At the heart of the Bessin region of Calvados, Bayeux is a town with an exceptional architectural heritage. The small, medieval town has distinguished itself many times during its thousand-year old history and has many world-famous treasures like the celebrated Bayeux tapestry, recorded on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.
Bayeux is renowned for its history and also for its good food. Bessin is brimful of local produce like crème fraîche and AOP butter from Isigny Sainte Mère which are part of many of the dishes on the menus of Bayeux restaurants. The compact town is a lovely place to stroll around with cobbled streets, half-timbered facades and little craft shops.
Bayeux has a busy programme of events. Every year at the beginning of summer the town is transported back to the Middle Ages during the Médiévales de Bayeux when the streets echo to the music and songs of troubadours and minstrels !
Bayeux is an ideal destination to combine sight-seeing, relaxation and leisure activities as it has something for everyone. Take time to contemplate the fabulous 70-metre long Bayeux Tapestry and understand the story of the Norman Conquest of England by William the Conqueror told by this ancient comic strip. A special audio guide for children puts an element of fun into the historic and cultural visit – youngsters love it !
Bayeux loves to recount its history and to perform it too. Visit the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Bayeux to watch a performance of “La Cathédrale de Guillaume”. The Bayeux tapestry is lit up and its story told in a spectacularly original way. Bayeux was the first town to be liberated by the Allies after the Normandy Landings. This piece of history is told in a very surprising way … on a huge tree ! All summer, a 360° show is projected onto the ‘Arbre de la Liberté (Tree of Freedom) and the buildings around it. An absolutely spectacular display !
In order not to miss anything about the history of Bayeux, take a guided tour of its charming little streets dotted with magnificent mansions. You will learn about the history of the town and discover that Bayeux is a town of craft skills and expertise. Embroidery, lace and china are still made here. The small jewellery shops, independently-owned clothes shops, tea rooms and shops selling fine foods are an absolute delight.