With a stunning alabaster coastline, flourishing pastures and charming architecture, Normandy’s picturesque nature – once Monet’s inspiration – is in evocative contrast to its turbulent past. Although most famous for WWII’s D-Day landings in 1944, Normandy has played many leading roles in European history. In between your time spent at beautiful pebbled beaches, renowned museums or meandering country lanes, visit the spot where, in 1431, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake or see the celebrated Bayeux tapestry. Aside from the serious stuff, Normandy is also pretty cheesy … literally. While several world-renowned cheeses are created here, seafood is also a specialty, with fresh oysters and mussels in constant supply. With both history and gastronomy, you’ll find plenty to do in this stunning coastal region.