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FranceExplore Normandy's Culture, Cuisine, and D-Day Beaches

  • Highlights
This trip offers an intriguing mix of history and culinary discovery. Tour the D-Day landing beaches, and pay your respects to the courageous soldiers who fought here to liberate France. Explore the Pays d’Auge's rolling hills, quaint villages, and seaside that inspired a generation of Impressionist painters. Learn about William the Conqueror in medieval Bayeux, whose invasion of England forever c...

This trip offers an intriguing mix of history and culinary discovery. Tour the D-Day landing beaches, and pay your respects to the courageous soldiers who fought here to liberate France. Explore the Pays d’Auge's rolling hills, quaint villages, and seaside that inspired a generation of Impressionist painters. Learn about William the Conqueror in medieval Bayeux, whose invasion of England forever changed the English language. You'll work up an appetite during these visits, which you'll satiate during a cooking class of traditional Norman food. Later you’ll visit an artisan cheese factory and Calvados apple brandy distillery. 

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Tour itinerary includes
  • Countryside
    Countryside
  • Sightseeing
    Sightseeing
  • City
    City
  • Local cuisine
    Local cuisine
  • Wine tasting
    Wine tasting

Customisable trip itinerary

This tour idea is fully customisable

The itinerary has been created by our local agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: Private transfer from Paris to Bayeux

A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer to your lodging in Bayeux (approximately 170 miles or 275 km).


Overnight stay including breakfast at a château-hôtel in Bayeux.


Included: transportation , bedroom and breakfast.

Visited:
Paris, Bayeux
Accomodation
Hotel Belle Fontaine (Bayeux)

Day 2: Private full day guided tour of the "Pays d'Auge"

When the French people from other regions think of Normandy, the first image that comes to their mind is a group of dairy cows, in an apple tree orchard, next to a half-timbered house with a thatched roof. This tour will take you to discover the "Pays d'Auge", one of the most traditional areas of Normandy.

Driving through beautiful countryside with rolling hills and picturesque villages, you will visit a local producer who will share with you some Normandy cheeses and delicious apple cider, pommeau, and calvados brandy, also explaining some secrets of their production.

Your first stop will e on the "Côte Fleurie" coast, where you will visit the little fishing villages that once attracted the impressionist painters. They have since become famous and fancy beach communities, such as Deauville and Trouville. Gorgeous villas are lined up overlooking the fine sand beach and the salty air is invigorating. They are also well equipped with horse race tracks, golf course, gambling casinos, art galleries and permanently animated by special events.

Along the "Côte de Grace" coast and the mouth of the river Seine, the changing light and natural beauty will impress you and touch you. In Honfleur time seems to have stopped several centuries ago. The incredibly varied architecture will take you right into Middle Ages, with the remains of its fortifications and the extraordinary St Catherine church. Renaissance style is also there, as the 16th century was a prosperous time here, leading to Champlain's departure in 1608 and the foundation of Quebec City. Modern times were also a booming time when the village became an artist colony where Monet and his painter friends used to meet here.

Enjoy some free time to continue to explore the town on your own, for some lunch in one of the many restaurants and also either boutique shopping or visiting artist galleries or even just enjoying this special atmosphere...

Back on the countryside roads, between hedgerows surrounding pastures, you will discover more of the hinterland, with its hills covered by apple trees. Following winding roads, you will pass by many horse farms, manor houses and farmhouses, built of stone or commonly half-timbered. Stop in the most picturesque village of Beuvron-en-Auge.

Pick up and drop off in Bayeux at your hotel - Lunch at own expenses; museum entrance fees are paid on site.

Duration: 8 1/2 hours.

Overnight stay including breakfast at a château-hôtel in Bayeux.

Included:  chauffeur/guide , excursion , transportation , bedroom and breakfast

Visited:
Bayeux, Honfleur
Accomodation
Hotel Belle Fontaine (Bayeux)

Day 3: Private full day guided tour of the D-Day landing beaches (US Sector)

The tour covers a large area and stops to visit all the major sites in the U.S sector. During the day your guide will discuss a lot of topics about the war (from German occupation to French Resistance) and speak about many different soldiers’ war stories.

After a quick stop at the German Cemetery, the largest one in Normandy with over 21,000 people buried here, you will head to Sainte-Mere-Eglise. Ideally situated between Cherbourg and the coast, this farming community became the very center of the huge airborne operation (with 15,000 U.S. paratroopers) that started during the night before D-Day. The Airborne Museum has been gathering an amazing collection of memorabilia, in particular in the form of donations from the veterans themselves.

You will then visit Utah Beach. Closest to the Germans and quite separated from the other beaches, it could have been a disaster. But Utah Beach was rather lightly defended and had the great privilege to be protected by the American paratroopers (who had been in the area for several hours already). As they jumped out of their landing craft, the soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division managed to get rapidly across the flooded area behind the sand dunes to reinforce the paratroopers. On D-Day, 23,000 landed here and casualties remained low under 200.

A stop at Pointe du Hoc, the largest German coastal battery attacked by the U.S Rangers on D-Day, will put you right in the atmosphere - the beach, the cliff, the bunkers, the bomb craters - before making a stop at the best-known Bloody Omaha.

The most famous and most difficult of the five D-day beaches. Omaha Beach took the highest casualties, due in particular to its topography: it was the only beach with higher ground just beyond. Standing there and seeing this 4-mile-long beach all at once, when realizing about the big tides and discovering the German fortifications and gun emplacements, will leave you amazed at the extraordinary courage and sacrifice needed. You will understand why the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions suffered more than 3,800 casualties (dead, wounded or missing) to make this battle a victory.

The last stop of the tour will be at the U.S cemetery, for yet another perspective of the beach from the high ground. The Normandy American Cemetery is the final resting place for 9.387 Americans. It covers 172 acres and is an actual battleground as it overlooks the “Easy Red” sector of Omaha Beach. Soldiers all equal in death and their graves in no particular order, they are all marked with the same beautiful Italian white marble headstones. Your guide will then give you the time to stay longer in the cemetery or save time for the Visitor Center, also next to Omaha Beach.

Pick up and drop off at your hotel in Bayeux - Lunch at own expenses; museum entrance fees to be paid directly on site.

Duration: 9 hours. 

Overnight stay including breakfast at a château-hôtel in Bayeux.

Included:  chauffeur/guide , excursion , transportation , bedroom and breakfast.

Visited:
Bayeux
Accomodation
Hotel Belle Fontaine (Bayeux)

Day 4: Private full day tour in Normandy

A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer between your lodging and your tour.


Hotel pick up and drop off - Lunch and entrance fees at own expenses


Duration: 8 hours. 


Cooking class in a traditional Norman farmhouse 


Brigitte invites you into her kitchen and shows you how to cook traditional specialties of Normandy: chicken supreme "flambé" with Calvados (an apple brandy), scallops in all their forms, desserts (crème à la Normande, Calvados soufflé and traditional tarts).


Your host is a passionate cook, in love with Normandy and its typical products. She organizes culinary workshops where she teaches the secrets of the Normandy cuisine, turning her life-long passion into her job.


After the cooking class (1 1/2 hours), enjoy your meal around the table in a convivial and warm atmosphere (1 hour).


Join Brigitte in a unique green setting amidst pastures, meadows, apple trees and cows. Her picturesque traditionally built Norman farmhouse makes you travel back in time and ensure a total change of scenery!


Duration: about 2 hours and 30 minutes. 


Workshop in a Calvados distillery: a tasting and sensory experience 


Situated in Pont l'Evêque, in the heart of Normandy, the family-owned distillery was founded in 1821 and has been passed on from generation to generation since. The current fifth generation welcomes you for a tasting and sensory experience.


The Calvados, a popular French liqueur which the French enjoy after their meals.


This experience is a world-class visitor attraction that immerses the audience in a multi-sensory journey through the centuries, from Vikings to the present day. Visitors discover and witness the mystery of transformation that turns apples into Calvados, from the region’s orchards to Calvados’ success all over the world.


This unique experience culminates in an exquisite tasting in the presence of an expert guide, who will teach you the art of tasting in three stages: the eye, the nose, the palate. You will have access to the best collection of Calvados brands ever presented in one place. The youngest will be entitled to organic apple juice.


Duration: 1 1/2 hours. 


Overnight stay including breakfast at a château-hôtel in Bayeux.


Included:  driver/guide , transportation , Cooking class , lunch , excursion , bedroom and breakfast.

Visited:
Bayeux, Saint-Étienne-la-Thillaye
Accomodation
Hotel Belle Fontaine (Bayeux)

Day 5: Private walking guided tour of Bayeux

Pick up at 9 am at your hotel in Bayeux.


Bayeux Cathedral is a well-preserved Romanesque gem. In 1077 it was dedicated in the presence of William the Conqueror. Later it was expanded in a Gothic style. Bayeux also retains beautiful timber-framed houses, mansions flanked by towers, vast townhouses, and elegant private residences.


The MAHB (Musée d'Art at d'Histoire Baron Gérard) takes visitors through the history of European art, from archaeology to modern art. It is housed in a medieval Bishop's palace and contains archaeological and ethnographic pieces, paintings, sculptures, engravings, drawings, and photographs. Bayeux porcelain and lace are also on display.


Your tour ends with the Bayeux Tapestry, where you’ll learn about William the Conqueror, who changed world history and the English-speaking world when he invaded and conquered England in 1066. Each year visitors from around the world come to admire the tapestry. The 230-foot (70 m) long medieval masterpiece recounts the conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy.


Museum entrance fees to be paid directly on site.


Duration: 4 hours. 


Suggestion: visit the medieval city of Bayeux 


Located in the heart of the D-Day landing beaches, the medieval city of Bayeux reveals its history to visitors walking past its well-preserved heritage.


Each year visitors from around the world come to admire the famous Bayeux Tapestry. The 230-foot-long (70-m) medieval masterpiece recounts the conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy.


The first French town to be liberated in June 1944, Bayeux is an ideal gateway to visit D-Day beaches and many sites dealing with Norman Landing and the Battle of Normandy. Visiting the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy enable you to discover the chronology of events from June 7 to 29 August 1944. The museum presents in chronological order, day by day, the issues and events of the battle through theme areas, archive footage, military equipment, and various objects.


The trail along the Aure river offers pedestrians and cyclists a relaxing pause and the opportunity to get a closer look at old restored mills and wash houses. A chance also to admire from another angle Bayeux’s rich heritage including the cathedral.


Overnight stay including breakfast at a château-hôtel in Bayeux.


Included:  guide , transportation , bedroom and breakfast.

Visited:
Bayeux
Accomodation
Hotel Belle Fontaine (Bayeux)

Day 6: Guided tour of a family-owned Norman cheese factory

Visit a family dairy farm located in the heart of Normandy, created more than a century ago and passed on through generations.


Your guide and cheese-maker Anne-Sophie will welcome you to her cheese factory for a private guided tour of her workshop. Discover Norman cheeses and learn the different stages of production of the Livarot and the Pont l'Eveque, the main A.O.P (protected designation of origin) of Normandy. Everything is done to produce a quality product: from determining the production area to selecting food for the dairy cows.


This is a fun, interactive and gourmet visit that will interest young and old alike.


From the arrival of the milk to the cheese factory, through the drying rooms, until the canning of the cheeses: all the secrets of cheese-making will be revealed to you.


Your visit will end with an exclusive tasting of 4 A.O.P. Normandy cheeses, accompanied by bread and local cider. A souvenir gift will be offered upon departure.


Duration: 1 1/2 hours

Visited:
Livarot, Bayeux, Paris

Paris Bayeux Honfleur Saint-Étienne-la-Thillaye Livarot

Price details

This tour idea is fully customisable

The price reflects this specific tour itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. £3,250 / 6 days
Excluding international flights
2 pax4 pax
Price per person £3,250£1,930

Included in price:

  • All services set out under “included in the program”
  • A travel folder with the reservation vouchers
  • A phone contact in case of an emergency during your trip

Not included in price:

  • The suggestions (can be booked on demand)
  • Transport (unless indicated otherwise)
  • Cancellation and repatriation insurances, all-risks coverage
  • Meals (unless indicated otherwise)
  • Personal expenses (drinks, tips etc.)
  • The tourist tax has to be paid on the spot
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