Published 05/07/2022 Reading time: 5 min
Summer is the perfect season for hiking. Consider five ideas for summer hikes to test out in Normandy, following paths along rivers around the Eure. Head out on walks to explore the typical Normandy landscapes known as the bocage normand, the patchwork of fields divided by hedgerows. Set between Paris and the sea, the Eure is ideal for taking a country break over a weekend, or for longer hiking holidays in July and August.
Mont-Pivin at Les Andelys
Discover another side to Les Andelys. The village, made famous thanks to Château Gaillard fortress, one of the greatest gems in the Eure, provides many possibilities for exploration on foot, using signposted paths. Enjoy hiking up Mont-Pivin, on one of the best-loved hikes in the Eure. As you climb the Seine Valley’s slope, relish the unique views over Les Andelys and the Seine. This walking circuit offers a wonderful combination of unspoilt nature and exceptional heritage. While the level of difficulty is only moderate, you should still count some 3hrs for this 9km walk. The Randonnée du Mont-Pivin will lead you to explore Le Petit Andely. The Seine’s meander here also provides a quite different angle on Château Gaillard. One additional little extra you may spot along this walk is the wild orchids that crop up at the top of the slope. The Chemin de la Fontaine is suitably named, as a brook accompanies you on this part of the signposted route. While the shifts in altitude may appear daunting to some walkers, the viewpoints to be enjoyed are worth the effort!
Chemin des Ponts et Gués in the Pays d’Auge
On a weekend in the Pays d’Auge around Cormeilles, make the most of the typical landscapes of the bocage normand. This summer hike takes you along the Vièvre Valley and its extremely charming river. On this signposted trail, walkers will appreciate the bucolic setting of an unspoilt valley. Take your time exploring this little corner of Normandy set between the Brionne and Lieurey areas. To be more precise, this circuit leads you close to Saint-Georges-du-Vièvre. Following a former railway line, the route guides walkers from one ford to another. You’ll make many discoveries of local heritage on this hike lasting some 2hrs 50 mins. The trail is 11.4km in length, the level of difficulty is rated as moderate. For foodies, a reward awaits, if you arrive at the Ferme du Bois Louvet at the right time of day. Less than 10 minutes from the path, head for this lovely place to taste homemade ice-cream, or glace artisanale at the farm shop, checking in advance on opening times.
The Chemin du Rossignol in the Risle Valley
For seasoned walkers, the Chemin du Rossignol is a must-do Normandy hike to take on in summer. Discover this unique hiking trail through one of the Eure’s most beautiful valleys. Equipped with hiking boots, a hat and a rucksack, you begin this trail at Saint-Philbert-sur-Risle. Close by stand the ruins of the once-famed Château de Monfort-sur-Risle, still surveying the river. You’ll be following traces of medieval Eure, leaving from the Priory of Saint-Philibert. The mix of heritage and countryside proves ideal, reflecting the main attractions of the Risle Valley. Enjoy the many views down on the river. This waterway is in fact reputed as one of the best spots for angling in the Eure, practising no kill. Count 2hrs 30 mins of delight for this walk a little over 10km in length. Extend your day out by visiting the town of Pont-Audemer, nicknamed Normandy’s Little Venice.
Les Sentiers de l’Iton
With the sound of the river accompanying walkers, the Sentiers de l’Iton offer a great option to go on a hike taking you away from it all this summer. This walk, lasting some 3 hours, leads you peacefully beside branches of the Iton River between Evreux and Louviers. Make the most of the bucolic setting. The Iton is a calm river that offers a green, unspoilt getaway. You can also enjoy unique views across the Eure Valley, the River Eure flowing close by. The natural heritage in this little corner of Normandy is exceptional. So too the architectural heritage. Châteaux, churches, mills, old washhouses and other historic monuments are dotted along this summer hiking trail. Along its 11km, you get a good summary of hiking in the Eure – unspoilt nature, breathtaking landscapes and an exceptional architectural heritage.
The Circuit de Marcilly, a charming hike near Evreux
Close to the town of Evreux, this summer hike takes you through forest and beside water, allowing you to enjoy the rural heritage of these parts. Count 2hrs 30 mins for the 8.5km walk. Some names may intrigue you along the way, such as the Chemin des Amoureux (Lovers’ Way), val léger (the light valley) or la terre aux oies (goose lands)… The most distinctive feature of this walking trail is in fact its quirky charm. Walk along enjoying the country air this summer. Get back to nature crossing a forest and wandering beside a waterway. Make the most of this beautiful hike in Normandy. The Circuit de Marcilly provides an outdoor activity during which you can appreciate the peace of the Eure Valley. The village of Marcilly-sur-Eure is well known for its country setting. Admire the range of flora and fauna along the whole of this circuit. As you climb gently up the valley slopes, admire the typical Eure landscapes laid out in front of you.
Make the most of the many hikes, available in the Eure whatever the season. There’s a great number of walking trails to choose from, catering to different levels. Whether crossing the Parc Naturel Régional des Boucles de la Seine Normande or the Vexin Normand or going along a former Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route, the varied landscapes these trails lead you through are suited to hiking year-round. On your next holidays, take the time to savour family walks or then more challenging hiking in the Eure in Normandy. Topoguides, guidebooks geared to hikers, are published by the Fédération Française de Randonnée, adding to our selection of walks and hikes in Normandy. While enjoying this great outdoor activity, also take the opportunity to discover the flora and fauna around the Eure.
Find out about further hiking circuits and trails at the nearest tourist office to where you’re staying. Whether they’re called a balade, boucle, randonnée or circuit, there are plenty of choices of walks across the Eure. In this lovely corner of Normandy, you can wander along typically French routes, exploring a whole range of landscapes, from forests and agricultural plateaux to limetone slopes and secretive little valleys. Consult the list of further hikes, or randonnées for fine walks, or cycling and mountain-biking outings.
Book now for a gîte or a B&B (chambre d’hôte) close to the starting point of your preferred hike. Make the most of the comfort of a holiday rental in the countryside and of the best value for money options on a weekend in France.