Home > A journey through history: Cycling the D-Day Sites from Juno to Utah
The countryside and coastline of northern France are remarkable in their own right for their beauty - but the idyllic scenes you will cycle through on this bike tour are further enriched by the momentous events ingrained in this land. From the Bayeux Tapestry to world-renowned Beurre d'Isigny, this region has always held an important place in our history.
Normandy is also inextricable from its more recent past, in particular, the D-Day landings and operations of the Second World War. This tour will take you to major D-Day sites such as the American Cemetery at Saint-Lorent-Colleville and the Airborne Museum of Sainte-Mère-Église, as you traverse the now iconic beaches of Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah.
As you pedal along winding stretches of quiet roads, Normandy's serene fields and pristine shores provide a fitting backdrop to reflect on the great triumphs and sacrifices that have had a hand in shaping this unforgettable region.
For travel and cycling tips to Normandy, visit our "travel and cycling tips" section.
You'll meet with our local representative in the late afternoon or early morning, so take advantage of the day to explore Bayeux. Proof of the town's rich history is everywhere, including its incredible 11th-century Tapestry depicting the lead-up to the Norman conquest of England, and the Cathedral where it was originally housed.
On this first day of riding, you get to choose your own adventure. We have mapped out two loop options from Bayeux, both of which will lead you to Arromanches and the Batterie de Longues-sur-Mer, two sites steeped in D-Day history. A visit to the D-Day Museum in Arromanches is sure to shed more light on the sites you will cycle through from here on out. If you decide to take the longer option, you will cycle on to the fishing village of Courseulles, where the Canadian Juno Beach Centre stands in memory of the Canadians who served during World War II.
Both routes make the most of quiet roads, though there are some short sections along the coast which do see busier vehicle traffic during the tourist season.
Regardless of the option you ride, the momentous history of the area is sure to fill your thoughts as you pedal back to Bayeux.
As you leave Bayeux in the morning, let quiet roads lead you through the scenic Norman farmland, its fields dotted with grazing cows. It is here that the renowned golden 'beurre d'Isigny' (Isigny butter) is produced - a favorite of chefs around the world. Two important stops along the way are the American Cemetery overlooking the beaches of Saint-Lorent-Colleville and the German Cemetery of La Cambe.
At these two sites are marked nearly 20,000 graves of those who fought in the Battle of Normandy and its many operations. Take some time to pause and reflect before continuing on to Isigny. If you decide to take the longer route, you'll follow the coast from Saint-Lorent-Colleville all the way to Grandcamp-Maisy before heading back inland. Once the site of a German battery during the war, Grandcamp-Maisy remains an important fishing village and is a great place to fuel up on some fresh seafood!
Today, your pedaling will take you through more D-Day history, from the Omaha Beach area towards Utah Beach. Serene roads through farmland lead you to the Douve River and its canal as you enter the town of Carentan, a strategic point in the D-Day landings.
From Carentan, you will cycle into Contentin (or Cherbourg) Peninsula, approaching the coast and Utah Beach. Your destination for the next two nights is the quaint Sainte-Marie-du-Mont.
You may take a day off unless you decide to ride one of our optional loops. As you set out on today's loop ride, you will discover a small part of the gorgeous farmland and stunning coastline of the Cotentin Peninsula - though you can extend the exploration by taking the longer route option.
Pedaling back inland from the beaches, you will arrive at Sainte-Mère-Église, where one of the most dramatic events of the D-Day landings took place--be sure to visit the church and its tower while you're here! Across from the church, the Airborne Museum is a real highlight, where you can really immerse yourself in the paratrooper experience of the landings. Don't feel rushed for time -- from here, it's just a short pedal back to Sainte-Marie-du-Mont.
After breakfast, you are free to depart at your leisure. If you're leaving by train, the most convenient station is at Carentan (about a 10-minute journey by taxi).
From here, the journey back to Paris takes approximately 3 hours.
5 nights in 2-star hotels of character
4 nights in 3-star hotels of character (including 2 nights in an authentic rural domain) and 1 night in a 2-star hotel of character