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This tour of Normandy beaches is not only designed for the history buff. You’ll enjoy some of the extraordinarily scenic villages and beaches of this region on the West Coast of France, not to mention fabulous seafood and desserts.
On the 25th of July 1944, the Allies launched Operation Cobra under the command of the American General Bradley. The main objective was to pierce the German defenses to the west of Saint-Lo and to start maneuvers aimed at encircling the enemy troops from the south.
After the liberation of Avranches on the 31st of July, two sections of General Patton’s army continued towards Brittany and the Loire, whilst another set off in the direction of Le Mans and Alençon in pursuit of the enemy. The Avranches breakthrough was therefore instrumental in the rapid Allied push to liberate the country, leading to the crossing of the Seine on the 19th of August at Mantes.
Centering on the Allied offensive, our expert guide will lead you from Saint Mère Eglise to the famous Omaha Beach, the scene of a terrible battle, to the capture of Carentan and Saint-Lo. The journey recalls the violence of the fighting, notably at “Bloody Omaha,” where at dawn on D-day the assault waves of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division came up against stout resistance from the German troops, and at Pointe du Hoc, the scene of the heroic exploit of Colonel Rudder's Rangers. The military cemeteries are impressive memorials that testify to the scale of loss of human life caused by the fighting here.
Optional visits to Mont St. Michel in the south and Trouville, Honfleur and Etretat in the north are also available for those interested. Tours focused on battles and memorials for Canadian and British/Commonwealth troops are also offered.
Upon arrival at one of the region’s train stations (Caen or Trouville/Deauville), meet your expert driver/guide. You will be taken to a lovely chateau hotel that is close to the Allied landing beaches. Along the way to your hotel, you can visit charming coastal towns and beaches. That evening, you may relax, unwind and enjoy a gourmet dinner at the chateau.
After breakfast, your driver/guide will meet you for a tour of the landing beaches and historic towns from D-day. Visit Bayeux, Arromanches, the German battery at Longues sur Mer, Port en Bessin, Omaha Beach, the American cemetery at Colleville sur Mer and Pointe du Hoc. Enjoy another evening at the lovely chateau property.
Day Three and Four (Optional).
After breakfast, enjoy Mont St. Michel. About 90 minutes south of the landing beaches, this legendary monument is perched on the uppermost point of a solitary rock, rising out of an ever-changing environment of sand and sea. The unique site is thought to date back to 708, when Aubert, Bishop of Avranches had a sanctuary built on Mont-Tombe in honor of the Archangel. The mount soon became a major focus of pilgrimage. In the 10th century, the Benedictines settled in the abbey, while a village grew up below its walls. An impregnable stronghold during the Hundred Years’ War, Mont St. Michel is also an example of military architecture. Following the dissolution of the religious community during the revolution and until 1863, the abbey was used as a prison. Classified as a historic monument in 1874, it underwent major restoration work. Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites.
Explore the Northern Normandy Coast — about two hours north of the landing beaches lie some of the most spectacular cliffs and coastal villages on the French Atlantic coast. Favorites towns include Trouville—a Belle-Époque beach town that is far more authentic than its better known and glitzier neighbor, Deauville; Honfleur, the charming medieval town from where Samuel de Champlain set off to discover America in 1608; and Etretat, whose white cliffs are renowned the world over. The drive along the spectacular Côte Fleurie (flowering coast of Calvados) is a special treat.
• Transfers to/from Normandy train stations (Trouville/Deauville or Caen)
• One to three days of private tours with your expert historian driver/guide
• Two to three nights in a lovely chateau hotel property conveniently located near the Allied beaches
• VIP arrival amenities and welcome at your hotel
• Breakfast every day
You’ll enjoy some of the extraordinarily scenic villages and beaches of this region on the West Coast of France, not to mention fabulous seafood and desserts.
France Experience Reservations