This hiking tour of Normandy in France offers you the opportunity to discover the Bessin area, a part of Normandy where, since the Gallo-Roman era, history has been written. The area is a dense network of towns of art, villages and hamlets, parks and gardens, stately residences, manor houses and fortified chäteaux. It is on these shores that the D-Day Landing of 6 June 1944 launched the Battle of Normandy and began the liberation of France. In this program you stay in interesting towns with welcoming hotels and can enjoy restaurants where delicious meals and drinks based on local produce are served. And, you will walk along the most historical sites of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.
Along your hiking tour you will see a lot of memorials, museums , sites, cemeteries and places of historical interest. In our program we worked out an itinerary which contains most of them. Of course, depending on your personal interest, you can visit places that are not mentioned in our description.
Day 1: Arrival in Caen - the main city of the region and home of the WWII Peace Memorial. Check in to your hotel and then free time of your own choosing. A museum visit of the Caen Memorial is a highly informative and complete start of your tour. (Other sites in Caen.) Orientation by phone at 6pm and dinner on your own.
Day 2: After breakfast, a taxi will transfer you and to the Battery Museum of Merville-Franceville-Plage sur Mer in the Calvados area, from where you follow a part of a local GR (Grand Randonnée/Long Distance trail) along the Orne River.
During this walk you will, at several places, have a view on the sea of Sword Beach . The trail brings you via the fauna and flora of the Orne river estuary to the Benouville Bridge, renamed Pegasus Bridge where you can visit the Pegasus Memorial and museum, dedicated to the first liberators who arrived in Normandy on the night of 5th/6th June 1944. The west bank of the canal will bring you to Ouistreham where, on Riva Bella you will have an overview on the landing area of Sword Beach. Here you can visit the Atlantic Wall Museum, inside the “Big Bunker”, a former German headquarters. The Belvedere has an interesting orientation table and in front of the casino you can visit the Landing museum. Return to the hotel by taxi transfer and dinner on your own in town; suggestions provided.(B) Hiking 14-16 km.
Day 3: To day starts at an interesting point about 500 m east from Arromanches-les-Bains. On the descent to Arromanches you walk past Arromanches 360, a circular theatre where “The Price of Freedom” is shown on nine screens. In the D-Day Landing Museum in Arromanches you learn about the construction and operation of the artificial harbors assembled in front of Arromanches on the days following D-Day. After a short walk along the cliffs we take some country lanes to pick up the trail to the Longues sur Mer battery site in front of Omaha and Gold Beach. More country road lanes bring you to Port-en Bessin. As soon as you walk in the town, the shipyard and trawlers of the fishing fleet will tell you that you are in important fishing harbor.
After a taxi transfer to Bayeux, you may take the opportunity to visit one of the many points of interest of this town of art. The Bayeux Tapestry –70 m long and 50 cm high, completed in the 11th century-is unique in the world. Other visits include the recently re-opened Musée de la Bataille de Normandy and Mémorial du Général de Gaulle. Dinner at the hotel, (B,D) 14-16 km
Day 4: Colleville-sur-Mer, a nice quiet village will be our point of departure of today. A nice walk brings you to the see where we have a superb overview of Omaha Beach. You walk along the vacation resort and reach, after an uphill through a former battery site, the US Military Cemetery. You can visit the cemetery (172.5 acres) , the chapel and the memorial dedicated to the youth of America. There is also a viewpoint which overlooks Omaha Beach. The GR brings you up to the coastline where you can walk on the beach (part of Omaha Beach) until les Moulins. Here again you have to follow the trail until the Omaha viewpont and museum of Vierville-sur-Mer. Return to Bayeux and your hotel, dinner included. (B,D) 14-16km
Day 5: Departure after breakfast, at your leisure. Trains from Bayeux to Caen and Paris possible.
This tour departs any day, subject to hotel availability.
AU$1395 per person, double occupancy; solo supplement AU$585. Triple rate at AU$1235/person. Single supplement when 2 or more - please inquire. (convert)
Level is moderate (2)
This tour is open to all levels of walkers/hikers and does not have any technical difficulty. There is no special hiking material (poles, compass…) required. The smooth and gentle ups-and-downs are negligible, but participants should be fit enough to cover the daily distances between 14 and 16kms (8,75 and 10miles) without any difficulty and customers should be capable of interpreting maps and using a GPS.
The trip includes
·Hotels Le Dauphin in Caen and Lion d'Or in Bayeux
·4 nights lodging: in 3 star charming hotels
·All rooms with private bath and complete facilities
·Buffet breakfast, 2 dinners
·orientation by phone with our France office on day 1
·baggage transfers from hotel to hotel
·taxi transfers as shown
·detailed road book with colored maps
·guide book with tourist information and GPS
·local telephone support available throughout the tour for emergency support
Arrival city is Caen. Train access via Paris. Trains from St Lazare station.
If you would like to shorten a day of hiking or in case of bad weather you can add some site seeing excursions by minibus or private tour, combining your points of interest and guided by multilingual experts. (added charges apply
For more information or to make a booking request click on the happy hiker below: