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Lying between a huge artificial harbor and the 125m Roule Mountain, the seaside town of Cherbourg has figured significantly in the history of not only France but all of Europe. Its location on the English channel, and variety of historical attractions make it an ideal holiday destination. To explore as much as possible during your stay the most convenient form of transport are car rental services. For cheap quotes compare the market with carrentals.co.uk and we will find you cheap car hire in Cherbourg today.
The harbor walls, or dykes, were constructed over the 18th and 19th centuries, and are magnificent engineering feats. Following many changes over the years, today the central dyke remains the highlight of the town with its three forts. Exploring around the harbour area, tourists will come across the site of the great château, destroyed in 1689; the Bassins, viewing the original port during the 19th century; Voeu Abbey; the ocean liners 'The Queens of the Atlantic' which ferried emigrants to the Americas; and Emmanuel Liais Park. The town has sign posted several historic walks through the harbor area, and arrangements can be made for guided tours.
Other attractions around the town include the historic churches of Saint Trinity Basilica, Notre-Dame du Voeu, and Saint Clement. The Theatre of Cherbourg features massive crystal chandeliers and exquisitely painted ceilings. It has been designated both an historical monument and a 'Scene Nationale'. Another Historical Monument is the 16th century Ravelet-Tourlaville Castle and surrounding landscaped park.
Located on the end of the Cotentin Peninsula, Cherbourg is a convenient base from which to explore the surrounding Normandy region, discovering treasures like the Hague and the beautiful Val de Saire.
Cherbourg features a myriad of quality restaurants and quaint cafes, and in the evening a variety of nightlife livens up the town. Accommodations to suit all budgets are easily found.
Out of town
The region around Cherbourg is renowned for its striking châteaux, and it is well worth hiring a car to see the outlying towns and their luxurious mansions.
Château Ravalet is an Italian Renaissance structure situated in the nearby town of Tourlaville, and takes its name from its founders; the Ravalet family. Its original construction dates from the 16th century, but it was restored in the 19th century in a style more fashionable to the time. It is now a national monument, standing under the shade of tall trees with ponds, winding paths and delicate greenhouses scattering its grounds.
Château Nacquaville, in the nearby town of Urville-Nacquaville, is a 16th century home featuring a heavenly English garden, complete with pond mirrors and water features, and is famous for its azaleas, rhododendrons and giant gunneras.
Six kilometres away from Cherbourg is the town of Domaine de Beurepaire, where travellers will find yet another château by the name of Martinvaast. However, the original building was replaced many years ago, and all that remains of the original is the ancient Norman dungeon. The standing structure is charming, however, with a lovely 19th century wing and a wonderful English garden.
For those that tire of sightseeing, or crave a dose of natural beauty, Cherbourg is a fantastic starting point for a trip into the region of Val de Saire, which is off the beaten track and graced with exquisite scenery.
Cherbourg can be accessed via connections from Charles de Gaulle International Airport, which serves direct international flights to all major world cities. Travellers landing here have the option of catching a connecting flight to Cherbourg or continuing their journey by road or rail. Shuttle services into the town are both frequent and reliable. There are also reliable and fast rail services from Paris.
Car rentals are available at Charles de Gaulle International Airport from the arrivals area. Keep a look out for Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Hertz, Sixt and TT car Transit. We compare even more rental firms so book cheap car hire in Cherbourg here today.
Cherbourg is a relatively short and easy 3 hour drive from Paris. From the capital, follow the A13 for approximately 240kms until you reach Caen, and then follow the RN13 for a further 120kms to reach Cherbourg. If travelling by car from the UK, the most obvious route would involve using one of the cross-Channel ferry services that arrive at Cherbourg’s port.
Getting to Cherbourg by train from the UK via the Channel Tunnel takes approximately three hours. It is possible to reach Cherbourg from other parts of France using the comfortable, efficient and reasonably priced French train system, which is also well-connected to other cities in Europe.
Reaching Cherbourg by bus from other parts of France and Europe is simple, as the European bus systems are, on the whole, well-organised, cost-effective and efficient. If travelling from destinations outside France, you may need to catch several buses to reach your final location.
Cherbourg is a major port, and ferries arrive regularly from the UK and run several times a day, all year round. From Portsmouth in Britain, P&O operates standard ferries and the Superstar Express, which makes the journey in less than three hours. From Poole, ferry trips take about four hours. Ferries also run between Cherbourg and Rosslare in Ireland.