The Eure, an eponymous river
Nouvelle Normandie and the history of this region are intimately linked to this valley. Indeed, its name is the same as the department in which we find ourselves, the Eure, as well as a handful of villages.
The Eure flows over 225 km, 20 km of which are in Nouvelle Normandie, and crosses four departments. From Bueil to Chambray via Pacy-sur-Eure, the river crosses eight other towns in Nouvelle Normandie: Neuilly, Breuilpont, Hécourt, Merey, Gadencourt, Croisy-sur-Eure, Ménilles, and Houlbec-Cocherel. It is the guiding design behind all the villages and landscapes in the valley…
A natural and rustic valley
The Eure valley is green, and its river unspoilt and calm. The best way to tame this area of Norman greenery is to take you time! But how?
SOLUTION NUMBER ONE: HIKING
Put on your shoes and set off along the “Between rivers and old stones” hiking trails, departing from Ménilles or from Jouy-sur-Eure in “the Bance valley”. Between vast plains, charming valleys, small woodland and authentic villages, the trickling of the water and the whistling of the cool wind in the trees give rhythm to your steps…
SOLUTION NUMBER TWO: CANOEING
Departing from the canoe-kayak area in Ménilles or Chambray, go down the river and experience its unexpected hillside panoramas! The activity is suitable for beginners and several different descents are possible. Paddle and negotiate the bridges spanning the river, but above all enjoy the viewpoints available to you. You are at the heart of a preserved and protected environment.
These are just two activities that can be enjoyed with friends, family or even the love of your life!
Rustic and authentic villages line the banks of the Eure river. Its charm lies in its old stones, its flowers, and the flowing water.
Long appreciated for its relaxed lifestyle, the valley includes many small castles and private estates. Among the best known are the Buisson de May in Saint-Aquilin-de-Pacy (Pacy-sur-Eure), the Château de Ménilles, the Domaine des Prévanches in Boisset-les-Prévanches and the Chanu preceptory founded by the Templars in Villiers-en-Désoeuvre.
What stands out the most is the multitude of bridges, washhouses (more than twenty in Nouvelle Normandie alone) and mills, which can be found in nearly all the villages. Don’t hesitate to take short breaks along the water’s edge to photograph them, especially in Croisy-sur-Eure, Houlbec-Cocherel and Pacy-sur-Eure. The landscapes are simply enchanting.
Did you know?
Aristide Briand discovered the village of Cocherel at the beginning of the 20th century. Falling under the spell of the Eure Valley, he stayed there regularly before buying a house and settling there on a permanent basis. According to his last wishes, this Nobel Peace Prize winner today rests in the small cemetery found in Houlbec-Cocherel.
Of course, you can’t visit the valley without going through Pacy-sur-Eure! Give yourself a few hours to discover this small shopping town (especially on Thursday which is market day). Go for a stroll on the ‘île des moulins’ and discover the pretty houses built on the water’s edge. Finally, enjoy a short break and taste one of the local beers.
The vintage spirit
Thanks to its authentic character, the Eure Valley is a small world apart and brings time to a standstill. Sometimes even, for a few hours, it will take you back in time…
THROUGH CINEMA AND PHOTO
To remember how it was before, we suggest you travel back to the pre-digital era and visit the municipal museum in Bueil. Clearly underestimated, this carefully designed museum is dedicated to the work of the famous French director, Jean Delannoy, and the history of cinema.
Jean Delannoy Museum of Cinema and Photography
Cameras, projectors, decorative elements, but also photographs, posters, cameras … and 226 copies of films! Hidden in a former hangar, visit this impressive collection with other museum enthusiasts and step back into a time before the digital age.
Let yourself be transported to the vintage atmosphere of the Pacy-sur-Eure tourist station and the rail tracks along the old line linking Orléans to Rouen. Closed to travellers in 1950, the line was brought back to life in 1996 thanks to the tourist train.
Would you like to enjoy the unique panoramas over the valley, shaped by the winding flow of the River Eure, or simply enjoy a meal? Climb aboard an Eure valley railway train (according to schedule).
The Eure Valley Railway
From Pacy-sur-Eure to Breuilpont or Cocherel, let yourself be transported into the vintage atmosphere of the railways and trains of yesteryear. As soon as you enter the station, discover the old-fashioned ticket offices, as well as the scales and goods yard. And let’s not forget the machines and cars waiting for you on the platforms.