La Suisse Normande, a protected region

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La Suisse Normande

The region of La Suisse Normande, straddles the departments of the Orne and Calvados and is reminiscent of the rugged landscapes of Switzerland. A minister visiting Clécy is said to have given the region this nickname.

La Suisse Normande region came into being in the second half of the 19th century with the development of railways, tourism and increased interest in the countryside. Travelogues have highlighted this region of Normandy for its surprising reliefs and landscapes. The Orne valley, which crosses the region from north to south, is the real “backbone” of Suisse Normande.

Postcards popularise the must-see sites, such as Clécy and its rocks, the 118-metre sheer drop of the Roche d’Oëtre and Pont d’Ouilly…

Varied landscapes

The landscapes of the Suisse Normande leave no room for indifference; shaped by geology and water and the diversity of rock types (granite, schist, Armorican sandstone, puddingstones, etc.) giving rise to an astonishing variety of landforms. This exceptional landscape is also the result of human activity. As you travel through the wild valleys, you’ll come across traces of former activities that used the power of water (mills, old textile factories, dye works, etc.).

Beauty spots not to be missed in the Suisse Normande

Don’t skip the must-see natural sites of the Suisse Normande in the Orne and Calvados! Their common points represent the DNA of the Suisse Normande because of their geological characteristics, rocky escarpments, panoramas, meanders and gorges…

To immerse yourself in the heart of Suisse Normande, follow two signposted tourist routes:

Activities for the Hills and Valleys

In the Suisse Normande , you can enjoy a wide range of mid-mountain outdoor activities. Take a look: hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and kayaking, cycling (electrically-assisted or not, for the sporty types!), rock climbing, sports fishing, tree climbing, paragliding, via-ferrata, summer sledging, vélorail and orienteering…

Did you Know ?

Grimpeur cycling enthusiasts will want to climb the famous Col de Berjou, which is the venue for an annual cycle race. Climb it by following the route “De la Vère au col de Berjou”.

Along the Lembron

To understand the evolution of the landscapes of the Suisse Normande, take the Lembron trail ( Au fil du Lembron)! This 6km trail is marked out by 6 in formation points in which you will find two local characters, Valmont and Clovis, who will guide you through a variety of themes: geology and granite, water and hedges. There is also a 9.7-kilometre Le Lembron variant.