January in Normandy tends to be a fairly quiet time. Some businesses take the opportunity to close after the December festive season so it’s best to check before visiting a shop, restaurant or attraction. That said, it’s perfect if you’ve also been run off your feet and want to re-charge your batteries.
Read on for my recommendations of things to do in January in Normandy. There are also some suggestions of things to do in winter at the bottom of the article.
Eat A Traditional January Pastry
January is a fantastic month to visit France if you want to enjoy a pastry known as Galette des Rois. It’s the equivalent of a King’s Cake and traditionally appears in boulangeries and supermarkets from 6th January onwards. If you want to make your own then I’ve included a video below. There’s also an article below with more information about the cake and it explains the significance of the gold crown decoration and the charm you might find inside.
Visit The Sales
In Normandy the sales will take place from 10th January to 6th February 2024. Look for a sign saying ‘soldes’ in the shop windows. Maybe pick up a bargain on an iconic French brand such as Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Le Creuset, Lancôme, Diptique, Chanel or Hermès?
Explore A Nearby Town or Attraction
The larger cities of Caen, Rouen and St Malo in nearby Brittany are large enough to enjoy for a day trip in January. Bayeux is enjoyable to stroll around although the three museums including the Bayeux Tapestry are closed for the whole of January. The towns of Granville, Villedieu and Coutances are also perfect for a stroll if it’s not raining.
Experience The High Tides
Although there are no official high tides in January, there will be some days when the tide will be considerably higher than usual. The official definition of a high tide is when the co-efficient is 100 or more. From 12th to 15th January 2024 the co-efficient on the Normandy coastline will be over 90. There’s even a nearby village where a road gets completely covered by the sea as the tide rises. Conversely, as tide recedes, huge swathes of golden sand are revealed and you can walk for miles.
Visit A Biscuit Shop and Tea House
The biscuits at La Maison du Biscuit in Sortosville-en-Beaumont are something special. Made with creamy Normandy butter and quality ingredients, they are a favourite among French people visiting the area. The company was founded in 1903 and their range has developed over the years. They’ll be open every day in January (apart from the 1st) from 8.30am – 7pm. There’s also a tea shop on site. Visit the Maison du Biscuit website for more information.
There are some more recommendations for things to do in winter in the link below. Some of the suggestions are also relevant for January in Normandy. The weather can be variable including rain or even snow. However, you may lucky and experience some cold but crisp and bright weather. The images below were all taken in January.