Orne is located just south of the Normandy region, with picturesque landscapes of countryside, apple orchards and forest. For visitors with a keen interest in history, there are a multitude of museums, monuments, castles, churches, fortified mills and maritime sites. Leisure activities include horse-riding, hiking, water sports, fishing, cycling, exploring the Orne estuary with its plethora of fauna and flora as well as parachuting, hot air ballooning and micro lighting. A long distance hiking trail between the GR22 and GR36 runs through Orne and is particularly popular. You have the option of walking the shorter, marked routes, which are just as beautiful. The area has a strong focus on gastronomy and local cuisine focuses on foie gras, Camembert cheese, fresh seafood and cider.
If you like horses, you could visit the Haras du Pin National Stud Farm. It was founded in 1715 and has a chateau, paddocks, stables and saddle room you can visit. There are frequent events such as horse racing, dressage competitions, eventing and exhibitions. One tour not to be missed is the Route du Fromage, a cheese route with museums and fromageries to visit where you can learn how the various cheeses are produced, taste them for yourself and even buy some to take home. Similarly, if you enjoy Calvados brandy then you must take La Route du Cidre, a 40 km long route where you can visit the distilleries, see how the cider and brandy is made and taste for yourself. The 18th century Chateau de Bourg is definitely worth a visit, with its 400 hectares of lush grounds, stables, fragrant orangery as well as period furniture and exquisite Aubusson tapestries.
Getting to Orne is relatively easy as there are frequent flights to neighbouring Caen Airport in Calvados, 83.2 km. Alternatively you can take the TGV train, which operates throughout the year. Most towns and cities have a good railway network.
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