Feel like an escapade outside the town? Then head for the Orne and the Mue valleys! Get ready to cross some unique landscapes with an exceptional natural heritage. Put on your best pair of walking shoes and set off on an adventure. And we’re off.

The Orne valley, a top nature destination in Normandy

When you visit the Orne valley you will see one of the most famous sights in Normandy. This is a mosaic of landscapes with rare animal and plant species. The site became part of the Natura 2000 European network in 2010!

Whether you are on your own or on a guided tour, you can cross the valleys, the wet meadows, the narrow and deep passages and alluvial forests.

To get close up to the river and its secret landscapes, follow the canoeists. You will begin a journey along the green way following the River Orne on foot or by bike. If you are feeling really energetic, then you can go all the way to the Grimbosq Forest, 19 km south of Caen.   

But you can also see all the heritage of the Orne valley. Châteaux and manor houses, villages and hamlets… This is a real picture postcard, where nature and old stone buildings co-inhabit.

A journey back in time in the Mue valley

In the Mue valley, the villages that were liberated in 1944 have preserved their extraordinary heritage!

Along the river, you can follow the windmill trail! On the way, make sure you keep a look out all around you! On the right bank, you will see deep caves that were once quarries. On the other bank, you will see washing places, chapels and wayside crosses.

Take the time to explore the path making its way along the Mue valley. You will come across a whole host of manor houses and small chateaux surrounded by gardens and parks. It is said that the wealthier citizens of Caen built these houses in the 19th century to get away from the dangers of the city.

Architecture buffs recommend the old church in Thaon, dating from the 6th and 7th century. Park at the nearby car park for a great ride in the forest. You will see the Norman Romanesque building, one of the first sites to be listed as a historical monument in 1840!