|Self-guided trip: Starts any day except Tuesday or Wednesday from April through October 2017
7 nights/8 days
Daily mileage: From 32 km (20 miles) to 67 km (42 miles, long option)
Starts from Bayeux and ends in Rouen
Bayeux and Rouen are well-serviced by train from Paris
Accommodation in guesthouses, an unrated hotel of character, 2- and 3-star properties (Option A) or in a guesthouse, an unrated hotel of character, 3- and 4-star properties (Option A+)
From per person sharing a double room
Normandy Discovery: From Bayeux to Rouen via Honfleur —
|Day 1: Arrival in Bayeux
This historic city is home to many attractions including the Bayeux Tapestry and the Bayeux Cathedral, a national monument that’s 100% Gothic wow. Don’t feel rushed; Bayeux is a two-night stay.
|Day 2: Bayeux loop (Short Option: 34 km/21 miles, 267 meters/876 ft of climbing; Long Option: 52 km/32 miles, 430 meters/1,411 ft of climbing)
Today you have a few options from which to choose your ride! Our short option wheels you to the coast, beginning with the seaside village of Arromanches-les-Bains. It was here that Allied troops pulled off one of The War’s greatest engineering feats, creating a temporary harbor in just a matter of days. Sections of the harbor can still be seen in the crashing surf. You’ll also have the chance to tour German battery placements at Longues-sur-Mer. Called casemates, these formidable concrete structures survived more than 1,500 tons of bombs on the day of the allied invasion.
If you choose our long route, you’ll follow the Aure Valley to Omaha Beach, perhaps the most famous of D-Day’s five landing sites, and then on to Colleville-sur-Mer, site of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
|Day 3: Bayeux — Benouville (49 km/30 miles, 364 meters/1,194 ft of climbing)
Ride through the Seulles Valley out to the English Channel, where you’ll reach Juno Beach. It was here the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division stormed the beach and helped establish strategic footholds on Normandy soil. The Juno Beach Centre documents the landing in meticulous detail with exhibits and films. Nearby Courseulles-sur-Mer abounds with seafood options, making for a perfect lunch stop. Sword Beach, your next stop, is where members of Britain’s 3rd Division waded to shore. Cycle on to Benouville, your home for the night.
|Day 4: Benouville — Beuvron-en-Auge (Short Option: 32 km/20 miles, 234 meters/768 ft of climbing; Long Option: 61 km/38 miles, 526 meters/1,726 ft of climbing)
Benouville is where the first D-Day shot was fired. Just after midnight on the morning of June 6th, 1944, 181 British troops, with the aid of six gliders, landed undetected here behind German lines. Coined Operation Deadstick, British troops, after a brief skirmish, captured Pegasus Bridge — a strategic structure that played a vital role in the success of the allied invasion. Stop at the Pegasus Memorial, a sprawling memorial/museum which features the actual Pegasus Bridge, bullet holes and all. Today you’ll exit the historic Caen plain and enter the Dives Marsh — a scenic wetland famous for its diverse bird population — before reaching the rolling hills of the Pays d’Auge. You’ll lodge in Beuvron-en-Auge, one of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” (one of the most beautiful villages of France).
|Day 5: Beuvron-en-Auge — Honfleur (Short Option: 41 km/25 miles, 497 meters/1,631 ft of climbing; Long Option: 67 km/42 miles, 803 meters/2,635 ft of climbing)
The magnificent scenery of rural Normandy is yours to drink in; you’ll also have many tasting opportunities for cider and Calvados, Normandy’s most championed beverages. First on your route is Beaumont-en-Auge, yet another one of Normandy’s impossibly beautiful medieval villages. Wheel along quiet back roads through apple orchards toward the coastline, and think about all the French vocabulary you know. As you approach the “Parisian Riviera” you’ll want to learn the following words in French: beach, boardwalk, building, fishing boat, casino, and sunbathing. Trouville-sur-Mer and Deauville are neighboring seaside resorts where you’ll find all of these things! Finally, you’ll arrive in Honfleur, a picturesque port city with colorful buildings and cobblestone streets. It’s considered the birthplace of Impressionist painting, having attracted masters like Monet, Boudin and Courbet. Architectural gems abound, including Sainte-Catherine Church, France’s tallest wooden church.
|Day 6: Honfleur — Brionne (54 km/34 miles, 474 meters/1,555 ft of climbing)
Bid adieu to the waterfront and head inland to the hills of the Pays d’Auge once more. From Honfleur you’ll pedal into the heart of Normandy’s picturesque countryside that can make even the most ardent city dweller yearn for the rural life. Thatched-roof cottages, castles and sleepy medieval villages are the norm rather than the exception. Eventually you’ll pedal into Pont-Audemer, Normandy’s answer to Venice, Italy, minus, of course, gondoliers in striped shirts. Half-timbered homes hug the village’s canals, making Pont-Audemer as unique as it is beautiful. Its Saint-Ouen Church, if you’re so inclined to visit, is famous for its stained glass windows. Watch for fly-fishermen reeling in the Risle River, a popular spot for this sport, before you reach the charming historical town of Brionne, where you’ll overnight.
|Day 7: Brionne — Rouen (61 km/38 miles, 540 meters/1,772 ft of climbing)
One of the first towns you'll visit today is Le Bec-Hellouin. One of the most beautiful villages of France, its Bec Abbey, founded in 1034, is definitely worth seeing! We purposely planned today’s ride short to give you more time to explore Rouen, the grand finale of your tour. You’ll begin with a gradual 4-kilometer ascent, taking you from a rural landscape checkered with sleepy farms and stands of forest toward the Seine River. Follow La Seine to La Bouille, a tiny riverside village that has inspired many painters. Here, you’ll cross the river via barge and pedal onward to Rouen, Normandy’s historic capital city. Visit Rouen's Old Market Square, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. The Notre-Dame Cathedral also enjoys must-see status. Built in the 12th century, this profoundly beautiful sanctuary is the tallest building in France. Monet was moved to paint it 28 times — perhaps it will inspire you to snap 28 pictures!
|Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, depart Rouen at the time of your choice.
|Booking & Pricing|
|From 980 euros per person sharing a double room
Two options are available for this trip:
Option A: 1 night in a 3-star property, 3 nights in 2-star properties, 1 night in an unrated hotel of character and 2 nights in a guesthouse
Option A+: 1 night in a 4-star property, 4 nights in 3-star properties, 1 night in an unrated hotel of character and 1 night in a guesthouse of character
These prices include:
These prices do not include:
|For further information or reservations:
Please or contact us at your earliest convenience as this trip is subject to hotel availability.
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