Le Havre, France cruise holidays
With a sweeping beach, thriving shopping centres and attractive docksides to explore, Le Havre has a lot to offer. This bustling French port serves up memorable sights from across the ages. The modern city centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its spectacular post-war reconstruction by Auguste Perret. For more works of art, visit MuMa (the Museum of Modern Art) where Monet's Waterlilies float alongside many Impressionist masterpieces. For those wishing escape the city centre, take a trip to The Hanging Gardens (Les Jardins Suspendous) where rare plants from across the world now decorate the four bastions of the old fortress. The views across the Seine Estuary are excellent. Graville Abbey lets you step back in time to the 11th century and is a fine example of Romanesque art in Normandy. Le Havre's position also makes it the perfect gateway to some of Normandy's most picturesque towns and villages, including the pretty harbour of Honfleur and inspirational Etretat - characterised by stylish mansions, sheer white cliffs and soaring waves that crash below. Capture the life of Claude Monet in nearby Rouen, where you can wander around the graceful gardens of his home. In the town, half-timbered houses, churches and cafs sit alongside the great Cathdrale Notre-Dame, which is well worth a visit. Also nearby is the Old Marketplace where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake in 1431. Alternatively take in the sights in stylish Paris - the country's capital. Have lunch in one of the cities many cafes, look at the amazing art in The Louvre and meander through Montmartre where you'll find the famed Moulin Rouge. And what better way to admire the views than from the emblematic Eiffel Tower?