With the roll-out of vaccinations still slow, it is becoming clear that the summer may not be as carefree as we thought. We’ll surely be able to move around again this summer, but it won’t mean a complete return to normality.
But, we all need to take a break, get some fresh air and get away from the repeated lockdowns of the past year, from the houses where we lived, ate, slept and worked.
So will you choose France or abroad?
Beyond the obvious difficulties of going abroad (PCR test, vaccination passport perhaps), we have to bet on the fact that the French will decide to support the national tourism this summer, its hotels, its guest houses, its bars and its restaurants.
Yes to traveling, but let’s travel differently! The crisis has allowed people to reflect on a greener tourism, more respectful of nature. This year, the idea is certainly not to go far away, to jump on a plane to get to the other side of the world. The idea is to rediscover France off the beaten track and to do it in an environmentally friendly fashion. We will all want to take the mask off and to do so, it will be essential to stay away from the crowds. In order to achieve this, Normandy and the countryside around Belle Isle sur Risle have a lot to offer.
The walks around Belle Isle sur Risle are numerous: starting from the hotel, there are no less than 6 walking circuits, from the smallest circuit (3km around the Etangs de Toutainville loop) to the largest circuit called “from one side of the river to the other” , a 21 km walk around Pont Audemer.
Walking and hiking trails in Normandy – Normandy Tourism, France (normandie-tourisme.fr)
All can be done on foot, by bike or by horse-riding. No, you’re not dreaming! Horse tourism is booming. The horse conveys a number of positive images: it is an agricultural heritage, cultural and tourist product, associated with sports and leisure activities in nature. It contributes to the positioning and attractiveness of a tourist destination, providing an image and qualities that forge the identity of a territory. Normandy is the Land of Horses and made sure to keep its top position by inaugurating a new route on 12 May 2021. It crosses the territories of Falaise, Lisieux, Bernay, Saint-Georges-du-Vièvre, Pont-Audemer Val de Risle, Roumois Seine and Jumièges and offers an immersion on lands dotted with stud farms. It joins the 6 existing itineraries.
Crédit photo: Marie-Anaïs Thierry
If horse-riding is not your cup of tea, you can opt for a bicycle. In Normandy, the bicycle is king and the Normandy cycle paths have developed at a rapid pace. Normandy has no less than 550 kilometres of cycle paths, including 5 greenways
Cycling in Normandy – Normandy Tourism, France (normandie-tourisme.fr)
If you don’t want to take your bike with you, Belle Isle sur Risle offers bike hire on the spot (by the hour or half-day)
Cycling is not the only activity you can do here. The hotel is located on a river island and also offers kayak rentals so you can sail on the Risle river around the hotel and around Pont Audemer. Nothing like it to take your mind off things and enjoy nature at its best.
Finally, if none of these activities tempt you, you can always enjoy the park around the hotel, make the most of the view, the peace and quiet while sipping your favourite cocktail on the hotel’s terrace.