Home > Normandy Discovery: From Bayeux to Rouen via Honfleur
This popular bicycle tour allows you to explore Normandy in all its glory. Beginning in Bayeux and ending in Rouen, you’ll bicycle through the countryside that gave rise to Impressionist painting and inspired the brushstrokes of Monet and Boudin.
You’ll wheel along Normandy’s coast and visit some of D-Day’s most prominent battle sites, including Omaha Beach, Pegasus Bridge, and Longues-sur-Mer, site of one of Germany’s most formidable defense placements. You’ll also visit ancient cathedrals and stand before the place where Joan of Arc met her death. And at night, you’ll lodge in charming cities and villages, enjoying Normandy’s best culinary offerings.
Most days come with ride options, allowing you to choose between longer and shorter routes. This bicycle tour is great for riders and history buffs alike, suitable for all riding levels.
If you’re an elite rider, you may consider our more challenging version of this bicycle tour, which contains longer daily stages. The itinerary is the same, but the rides are longer.
For travel and cycling tips to Normandy, visit our "travel and cycling tips" section.
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.
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
Our long option will take you even further, all the way to Pointe du Hoc, which was part of
the Atlantic Wall fortifications during the war.
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 Caen or
Benouville, your home for the night.
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.
Stop at the Pegasus Memorial, a sprawling memorial/museum that 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 Cabourg or Beuvron-en-Auge, one of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” (one of the most beautiful villages of France).
The magnificence of Normandy is yours to ‘drink in’ — you’ll find many tasting opportunities for cider and
Calvados, Normandy’s most championed beverages. First on your route is Beaumont-en-Auge, another
one of Normandy’s impossibly beautiful medieval villages.
As you wheel through apple orchards toward the coastline, stop wherever you fancy for a drink. Before approaching the “Parisian Riviera” on our long option, consider learning 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
these things! Finally, you’ll arrive in Honfleur, a picturesque port city with colorful buildings and
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.
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.
Start the day admiring the town of 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
from a rural landscape toward the Seine River.
Follow La Seine to La Bouille, a tiny riverside village that’s 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 12th century Notre-Dame Cathedral also enjoys must-see status. Monet was moved to paint it 28 times —
perhaps it will inspire you to snap 28 pictures!
After breakfast, depart Rouen at the time of your choice.
3 nights in 3-star properties, 3 nights in 2-star properties and 1 night in a guesthouse "of character"
3 night in a 4-star property, 3 nights in 3-star properties and 1 night in a guesthouse of character