Journey to a place steeped in history and art. Explore Bayeux, where the world-famous tapestry tells the story of William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in 1066. Then head along the D-Day beaches, the scene of another invasion centuries later. Explore seaside resorts graced by elegant villas and follow in the footsteps of the Impressionists who flocked here in the 19th century. Feast on fruits de mer and sip Calvados, Normandy’s famous apple brandy.
What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP
Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
7 nights lodging
All breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation (right to your room)
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)
Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day. Call or email for details.
ARRIVE / DEPART
Daily distance averaged 55 km (35 miles)
Land Cost (current year):
|Booking Date||June, August, September|
The trip starts in Bayeux, about 225 km west of Paris. There are several direct trains every day and the trip usually takes around two hours.
Arrival in Bayeux, the first French town to be liberated in 1944. We’ll meet at 4:00 to fit bikes and enjoy a walking tour of the old town center. Next day, we’ll pedal south through the pretty countryside to the Abbaye de Mondaye, rebuilt in the 18th and 19th centuries. Continue to the Château de Balleroy, built in the 17th century and purchased in 1970 by the late Malcolm Forbes. Return to Bayeux with time to see the Bayeux tapestry, a remarkable piece of embroidery telling the tale of William of Normandy’s conquest of England in 1066.
Distance D2: 29 up to 62 km, elevation gain up to 277 m.*
Today head for the Landing Beaches. Visit Arromanches, with the vestiges nearby of the artificial harbour built by the British, and the German artillery battery at Longues-sur-Mer, the only coastal battery that has kept its guns. Finally, arrive at Omaha Beach, the scene of a terrible battle, vividly recreated in the movie Saving Private Ryan. The military cemeteries are moving memorials to the heroism that took place here. Stay overnight in a hotel just meters from Omaha Beach.
Distance: 29 up to 60 km, elevation gain up to 235 m.*
Visit more D-Day sites along the coast today or follow a route that takes you along quite country roads further inland. Whichever option you choose, your destination is the village of Crépon, known for its fortified manor houses.
Distance: 51 km, elevation gain 235 m.*
Cycle to Cabourg, a seaside resort developed in the second half of the 19th century. Marcel Proust stayed here often and left a vivid evocation of life in Cabourg in “À l’Ombre des Jeunes Filles”. Stroll along streets lined by magnificent villas and on the promenade along the beach. Next day we’ll head south into the Pays d’Auge, an area of pastures, thatched cottages, and farms that produce cider, calvados and Camembert, for which Normandy is famous. You’ll be able to sample some of these and other delicious produits du terroir in Beuvron-en-Auge, designated one of the plus beaux villages de France.
Distance D5: 48 km, elevation gain 138 m or 57 km, gain 176 m.
Distance D6: 41 km, elevation gain 278 m or 63 km, gain 414 m.*
We’ll follow the Côte Fleurie, traveling in the footsteps of the Impressionist painters drawn here by the magical light and the sea. Arrive in Honfleur, once the haunt of artists such as Arthur Boudin and Claude Monet and home to composer Erik Satie. It was from Honfleur that Samuel de Champlain set sail on the voyage of discovery that resulting in the founding of Québec in 1608.
Distance: 37 km, elevation gain 281 m or 45 km, gain 385 m.*
Take time for a final stroll around Honfleur before departing for your next adventure.
*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure
Located on a pedestrian street in the heart of old Bayeux with the Tapestry just next door and the Cathedral a few steps away, the Hotel Churchill is the place to stay in the center of town. The staff is exceptionally helpful and friendly and the hotel boasts 32 charming and personalized rooms.
Located opposite the Port-en-Bessin fishing port, this hotel is the perfect home base for visiting historical Omaha Beach, the beach at Arromanches, the Bayeux tapestry or the Baron Gérard Museum.
This 13th century manor and former farm has been restored to a quaint hotel, while maintaining the rustic feel. Cozy rooms have exposed beams and stonework, each personalized with 15th century furniture and fine rugs. The gourmet restaurant offers regional specialties made to order in an authentic medieval setting.
Located along the charming Rue des Bains, this quaint, modern hotel boasts a lovely location that’s only 2 minutes walk from the sandy beaches of Plage du Casino. From thier intimate patio enjoy the sunsets of the Cote Fleurie
Spanning a converted stone-built warehouse, 16th-century townhouses, and separate cottages, this elegant hotel overlooks the cobbled streets of the town square. It’s a 1-minute walk from the harborfront, a 4-minute walk from the Musée de la Marine maritime museum and a 14-minute walk from Plage du Butin beach.