Leisure and outdoor activities
biking (mind the hills!) and even horseback riding are the best
ways to enjoy the landscape of Suisse Normande.
Two riding centres will welcome you. The first one in Pont d'Ouilly (La Baronnerie, tel : 02 31 69 71 70) and the second in Notre Dame du Rocher (Christelle Scaramozzino, tel : 06 10 12 40 30)
Kayaking and canoeing are also strongly
recommended. Enjoying quite a boom in the past few years, those
sports provide an ideal way of exploring the River Orne and its
banks, of sliding past peaceful pastures and steep cliffs, away
from cars and crowds. Kayak centres can be founds in Thury-Harcourt, Clécy and Pont
d'Ouilly. In summer, kayaks and canoes can be rented to go
down the river; at the end of the ride, the boats and their crews
will be driven back to their starting point.
For a detailed description of canoeing and kayaking, see the website of Pont d'Ouilly
kayak centre.Kayak centres of Thury (33 2 31 79 40 59),
Clécy (33 2 31 69 72 82), Pont d'Ouilly (33 2 31 69 86
All year long and by all kind of weather, aquatic centre also are a good venue for water sports lovers. They offer recreation spaces (huge slides), relaxation (jacuzzi, saunas) as well as large swimming lines... to please everybody. Falaise, tél : 02 31 41 69 00 ; Thury-Harcourt : 02 31 79 03 18 ; Condé-sur-Noireau : 02 31 69 02 93.
cliffs in Clécy are very much
in favour the rock-climbers as well as the hang-gliders. As a matter of fact hang-gliding is practiced from several sites in Saint Omer (along "la route des Crêtes"). Experienced people can fly over Suisse Normande.
If you need training and equipment, "Plaine-Altitude" is meant for you. Opened a few years ago and run by passionate young men, it offers first try (with a monitor) and training courses. Equipment is provided.
The begginers course is a week long (39H hours, 4 to 7 days depending on weather conditions). You will fly alone several times but under constant watch. There is also an experienced people course (35h) which can be replaced by individual lessons. At the end of it, you should be able to fly on your own.
Ecole de Parapente "Plaine Altitude". Tel: 02 31 69 39 31, www.plaine-altitude.com
highly unusual way of sightseeing is the "vélorail"
("bike on railtracks") at Pont Erambourg. Riding on
a disused railtrack, those little pedal-driven devices allow
visitors to enjoy the lovely Noireau valley, away from the traffic.
Gare de Pont Erambourg, 61790 Saint Pierre du Regard
(02 31 69 39 30)
During summer, numerous concerts are given in
the little towns of the area. The "Musical Saturdays",
in Falaise, feature free rock and
pop concerts on Saturday evenings in July and August, on the
town main square.
From spring to automn, towns and villages
organise car-boot sales (called in French "vide-greniers",
"empty your attics"!) along their main streets. A good
opportunity to find real bargains and to discover new places!