuls, 14340 Cambremer
After your tasting, you can wander over to Les Jardins du Pays d’Auge next door. These are some magnificent gardens that makeup about 4 hectares of land.
Here, you’ll find lovely flowers, trees, some small ponds, and cute, half-timbered buildings. There is also a crepe shop if you want to have lunch here.
It is well worth wandering around the gardens, taking photos, stopping to say “Bonjour” to the resident donkeys, and even visiting the little museum in the midst of the place.
Hours: Every day from May-September from 12:30 pm-6:30 pm. It is only open from Monday-Saturday from 1-5 pm during October 1-20.
Admission: €9 for adults, €5 for children aged 6-14, and free entry for children under 6.
Stop 4: Lunch in Cambremer at Au P’tit Normand
Pl. de l’Église, 14340 Cambremer
While you’re still in the lovely town of Cambremer, it is time to have a delicious Norman lunch. And the best place for that is Au P’tit Normand.
This is probably one of the best places we ate during our road trip, and if you want traditional Norman cuisine, this is the place to go. Enjoy things like steak with Camembert sauce, Andouillette with Normandy cream sauce, shallot, and chives, tripe, and even breaded Livarot cheese with fried potatoes!
It is definitely a place for a hearty lunch. But don’t forget a sweet treat at the end like the apple tart!
Hours: September-May it is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 12-2 pm and 7-9 pm. During June-August, it is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 12-2 pm and 7-9 pm and Sunday from 12-2 pm.
You may want to make reservations in advance as this place is quite popular!
Stop 5: GAEC du Manoir de Grandouet
Le Manoir de, 14340 Cambremer
As you can see, many of these cider farms on this Cider Route in Normandy itinerary are close to the charming town of Cambremer. And this one is just outside the town and is the most adorable little cider farm you’ve ever seen.
Aside from the absolutely stunning half-timbered farmhouses, there is an antique apple press and a little tranquil pond.
Also a third-generation cider farm, this place has 20 varieties of apples along its 28 hectares of orchards. Oh, and what is even more adorable is that they have 90 dairy cows grazing in their orchards.
The milk produced here is then made into Pont L’Eveque and Livarot cheeses at a local cheese dairy.
This is a great place to visit post lunchtime as the cider farms reopen for the remainder of the day. Again, a tasting here includes samples of their Cider AOP Pays d’Auge, other ciders, Pommeau, and Calvados.
I really enjoyed the pear cider as well as the Cidre Brut.
Hours: Open Monday-Saturday from 9 am-12:30 pm and 2-6 pm. Sunday from 2-6:30 pm.
Tours: They do offer free guided tours and tastings for groups of more than 15 people.
Stop 6: Bonnesbosq
This is a pretty quick stop, as this town is pretty small. However, it is along the Cider Route and is a really cute place. Enjoy driving through the town as you continue your way to the next stop.
Stop 7: Fermé de la Valle Au Tanneur
La Vall. aux Tanneurs, 14340 Repentigny
This is another great farm along the Cider Route in Normandy and one that we just happened upon before our last stop.
So take a quick little stop to this lovely spot for more samples of cider. This place also has quite a few Norman dairy cows in their orchards, and they make several apple products.
So come in for a tasting and enjoy their AOP Cider Pays d’Auge Ferme de la Vallee au Tanneur Semi-Dry and their Extra-Brut.
Hours: April 15-September 15 open daily from 9 am-12:30 pm and 2-7 pm. Open daily for the remainder of the year depending on attendance.
Stop 8: Chateau du Breuil
Le, Les Jourdains, 14130 Le Breuil-en-Auge
The last stop is actually not where you’ll find cider, and it isn’t technically on the Route du Cidre. However, it is a famous distillery making some of the best Calvados.
And you’re going to want to book reservations ahead of time for this one. This sprawling estate and distillery is making anything from Calvados AOC Pays d’Auge to rum and whiskey.
If you want to learn more about how Calvados is made, as well as sample their Calvados, Pommeau de Normandie, or perhaps a rum or whiskey, you’ll want to book a tour.
Luckily, there are quite a few tours that happen daily, and yes, they do offer tours in English as well.
We did the later tour in English when we visited. It was really cool to learn how Calvados is made and even see a really interesting video in the cellar projected onto barrels demonstrating how the product goes from tree to glass.
Hours: October-May (Daily from 9 am-12 pm and 2-6 pm). June-September (Daily from 9 am-6:30 pm).
Tours: Tours take place from 10 am, 11 am, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, and 5 pm. Tours last about an hour, and cost €8.50 for adults. As you’re booking, be sure to specify whether you need a tour in English or not. They do offer tours in English.
Optional Stop 9: Pont L’Eveque
Now you’re off the Normandy Cider Route, and if you have the time, why not head to the town of Pont L’Eveque, known for a cheese of the same name?
For us, as we were staying in Deauville, it was on the way back from Chateau du Breuil.
As I’ve discussed in my French cheese article, there are some regions that are pretty popular for cheese. Normandy is definitely one of those regions. So, while you’re here, why not stop by a fromagerie in the town of Pont L’Eveque to taste Normandy’s famous cheeses?
We went to Fromagerie La Dégusterie. It is open from 10 am- 7 pm, making it a great place to stop at the end of your day.
Here, you can taste the 4 main cheeses of Normandy: Pont L’Eveque, Livarot, Neufchatel, and Camembert. Purchase some cheeses from the cheese shop to take back with you for dinner that evening at your hotel!
After this visit, it is time to head back to wherever you’re staying!
1 Day on the Normandy Cider Route Map
When to Visit Normandy
Normandy weather seems to be closer to that of the UK than the South of France. So it can be overcast and rainy, especially in the winter months.
Also, as you’ve seen by the hours and such above, many Calvados and cider producers offer more tours and longer hours during the summer months. I would recommend visiting the French Cider Route in Normandy between June through mid-September for the best chances of better weather and more places being open.
However, note that the height of summertime will be the busiest. Many people are on vacation, especially during July and August, meaning tours may be fully booked and it is difficult to have a quick tasting somewhere.
So June and September are actually pretty good months to go to avoid most of the summertime crowds.
Where to Stay For the Cider Route
Most people tend to stay in the city of Caen and visit the Normandy Cider Route from there. However, we really enjoyed making a day trip from Deauville and basing ourselves in this delightful beachside town.
And additionally, there are some cute places to stay in the countryside! Here are some options.
Caen: Clos Saint-Martin
Located in the historic center of Caen, this restored mansion dates back to the 16th-18th centuries. This bed and breakfast is full of charm and is in a great spot for exploring the city!
In the city center of Caen is this lovely hotel featuring colorful and comfortable rooms, a tasty local breakfast, and is within close proximity to parking and many shops.
Deauville: Villa Augeval Boutique & Spa
This is where we stayed on our visit to Deauville and it was delightful! This gorgeous hotel has a heated pool, stunning rooms, and a lovely garden area to relax in after a day exploring the Cider Route in France.
Countryside: Chateau de Hieville
Located in the middle of the Pays d’Auge, you’re in a fantastic place for exploring. We actually stayed here on our last couple of nights during our Normandy road trip to relax in the countryside. This estate is complete with a heated pool, garden, and even a resident donkey and goat.
Oh, and the interior of this bed and breakfast is full of charm, complete with portraits and a tapestry from the owner’s family estate. You’ll love the spacious and beautifully decorated rooms, the tranquility of the countryside, and the homemade breakfasts!
We fell in love with this amazing chateau and it is within easy driving distance to the cider farms!
Other Tips For Visiting the Cider Route in Normandy, France
- You’ll likely need a car. There aren’t many guided tours of the Cider Route that you can take, which means you’ll likely need to rent a car. I like checking Auto Europe for the best deals!
- Drink responsibly! As this is a driving itinerary, please drink responsibly. Have a plan to safely get around.
- You may want to learn some French. While places like Calvados Pierre HUET and Chateau du Breuil have people who speak English, note that at many of the smaller farms, they may not. Even just knowing a few key French phrases is a good idea. Even a simple, “Pourrais-je avoir une degustation, s’il vous plait?” will help. This means “ Could I have a tasting, please?” Also, if you wish to buy something, say “Je voudrais acheter ça, s’il vous plait.” This means, “I would like to buy this.” Just be sure to point at what you’d like to buy. For other useful French phrases, check out this post.
- Always start with Bonjour or Bonsoir. Yes, always say, “Bonjour” or “Bonsoir,” when you enter a place. It is considered rude not to. I usually switch to Bonsoir in the evenings around sunset or 5 pm.
- Tastings are usually free or very inexpensive. If you decide to purchase anything almost all the ciders are very inexpensive as well. Calvados can get pricey depending on how long it has been aged, but you’ll find many reasonably priced bottles as well.
- For details on each of the Cru de Cambremer producers, check this list.
- Searching for travel insurance? I love World Nomads!
So there you have it! This is everything you need to know before going cider and Calvados tasting in Normandy on the Normandy Cider Route!
This unique route in France is a great place to get acquainted with the region’s most famous fruit! Which place would you most like to visit?
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