Bagnoles de l’Orne is a charming and picturesque town located in the heart of Normandy. It is known for its natural beauty, Belle Époque architecture and thermal springs. It is a perfect place for those seeking relaxation, outdoor activities and a taste of French history and culture.
Firstly, you cannot fail to notice the famous casino so, if you are feeling lucky, why not see if the house really always does win?! It is also a beautiful entertainment venue that hosts concerts, theatre productions and other cultural events throughout the year.
Bagnoles de l’Orne, as it names suggests, is in the Orne department of Normandy. It is a small town that can easily be explored on foot. You can start your exploration at the beautiful Lake Bagnoles, which sits at the center of the town where you can rent a paddleboat or kayak.
Afterwards, you can take take a leisurely stroll along the promenade and enjoy the various boutiques, shops and restaurants. Don’t forget to visit the impressive Floral Park, where you can admire the meticulously manicured gardens and vibrant flower displays.
The town of Bagnoles de l’Orne is renowned, as mentioned above, for its stunning Belle Époque architecture. As you wander through the streets, you’ll encounter charming villas, grand hotels, and elegant residences – all beautifully preserved from the early 20th century. The most famous building in town is the Grand Hotel, a magnificent example of this era and worthy of a step inside and photo opportunities.
One of the main attractions of Bagnoles de l’Orne is its thermal springs. The town has a long history as a spa destination, and you can still experience the healing powers of the natural springs today. Visit the B’O Thermal Spa and indulge in a range of wellness treatments, including thermal baths, massages and beauty therapies. The spa also offers relaxation areas, saunas and a swimming pool for ultimate rejuvenation.
Speaking of which, the town hosts a magnificent outdoor swimming pool. It is open from May to September. Another great family day out is the Vélo Rail which will take you 5km along the disused railway line and into the Andaines Forest.
Nature lovers will find plenty to do in and around the area. You can explore the nearby Andaines Forest, a vast woodland that offers numerous walking and cycling trails. The forest is also home to the Château de la Roche-Bagnoles, an impressive castle with beautiful gardens. For a more leisurely outdoor experience, head to the Bagnoles de l’Orne Golf Club, where you can enjoy a round of golf amidst scenic surroundings.
Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the Musée du Château, housed in a charming 19th-century villa. The museum showcases the history and heritage of the town, with exhibits on local art, crafts and historical artifacts.
The town offers a variety of traditional French restaurants, cozy cafés, and charming bistros for you to try out. Taste regional specialties such as Camembert cheese, cider and the famous Normandy apple tart. For a truly authentic experience, visit the weekly farmers’ market held on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, where you can purchase fresh produce, cheese and local delicacies.
Finally, Bagnoles de l’Orne hosts several festivals and events throughout the year. It has several impressive Brocantes during the year and in July, the town has a spectacular firework night and also celebrates the Fête des Arts, a vibrant arts festival showcasing local talent. The Christmas season is also enchanting with festive markets, music concerts and seasonal decorations adorning the streets.
We hope you enjoyed this little insight into this charming town and the surrounding area.