Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët is a village of Manche department, in Normandy region. It is at the frontier of three provinces: Normandy, Brittany and Pays de la Loire, and is located 35km from the Mont Saint Michel and its famous abbey.
The closest airport is Rennes.
By car, from Paris, take the A14 and then A13 motorway towards Caen and Alencon, then the N176 road to Saint Hilaire du Harcouet.
In 911, Saint Hilaire du Harcouet was already a small Christian village when Charles le Simple converted it into a fortified place. In 1083, William the Conquerer chose it as a strategic place to defend its territory and asked his step brother, Robert Comte de Mortain, to build a castle there. The name of the town comes from Harsuculf de Saint Hilaire who was the first owner of the village and architect of the stronghold. Today, only a tower remains from this castle.
Le Mortainais area lies before the park of Maine and Normandy. It is made of beautiful landscapes such as the Mortain falls, the Arthour pit, forests, rivers,…
The lakes of Vezins and of Prieure lie in the valley of the river Airon, south of the town. These peaceful green areas are perfect for relaxing in family or sport activities. The surroundings of the lakes provide facilities for children, water sports (canoeing, sailing, rowing, and fishing), hiking, cycle touring, archery…
Saint Hilaire du Harcouet also offers a few monuments to explore; the abbey of Savigny, created in 1103, spread over 7,000sqm and hosted more than 300 monks. The Neo gothic church was built in 1855 and houses oak statues of Saint Hilaire and Saint Etienne.
The tower of the previous church dates from the 15th century and today, it is set in the park. It was registered as Historic Monument in 1921.
Every Wednesday morning, the market takes place in the city centre, place Delaporte. In summer, this market is one of the most significant in the region with about 220 retailers. The market offers local products, food, fruits and vegetables, clothes, jewels, second hand books…
Food and Drink
Sea food is a major part of Manche diet: soles, sea bream, sea bass, john dory, ray and many other fish can be found everywhere in the region. Manche department is the first producer of oysters in France. Granville is the first harbour in France for whelks and the Chausey islands abound in lobsters. Manche is also proud of its Apple trees and apple based food and drinks: cider, Pommeau, Calvados, apple liqueur, cider confit and apple jelly are the most famous. Normandie is also popular for its cheese of which Camembert and Pont l’Eveque are good examples. L’Andouille de Vire is a speciality of Villedieu les Poele and Vire and his one of the most traditional meals in the region.
- LE CYGNE. 99 rue Waldeck Rousseau, 50600 Saint Hilaire du Harcouet. Tel : 02.33.49.11.84
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