Domfront travel guide

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Visit Domfront (Normandy, France)

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The town of Domfront is situated in the Orne department of Normandy, between Argentan and Vire and on the Varenne River.

In the 11th century Domfront was the scene of much action and fighting, since it occupied an important point on the border between Brittany and Normandy.

Explore Domfront

In Domfront you can start your visit at the ruins of the medieval castle, originally built at the beginning of the 11th century and much fortified during the decades that followed.

Unfortunately much of the castle was destroyed as a result of the Wars of Religion. but although you can now only see the remains of the walls and a part of the central logis of the castle, this is a pretty and evocative place.

On the edge of the village and separated from it by a small bridge, there is a lovely view across the village from the gardens next to the castle.

The town was also fortified, and many of the towers survive, along with sections of the ramparts, which now provide a good backdrop for the numerous medieval houses and buildings to be seen in Domfront.

The majority of the towers can be seen along the Rue des Fossés Pusson along the southern edge of the historic centre.

Inside the fortifications the old town is an attractive region with narrow cobbled streets lined with half-timbered houses and some grander townhouses, interspersed with pleasant cafes and open squares.

It is easy to get your bearings, with with most of the buildings of interest along the two parallel streets and the alleys and squares that separate them.


Another historically interesting building in the town is the 11th century roman style church of Notre-Dame sur l'Eau. The church once formed part of an adjoining abbey, on an important pilgrimage route, and played host to such medieval dignitaries as Richard the Lionheart and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Be sure to venture into the church to see some impressive frescoes and carvings.

Other places of note within Domfront include the grand 19th century town hall, the 20th century church of Saint-Julien (a rather unusual style of architecture, especially for the facade) and the paintings it contains, the ruins of the donjon and the picturesque village of the tanneries.

From the town you also have an impressive view across the Varenne River valley and the bocage.

While you are enjoying the view from Place du Panorama take a moment to remember that this square was originally full of medieval houses but they were destroyed during the allied invasion of France in June 1944.


Attractions nearby

Domfront falls in the western part of the Regional Natural Parc of Normandy-Maine, a quiet unspoiled landscape of rolling hills, forests and streams with many traditional villages to visit.

There are several imposing manor houses in the surrounding countryside which also contribute to the charm of a visit. These include the Manoir de la Bonelière and its garden at Saint-Mars d'Egrenne and the manor houses at La Haute-Chapelle such as the Manoir de la Guyardière.

Get full details from the Domfront Tourist Office in Place de la Roirie.

Although the countryside is the main attraction here and we suggest you walk or cycle as much as possible to appreciate the landscapes, we also recommend a visit to see the belle-epoque architecture and lakeside walk at Bagnoles de l'Orne, to the east of Domfront.

You can find more travel ideas in the Orne guide and the Normandy guide.

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Visit near Domfront with France This Way reviews

Bagnoles de l\'Orne

Bagnoles de l'Orne

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Bagnoles de l'Orne guide


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Les Jardins des Renaudies

Les Jardins des Renaudies

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Les Jardins des Renaudies guide
Mayenne (town)

Mayenne (town)

Quite a small town, the highlight of a visit to Mayenne is the nearby walk along the banks of the river

Mayenne (town) guide


When you visit Vire be sure to also explore the Route des Gorges de la Vire' through the woods and valley of the River Vire

Vire guide


Here in Jublains you can visit the roman ruins of the ancient city that once stood here

Jublains guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Orne

Tourist classifications for Domfront

Domfront is classified as a recommended detour town (plus beau detour)

Address: Domfront, Alençon, Normandy, 61700, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 48.5931, longitude -0.6475

Plan your visit to Domfront, Orne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Saint-Fraimbault: ville fleurie 4* (12 km)
  • Saint-Loup-du-Gast: ville fleurie 4* (24 km)
  • Mayenne: town of art and history (31 km)
  • Normandie-Maine: regional natural parc (33 km)
  • Carrouges Chateau: national monument (36 km)
  • Rochers des Parcs: site of natural beauty (38 km)
  • Forêt de Saint-Sever: site of natural beauty (38 km)
  • Jublains: town of art and history (39 km)
  • Jardins de la Pellerine: remarkable garden (43 km)
  • Source - Couesnon: site of natural beauty (44 km)
  • Forêt de Fougères: site of natural beauty (44 km)
  • Parc et jardin de Clivoy: remarkable garden (44 km)

The French version of this page is at Domfront (Francais)