I fell in love with La Manche well before living here for two plus months during the COVID-19 confinement. La Manche is a department of Normandy that extends from the Mont Saint-Michel to Cherbourg. Not only is it gorgeous, but there is so much to see and do. I’m going to highlight a few Normandy towns to see in La Manche, starting with Genêts.
Genêts is directly across the bay from Mont Saint-Michel. It was a former port where they traded wine, wheat, dried fish, plaster, limestone, and fabrics. The estuary eventually dried up over several centuries, so now marshes separate the town and the sea.
Genêts has paths where you can walk or bike that take you along the edge of the town with sweeping views of Mont Saint-Michel. We loved exploring and seeing all of the animals including cows and the famous agneau de prés-salés. Because of the tides, the grass in the marshes is salty which gives the lamb a distinct taste. You’ll only find these lambs in La Manche near Mont Saint-Michel. I highly recommend trying this local specialty if you see it on a menu.
Also in Genêts is Le Bec d’Andaine, a departure point for walking across the bay (which absolutely must be done with a guide) to Mont Saint-Michel or Tombelaine, a bird reserve. I haven’t done the walk yet but it’s on my list!
Genêts ticks all of the boxes of a charming Normandy town, but you can only find the views of Mont Saint-Michel in La Manche. It’s especially lovely in the spring with bright-colored roses peeking out from different gardens. And of course, we stopped at the local boulangerie to taste their house specialty, the Galette Genestaise.
If you’re staying in La Manche for a few days while in Normandy, be sure to add Genêts to your list of towns to see. Otherwise, it’s a great addition to a visit of Mont Saint-Michel!