You will be able to sample the shellfish and sea fare in Cancale, and the farm and orchard fare in Calvados and Normandy. You will appreciate the historical significance of the area first as you visit the beaches, military sites, and cemeteries of WWII, and even more when you see the Bayeux Tapestry - a unique record of the invasion of England by William the Conqueror, including the Battle of Hastings, and events of 1066. One of the biggest thrills is understanding how customs originating here in medieval times have survived to influence the modern western world.
Rendezvous in Rennes at 15:00 for a one hour transfer to Dinan where you will spend the night at the first of several charming inns. You will meet any traveling companions, and become acquainted with your bicycles. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only).
L'Hotel d'Avaugour, Dinan, www.avaugourhotel.com
Day 2: 82km/51 miles
Enjoy a pleasant loop ride from Dinan through central Brittany including the forests of Dom de St Aubin-la Hunaudaye, and the lakes of Jugon. As you cycle along you will have time to explore several interesting towns and villages filled with the medieval architecture that gives the area some of its unique character. BL
Day 3: 63km/39 miles - 82km/51 miles
Spend you day touring by bike from Dinan to Cancale via La Rance river valley northward to St Malo and the Pointe des Grands Nez (the big noses point). This route takes you along the scenic cliffs of northern Brittany, reminiscent of some of the Irish coast, where the oysters are world famous and the views over Bay Mont St Michel outstanding. Dinner (included on guided trips) is usually at les Maisons de Bricourt in Cancale, famous for its oysters. BD
Les Maisons Bricourt, Cancale, www.maisons-de-bricourt.com
Day 4: 35km/22 miles
Follow the coast and cycle across the causeway to Mont St Michel, or approach with a wonderful alternative - walking across the sands - if the tide is low. The abbey at the centre of Mont St. Michel was built in the 8th century and perches at the top of the village, which rises dramatically 150 meters above the tidal flats below – a perfectly-fortified village commanding expansive views of approaching sailors, marauders, and bicyclists, from any direction. The town is full of boutiques and places for lunch; the most famous of which is “La Mere Poulard”, where the secret omelette recipe is ancient and the clientele has included Queen Elizabeth, the Rockefellers, and Freewheeling guests. In the afternoon you’ll transfer into Normandy and the town of Villedieu-les-Poeles, where the copper works can be seen. B
Domaine des Chevaliers de Malte, Villedieu-les-Poeles, www.ledomainedeschevaliers.com
Day 5: 85km/53 miles - 90km/56 miles
Bike from Villedieu to Bayeux along quiet, hedgerow-lined roads of the Normandy countryside. Visit Chateaux de Balleroy and the incredible Abbey of Cerisy. Then head for Bayeux, the first town liberated by the allies during World War Two. Finish riding in the nearby village of Sully where your luxurious chateau awaits. BL
Château de Sully, www.chateau-de-sully.com or Château d’Audrieu, Bayeux, www.chateaudaudrieu.com
Day 6: 65km/41 miles - 70km/44 miles
Ride a leisurely loop through the farm country that produces Normandy’s world-famous dairy products and along the coast of Normandy including visits to some of the WWII landing beaches and cemeteries. This is a poignant experience based on the shocking reality of one of our history’s most pivotal moments. BLD
Spend the morning visiting the Bayeux Cathedral and Tapestry Museum. The tapestry records the events of 1066 and William the Conqueror’s invasion of England – another of history’s pivotal moments. Just before noon you will be transferred about 30 minutes to Caen where there are frequent trains to Paris and other destinations throughout France. B
Start: Rennes Train Terminal, 15:00, day one (2 hours by train from Paris).
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