Life in Normandy is peaceful, and you will be able to explore the stunning coast and the magnificent countryside at your own pace. The region is known for its apples and dairy products, as well as excellent seafood; you can eat at local restaurants and cafes, or perhaps buy local produce, such as Camembert, Livarot, or Pont-Leveque cheese, and enjoy a picnic!
With flat, expansive landscapes, Normandy makes for an easy ride. Depending on what you choose to do and see, your days will be very full and fun!
Day 1: Arrival in Bayeux
On your first day, arrive in Bayeux at the time of your choice. We recommend an early arrival so you have the opportunity to visit Bayeux, which survived the World War II bombings that destroyed much of the region. While you’re here, you can see the intricate Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the 1066 invasion of England by William the Conqueror and is nearly as ancient as the invasion itself. You may also check out the medieval cathedral and the Museum of the Battle of Normandy. Bayeux has plenty of restaurants where you can sample Normandy’s regional beverages: Cider; Calvados, which is made from cider; and Pommeau, which is a mixture of Calvados and Cider! Rest up for tomorrow at your three-star property located in the center of town.
Day 2: Bayeux to Bayeux - 52 kms (32 miles)
Your biking adventure will commence today, but first, meet up with your bilingual guide, Patrick, who lives nearby and knows the region in and out. We will provide you with marked maps and cue sheets, so navigating is very easy. If you happen to run into problems, though, remember we’re only a phone call away.
Now you can begin cycling eastwards on the south bank of the Seulles river, until we reach its estuary and Courseulles, a small town on Juno Beach. On this easy and pleasant ride, you will pass numerous pretty churches, chateaux, and the friendly village of Creully. As you are free to pause and take in the views as you wish, perhaps you will stop to visit the Chateau de Creully, which dates from the 11th century and briefly housed BBC war correspondents.
On today’s itinerary, you will cycle past the peaceful Canadian cemetery, where you may stop and pay your respects before reaching the port of Corseulles. Known for its high-quality seafood, Corseulles would be the perfect place to stop for a tasty lunch. From Courseulles, we ride westward along the coast (Gold Beach) in order to visit Arromanches with its impressive artificial “Mulberry harbour” and its museum on Operation Overload. When you feel like heading back to Bayeux, you can take a westwards route along the pleasant Aure River. Tonight you’ll be back at the same three-star B&B for some “R&R”.
Day 3: Bayeux to Carentan - 61 or 68 kms (38 – 42 miles)
Today’s cycling itinerary was designed to let you pass through important sites, so you can plan your schedule according to your personal interests. First up is the British Cemetery and memorial right in Bayeux. From the British cemetery, you can ride along the Drôme River valley until you reach Port en Bessin. The whole population here is dedicated to fishing, which makes Port en Bessin the largest fishing hub in Normandy. While sipping a cup of coffee (café) on a terrace, you can soak up the local atmosphere and prepare for the westward ride to Omaha Beach. The main site of the D-Day invasion, Omaha Beach offers visitors a chance to reflect on the atrocities of war and to wander through the rows of the impressive American cemetery. To fully understand magnitude of the invasion, visit Pointe du Hoc, the former seat of the German defensive which still bears the scars of war. A quiet road will take you to the German cemetery at La Cambe. Before heading to your three-star hotel in the center of Carentan, you can cycle through Bessin Natural Park to conclude your day in peaceful surroundings.
Day 4: Carentan to Carentan - 52 kms (32 miles)
Today you’ll have a chance to view pastures in Isigny and Carentan, both towns with a reputation of producing top-quality butter and camembert cheese. The flat landscape of Normandy, covered with many canals, makes for a very pleasant cycling experience. If you head back towards the coast, you will reach Utah Beach, another D-Day landing site separated from Omaha Beach by the Douve River. Afterwards, you can visit the village of Sainte-Mère-Eglise, where a dummy paratrooper hangs from the church spire (to commemorate John Steele, who landed there) and local shops sell World War II-related memorabilia. At the end of the day, make your way back to Carentan for a night at the same three-star property.
Day 5: Carentan to Bayeux - 60 kms (37 miles)
This last cycling day will be all inland, breezing through numerous of hamlets and villages. Away from all sort of tourists, you can better appreciate the beauty and serenity of rural Normandy. You can return your bicycles in Bayeux; your luggage will be waiting for you at the three-star property in Bayeux where you'll spend another night, to unwind, to reflect, or to see some more of the town.
Day 6: Departure
After breakfast, depart Bayeux at the time of your choice. If time allows it, we highly recommend that you visit the Peace Memorial in Caen, which is 31 km from Bayeux by car and or a quick 20 minutes by train
Two options for this trip
Also see tour packages in:
Europe France Outdoor: Land Rambler Bicycle Touring Military History
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