Upper Normandy Description and Information

Upper Normandy Départements

Upper Normandy Description

Haute-Normandie, located in northwest France, is home to the major ports Le Havre and Dieppe and also to some lovely resorts such as Étretat. Le Havre, the second largest port in France, is the first port of call in Europe for imports: its commercial docks offload goods from all over the world. Dieppe is one of the nicest ports in France and popular with visitors - especially day-trippers - from the UK. On Saturday, Dieppe hosts one of the best street markets in northern France, which spreads throughout the town's streets and sells fresh products from all over the country, including fish sold straight from the boats.

Stretching south 100km from Dieppe to Étretat is the Côte d'Albâtre, where pebble beaches are backed by impressive tall, white cliffs. Along this coast there are small villages and few resorts. Here, villages nestle in a succession of dry valleys, the cliffs of which are fast eroding. One such place is the fishing port of Fécamp, with its attractive seafront promenade, where a Bénédictine monastery was built after a few drops of Christ's blood was miraculously found. Once it was a popular destination for pilgrims but today the majority of visitors come to try the digestif Benedictine that is still made here. Further south is the small pretty town of Étretat where the white cliffs are at their most spectacular; the unusual rock formations including arches, tunnels and a solitary "needle" out at sea.

Inland Upper Normandy is a land of meadows and orchards, as well as many rivers and brooks. Its half-timbered colombage houses are much in demand. The majority have been modernised and are second homes for both Parisians and the British. Thanks to its access to many ferry links to the south of England, the région is extremely popular with the British and some areas are so popular that estate agents even answer the phone in English. For Brits wishing to completely escape other Brits, Upper Normandy is certainly not the best place for your second or permanent home!

For anyone wishing to start a business in Upper Normandy, the best assets the région has to offer are its transport infrastructure (its modernised port installations, linked to all the European communications networks, symbolise the merchant power of this region), large energy supply and the lowest rate of local taxation per head after Ile-de-France. The level of unemployment is one of the highest in France, although salaries are also above average.

Upper Normandy Population

  • Population: 1,780,192
  • Pop.density (people per km2): 145

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