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Brittany to Normandy
Normandy is an "artist's paradise," wonderful coastline, woodlands and countryside combine to make a fabulous bicycle vacation. Of course,...
Veloscenie From Paris to Nogent le Rotrou
The Véloscénie is a cycle route that starts in Paris and joins the Bay of Mont Saint Michel. This first part in 5 days will allow you to discover Paris,...
Veloscenie from Nogent le Rotrou to Mont Saint Michel
The Véloscénie is a cycle route that starts in Paris and joins the Bay of Mont Saint Michel. On this cycling trip we propose you the second part in 5...
Normandy Landing Beaches
Normandy is an "artist's paradise", wonderful coastline, woodlands and countryside combine to make a fabulous bicycle vacation. Of course,...
WWII Normandy Tour
From Caen to St Mere l’ Eglise, embark on a WW2 memorial tour of Normandy, cycling along the beaches where the famous landings took place and through...
Normandy Walking Tour: WWII sites
Rich in both history and natural beauty, the area of this hiking tour is home to the Normandy landing Beaches and the Bayeux tapestry and several very...
REASONS TO DISCOVER NORMANDY
The Mount and its abbey is the second most visited site in France and an architectural gem. Saint Michael’s Mount is located on an island between the two regions of Normandy and Brittany. Accessible at low tide it has been a monastery since the 8th century and served as a prison during the French Revolution. The view of the Mont, from across the water is breathtaking. And the view from the mount of the Bay is just as wonderful. Don’t leave without a tour of the abbey itself!
This town is perhaps best known because of the Bayeux Tapestry , an embroidered cloth (230 ft. long and 20 in. tall) depicting William of Normandy’s 1066 conquest of England. You should also stop by and visit the Cathedral Notre Dame, built during the 11th Century. Bayeux was also the first town to be liberated during the Battle of Normandy . So you are bound to find much history there.
While exploring lower Normandy , you will definitely want to ride through Caen, its capital. Start early to visit the markets selling the delicacies of the region: cider, calvados and all sorts of cheeses. Continue your tour on to the Castle built by William the Conqueror, which offers a panoramic view of the city. Don’t miss the Abbaye aux Hommes (“Men’s Abbey” aka Abbey of Saint-Etienne) and the Abbaye aux Dames (“Ladies’ Abbey”) also built by Duke William in the 11th Century. Also, the Caen Peace Memorial is probably France’s best WWII museum and therefore a must!
On June 6, 1944, 130,000 soldiers landed on beaches across Normandy’s coast including Sword, Omaha and Utah Beach. Ride along the coastal roads and stop on the different landing sites to reflect on the events that took place there. Cycle to the American Cemetery, formerly known as the American St. Laurent Cemetery. Located on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach, it is famous for its 22 foot bronze statue of “the Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves” as well as the Garden of the Missing, a wall listing 1,500 soldiers who died in the landings. It is without a doubt one of the most moving WW2 sites.
This small town played a big part in World War 2. The famous man-made Mulberry Harbors was located off the coast of Gold Beach in Arromanches and its remnants can still be seen today. The first museum commemorating D-Day – the Musee du Debarquement – can be found here too. You will learn more about the Mulberry Harbor, the Overload Operation and see original WWII weaponry. You can also watch archive video footage of the D-Day landings. History buffs are in for a treat.
Normandy is famous for its apples, from which is made an excellent Cider. Nothing compared to apple juice. Cider is traditionally served with crepes. The Calvados, a brandy made from distilled cider, is also locally produced and a must to try. One of numerous specialties from Normandy is the Poulet au Calvados, simmered in calvados.
Make sure to enjoy Normandy’s famous cheeses while peddling across the region. French’s best known cheese from lower Normandy, Camembert, has a fresh, soft and creamy taste and like most things, gets better with age. The Pont l’Evêque cheese is solely produced in Normandy; passing it up would be a mistake! So take a break from cycling, grab a nice bottle of wine, and enjoy the rich, delectable cheeses this region offers.
Two hours from Paris, on the Northwest coast of France, Normandy stretches from the Mont St Michel and Brittany northbound to the city of Caen.
From beautiful beaches and picturesque granite cliffs, to cows, green pastures and apple trees, Normandy offers very diverse landscapes with something for everyone to enjoy! On your cycling tour you will appreciate the half-timbered houses, so typical of Normandy. In cities like Bayeux or Caen medieval castles and abbeys testify to the region prestigious past.
The name of the region Normandy, and of its inhabitants, the Normans, come from the Norwegian and Danish Vikings who came to settle there around 850 AD.
During the Hundred Years’ War between France and England, the region was held at various times by both French and English forces. But in 1450, France finally recovered Normandy.
In more recent history, during the Second World War, the beaches of Normandy were chosen by the Allies for the D-day landings to free France.