Visit Alençon


NormandySpiritual TourismCultural HeritageCities

Ville d'Alençon - Office de Tourisme
© Ville d'Alençon - Office de Tourisme

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 31 December 2022, updated on 16 April 2024

Pays d'Alençon - feel the difference !

Pay a visit to Alençon-- one of the famous French cities which touristslove to visit to. This French city is situated at the Orne and Sarthedepartments and is considered one of the most beautiful European cities. The said city is popular not only forits amazing qualities but also for its abundance of great tourist attractions.When you visit this amazing place, you will be able to discover the beauty of Point d’Alençon lacework that was invented here. If you wish toknow more about Saint Therese, travelling to this city (which is herbirthplace) is highly recommended. Alençon offers lots of things to do, placesto visit, activities to try and knowledge for you to discover.

Where history meets contemporary living

Whether you visit the chateau in Carrouges, the village of Saint-Céneri-le-Gerei, the Episcopal cities of Sées and Essay, or the towns of Alençon and Mamers, you can experience the joys of the past, present and future all in one. Alençon and its surrounding areas boast a rich heritage while embracing contemporary innovations.

Festival Fun

The best way to know the citizens of Alençon is to join them in celebrating their festivals! Try in the localproducts and enjoy a lot of array of adventures in Pays d' Alençon. Itslandscapes and trails are something that hikers, bikers and horseback riderswill surely love!

Pilgrimage to St. Theresa and the Martin Family

Alençon preserves the memory of a family with a fascinating and exceptional destiny that has enriched humanity's historical and spiritual heritage for over 150 years. In 1858, Zélie Guerin met Louis Martin on Alençon's Sarthe Bridge, and experienced a revelation: "He is the one I have prepared for you,"

They married and were blissfully happy, having nine children, including Thérèse (Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus), who was born in Alençon and according to Pope Pius X, is the "greatest saint of modern times." Explore the city of Alençon and visit the main landmarks in the life of the Martin family: the family home, which recreates the atmosphere and authenticity of life at the time, the Basilica of Notre Dame where Saint Thérèse was baptised, and the famous Alençon point lace, listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Getting there:


  • Caen, Tours, Rouen, Paris


  • Paris-Le Mans-Alençon (1h30)
  • Paris-Surdon-Alençon (2hrs)

By Car:

  • Paris - A13 + N12 or A11 + A28: 2hrs
  • Lisieux - A28 + D519: 1hr10
  • Caen - A28 + A88: 1hr10
  • Tours - A28: 1hr20
  • Rouen - A28: 1hr30


Restaurants: Traditional, local cuisine from Normandy, or fast-food options

Accommodations: 20 hotels (up to 3-star), Gîtes and B&Bs, and group reservations


Visiting the city: Guided tours, audio guides, group and individual tours of the Musée des Beaux Arts et de la Dentelle

Visiting the shrines:

  • Basilica of Notre Dame d'Alençon
  • Martin family house
  • Guided tour "In the footsteps of the Martin family"
  • Notre-Dame de Sées Cathedral
  • Musée départmental d'art religieux (Departmental Museum of Religious Art)
  • Church of the Immaculate Conception

Literature: Practical guides, Guide "In the footsteps of the Martin family," Guide "Itinerary from Alençon to the Montligeon Chapel," Topographical guide: "Walk in the Footsteps of Saint Thérèse in Normandy"

Special Events:

  • Celebration of the 140th anniversary of the birth of Saint Thérèse (Jan 2)
  • Celebration of the 140th anniversary of the baptism of Saint Thérèse (Jan 4)
  • 5th edition of Pierre en Lumières (May 18)
  • Fête de la Rose 11h (June 15)
  • Celebration of the Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin, presided by Cardinal Babarin (July 13-14)
  • Celebration of Louis Martin (July 29)
  • Celebration of the dedication of the Notre Dame of the Assumption Basilica (Aug 15)
  • Celebration of Zélie Martin (August 28)
  • Celebration of Saint Thérèse (Oct 1)
  • 5th anniversary of the beatification of the Martin couple (Oct 18-20)


The magazine of the destination unravels an unexpected France that revisits tradition and cultivates creativity. A France far beyond what you can imagine…