Visit Vire: A guide to the Calvados town in Normandy

Visit Vire: A guide to the Calvados town in Normandy

Halfway between Caen and Mont St Michel, nestled in the Calvados department in Normandy, is the town of Vire. It has an estimated population of just over 17,000 and has an incredibly diverse landscape all within an hour from the coast. Well-situated and reasonably priced, Vire is a great place to visit as a tourist, and many even choose to set up home (or second home!) in this North-Western town. 

An estimated 95% of Vire was bombed in June 1944 during the D-Day invasion, and therefore very little has survived, making for a modern town with wide streets and the open Place du 6 Juin 1944. However, the Église Notre Dame, built from local granite, was salvaged along with the Porte Horloge, the main gateway from when Vire was a walled-city in the Middle Ages, which still stands as a relic of the 13th century in the centre.  

There’s a great selection of cafés and restaurants to choose from to enjoy your apéro, as well as a lively market every Friday morning to get yourself some lovely local produce. Vire is renowned for its traditional delicatessen meats, and home to the andouille de Vire, a pork sausage made from pig intestines that’s smoked over beech wood, considered a Norman delicacy. 

The Foire à l’andouille is a celebration held in Vire in which many local artisans present regional produce and celebrate the gastronomy of Normandy, from Calvados cider to the 15,000 tonnes of scallops brought into its ports and harbours every year. 

If you’re looking for something to do, you can pop in to the Vire Museum to see some fine art and learn about the area, or drive an hour north (60km) to the Bayeux Museum to see the famed tapestry that depicts the Norman conquest of England. Just north of Vire are the gorges where you can discover the Bocage Normand, with its granite plateaux and green meadows, a beautiful example of Calvados’ varied landscape.  

If you see this landscape as inviting enough to set up home, you’ll be happy to know that property prices in Vire are cheaper than the department average, currently at €1,050/m² in the town compared to Calvados’ €2,200/m².

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