Home > Peace and War Memorials: From Bayeux to Caen
If the sand and sea could talk, imagine the stories you’d hear in Normandy. We arranged a short bicycle tour in honor of D-Day’s 70th anniversary, and it was so well received, we’re keeping it to honor every anniversary to come. Beginning in Bayeux and ending in Caen, this 4-day bicycle tour allows you to visit all of the major sites that influenced D-Day’s outcome: Juno Beach, Omaha Beach, Arromanches, and Pegasus Bridge.
You’ll also see all of the major monuments — the guns of Longues-sur-Mer, the Juno Beach Museum, Normandy American Cemetery, and Memorial — that document D-Day’s history. Along the way, you’ll lodge in historical towns and dine on local fare, allowing you to experience Normandy at its best. This is the perfect bicycle tour if you’re limited for time but want to experience the full impact of the D-Day landing.
Note that we offer a longer or D-Day sites from Juno to Utah. This longer tour will take you all the way to Utah Beach and the site of Sainte-Mere-Eglise.
For travel and cycling tips to Normandy, visit our "travel and cycling tips" section.
Commence your tour in historic Bayeux, the first town to be liberated by Allied troops. Your hotel, located in the center of town, will give you quick access to some of Bayeux’s most noted attractions: the Bayeux Tapestry, the Bayeux Cathedral (a national monument), and the Commonwealth War Museum, which is designed in the form of a bunker and details the D-Day invasion through exhibits and films.
If you arrive in the morning, you can do our suggested short loop (approx. 25km) south of Bayeux, via the Aure Valley and the Abbey Juaye Mondaye.
Begin your ride toward the sea this morning! First on your agenda is Omaha Beach and the nearby Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. Perched atop a bluff, overlooking Omaha Beach, this park-like cemetery is simultaneously beautiful and sobering. Continuing east, you’ll reach Port-en-Bessin, a scenic fishing village that was also the site of a dramatic British commando raid. Next, you’ll pedal eastward again to Longues-sur-Mer and visit one of the German army’s most formidable battery placements. It’s the only coastal battery to be classified as a historical monument and the only one to still retain its original guns.
Arromanches-les-Bains, the site of one of the greatest engineering feats ever, will be your destination for the night. Within days of the June 6th landing, allied troops had constructed two artificial temporary ports, or what were called Mulberry Harbors. The harbor at Arromanches, which survived for 10 months, was responsible for unloading 2.5 million troops, 500,000 vehicles and 4 tons of supplies. Remnants of the harbor can still be seen during low tide.
Spend some time enjoying the serenity of the seaside and reflect on the incredible work undertaken by the soldiers at Arromanches. Then, pedal 15 km east along the coast to the Juno Beach Centre, an incredible museum detailing the efforts of the Canadian troops who landed here on D-Day. Relish the last of the coastal views over lunch in Courseulles-sur-Mer, which is home to some spectacular seafood restaurants. You’ll begin pedaling through Normandy’s scenic countryside, along the Mue River.
Eventually, you will reach the Orne Canal and the famous Pegasus Bridge. The first shots of D-Day were fired here just after midnight on the morning of June 6th when a small regiment of British troops landed in gliders and captured the bridge. Following a quiet towpath along the canal, you’ll enter the city of Caen, your final destination. Some of Caen’s most noted attractions will be mere steps from your hotel, including the Château de Caen. Built in 1060 by William the Conqueror, this imposing structure is one of Western Europe’s largest castles and enjoys status as a National Heritage site.
Though much of Caen was damaged by heavy allied bombings during World War II, its castle remained untouched. Be sure to also visit the Peace Memorial to conclude your journey.
After breakfast, you may depart at the time of your choice.
2 nights in 3-star properties (1 night facing the sea) and 1 night in a 2-star property
1 night in a 4-star hotel and 2 nights in 3-star properties (1 night facing the sea)