Home > Normandy Landmarks: D-Day Sites and Mont-Saint-Michel
Using our many years of bike touring experience, we designed this tour to include some of the world’s greatest historic landmarks. Beginning in Bayeux and finishing in the shadows of Mont-Saint Michel, this eight-day bicycle tour lets you experience all the wonders of Normandy.
Among the many highlights are the D-Day landing beaches, the military cemeteries in Colleville-sur-Mer and La Cambe, and the stunning island of Mont-Saint-Michel. We took care to include off-the-beaten-tourist-path coastal towns and historic villages, places where you’ll be sure to enjoy the region’s culinary specialties, and experience Normandy’s mythical countryside. All the rides are relatively short, making this a perfect tour for all riding levels.
We’ve managed to fit as many attractions as possible into an 8-day itinerary, but if you have the time and inclination, we can arrange for an optional post-tour extension to Saint-Malo.
For travel and cycling tips to Normandy, visit our "travel and cycling tips" section.
After checking into your hotel in Bayeux, you’ll meet with one of our representatives to go over your bike tour. Here you’ll receive all the insider knowledge to make you feel like a deep-rooted local. The rest of the day is yours to explore this historic town.
Like Normandy itself, the city abounds with attractions. The Bayeux Cathedral is 100% "wow" both inside and out, fully deserving of its national monument status. And the Bayeux Tapestry, dating back to 1070, is recognized as one of the world’s most significant works of art for its depiction of the events leading up to the Norman Conquest. No need to feel rushed! This is the first of two days you'll have in Bayeux.
Today you’ll have two loop options around Bayeux. Regardless of your chosen route, both cover level terrain, making for a good intro pedal to find your “bike legs.” Both routes wind east through the famed Normandy countryside before doubling back along the historic D-Day Beaches. Arromanches-les-Bains, a small coastal village, houses the must-see D-Day Museum. Displays and movies there help visitors grasp the scope of the logistics required to bring men and equipment across the English Channel. From Arromanches, you’ll return to Bayeux.
NOTE: The longer route visits Courseulles-sur-Mer. This popular tourist destination is located on Juno Beach, another famed D-Day location, where 14,000 Canadian troops landed on June 6, 1944.
Another day, another decision! You’ll have a choice of two routes which access two of Normandy’s most visited war cemeteries: Colleville-sur-Mer (American) and La Cambe (German). Colleville-sur-Mer’s perch atop a bluff overlooking the English Channel provides quick access to Omaha Beach, one of D-Day’s main staging areas. While the shorter route veers inland from here, the longer ride continues along Normandy’s windswept coast, passing through Grandcamp-Maisy, a scenic fishing town. Both routes eventually merge before reaching La Cambe, the final resting area for 21,000 German soldiers. You’ll lodge at night in Carentan, a quiet port village nestled along the banks of the Douvre River.
You’ll pedal south, exiting Carentan via the Carentan Marsh. This lush, stretching lowland is home to thousands of birds and serves as the prime grazing area for the cattle responsible for producing the region’s famous Camembert cheese (feel free to thank them as you pass). Your route will wheel through Normandy’s quiet countryside, a land without hurry.
You’ll have your choice of many tiny villages to choose from for lunch. Eventually you’ll arrive in Agon-
Coutainville, your home for the night. The Château d'Agon, built between the 17th and 18th centuries, tops the town’s list of attractions.
Today’s short ride follows a southern route along the shoreline into Granville. Less time in the saddle means more time for you to explore everything this magical strip of coast offers! Granville, located atop a finger of rock, juts into the gulf, creating a scenic union between land and sea. Here you can lounge on the beach, shop, or hang in open air cafés uploading photos of your bike tour to your preferred social media outlet, causing endless envy among your friends and followers.
Pedaling south you’ll pass through nearby Saint-Pair-sur-Mer, before winding inland to the Abbey of La Lucerne. Founded in 1143, this designated historic monument has been the focus of many restoration projects, elevating it to must-see status. From here you’ll bend southwest into Saint-Jean-le-Thomas, where you’ll enjoy your first, though distant, views of Mont-Saint-Michel. You’ll then negotiate a series of rolling hills before reaching Avranches.
Situated along the southern rim of the Bay of Saint-Michel, this ancient village offers plenty of attractions. Notre-Dame-des-Champs towers as a monument to Gothic architecture. Patton Square commemorates the town’s significance in World War II. And Avranches’ botanical garden provides several five-star photo opportunities of the bay overlooking Mont-Saint-Michel.
Avranches’ close location to Mont-Saint-Michel will allow you, if you so choose, to get an early jump on the crowds. Plan accordingly, for all private vehicles — including bicycles — have been banned from Mont-Saint-Michel. You must park and lock your bikes two kilometers outside the monastery, and then either walk or board a shuttle bus. Regardless, you won’t be disappointed!
There’s a good reason why it ranks #1 on the list of most visited attractions in France. Plus, it’s one of the few attractions that meets and exceeds the hype. Built in the 8th century atop a rocky tidal island, Mont-Saint-Michel rises out of the bay like a giant wedding cake in an architectural style that can only be described as mind-blowing. Take time to visit the Abbey and be sure to stroll along the top of the eastern wall, which affords high-five views of the bay as well the tiny village sequestered inside the monastery. Onsite dining options are available. You’ll lodge at night at the foot of Mont-Saint-Michel.
Following breakfast at the hotel, you’ll depart on your own time schedule.
There is a shuttle bus service from Mont-Saint-Michel to Pontorson train station.
Alternatively, you can choose to do an additional riding day to the medieval Saint-Malo via Cherrueix, Dol de Bretagne, the fishing port of Cancale and Pointe du Grouin (price is on request).
The first day’s ride of the optional extension will see you continue pedaling around the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay, with two route options of either 45km/28 milesor 60km/38 miles. Your destination is Cancale, astunning port town on the Emerald Coast. Enjoy tucking in to some oysters or shellfish this evening, as Cancale has long been reputed for having some of the most delicious in the region!
A short 25km/16 mile ride takes you along the Emerald Coast to Saint Malo. Shortly after leaving Cancale you will ride past the Pointe du Grouin, the westernmost tip of the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay. You will ridepast several good spots to take a dip in the ocean,before arriving into Saint-Malo. Saint-Malo is a beautiful town, and its ramparts, some of which date back to the 12th century, still guard the historic centre. Enjoy beautiful views back out across the sea from the city walls as well!
After breakfast, you are free to depart at your leisure. Extra nights can be arranged upon request.
3 nights in 2-star properties, 3 nights in 3-star properties and 1 night in a guesthouse of character
6 nights in 3-star properties and 1 night in a guesthouse of character