In mid-June, the thermometer happily exceeds the 30 ° C mark in the region. In this strong heat, we know that it is essential to hydrate well, but also to avoid stuffy places. Here is a list of various Norman cool places where you can go to escape the heat, while discovering the local heritage.
The sea, the lakes, the forests, the gardens: these natural havens of freshness mean that we can consider ourselves happy to live in Normandy when the mercury climbs high on the thermometers. And if it is still too hot on the beach or under the trees, it is always possible to take refuge in the traditional air-conditioned places such as cinemas, supermarkets, or museums.
Beyond these usual anti-heatwave haunts, the region is full of cool and pleasant places to spend time and get educated at the same time.
1Places of worship
Old stone, high ceilings, stained glass windows that dim the atmosphere, religious buildings serve as a haven of freshness. In the region, with two « Cities with a hundred spires » and many places of worship scattered throughout the territory, we can say that we are blessed. Four basilicas (Lisieux, La Chapelle-Montligeon, Bonsecours and Dover-la-Délivrande), seven cathedrals (Rouen, Evreux, Coutances, Bayeux, Le Havre, Lisieux and Sées), a dozen abbeys (Mont Saint-Michel, Caen, Lucerne, Hambye…) and hundreds of churches, so many places full of symbols and history to discover at all times, and even more so when the sun is beating hard outside.
2The underground and caves
Do as many animals do, stay away from the scorching rays of the sun by infiltrating underground. On this theme, you will find nothing better than the Subterranean Slates, in Caumont l’eventé (14). 30 meters below the ground, it’s constantly 12 ° C, you might even need to put on a sweater to browse the galleries of the site. Another underground walk, the visit of the Cave of the Petites-Dalles (76) that our reporter Felix Bollez makes you discover in the report below.
Discovery of the cave of the Petites-Dalles
Do you know the insides of the largest cities in the region? In Rouen, the underground of the Dungeon are to be discovered. And in Caen, cooler, a network located 12m underground, it was used to store foodstuffs, but was also a shelter and a hiding place during the Second World War. On the other hand, you will have to anticipate the hot weather, because its visits, only in the summer, are already complete for 2022.
3The cider cellars
The Normans who grew up in the countryside, with ancestors who produced apple alcohol, know this well: it is cool in the cellars, near barrels and bottles. Some of these cellars can be visited, at the cider and calvados producers. The Pays d’auge is full of distilleries ready to open their doors to you, especially along the the cider route and its twenty producers. However, in case of severe heat, we strongly advise you to give preference to apple juice over alcoholic beverages.
The regional health agency (ARS) has set up its heatwave info service toll-free number, 0 800 06 66 66, a toll-free number for advice during this period of high heat.