8 Day Normandy Tour
Day 1- Welcome to France!
We will meet and start the tour from the lobby of Hotel Novotel Suites Paris Roissy CDG near the CDG airport. We give you the option of coming a day early and booking a night at the hotel on your own to relax from your flight and get ready for the tour, or you can arrive on the first day of the tour and meet us in the lobby, but please don't be late! We will be leaving at 10:00 am sharp to drive to Rouen, capital of Normandy for our 1st day of tour! You will then check in to your fabulous 4 star hotel located right in Rouen's downtown and then follow us for a city tour of Rouen (Abbatiale St Ouen, Aitre St Maclou, Museum of Iron, Rouen Cathedral). Jet lagged? No problem, sit back, relax and even take a nap or explore Rouen at your own leisure before we all meet again for our welcome dinner at the oldest inn of France, La Couronne, where Julia Child had her first French meal and became inspired to master the art of French cooking.
Pick up from CDG, Check-in your hotel in Rouen, City Tour or Relax, Mercure Hotel Rouen
Day 2- Rouen, Capital of Normandy
We will start our day in Rouen by visiting the fabulous Musée des Beaux Art, home of one of the most outstanding public art collections in France. It features paintings, sculptures, drawings and objects of art from many periods ranging from the 15th century to the present day. We will then walk through the city toward the Place du Marché (marketplace in the city square) and stop for lunch. Afterwards we resume our city tour with a visit of the magnificent Rouen Cathedral which inspired Monet to paint his Rouen Cathedral series. Next we will hop in the vans for a short drive to the countryside to the Chateau Martainville where you will be able to learn about the medieval Normandy lifestyle and then head back downtown and you will have a free evening to do as you please.
Rouen, Beaux-Art museum, Joanne of Arc, Oldest Inn of France, Chateau Martainville, Mercure Hotel Rouen
Day 3- Normandy Coast & Horse Race
Today you will discover the coast of Normandy with first a city tour of Honfleur, where for more than a thousand years sailors have enjoyed the ideal location of Seine River meeting the English Channel. Also called "The city of the artists", Honfleur had a long relationship with impressionist painters, including Monet and Boudin. During the walking tour you will see the gorgeous port area and understand why artists came here from all over to paint. Another stop is the oldest wooden church still standing today: St Catherine's Church. After a delicious lunch and some free time, we will visit a Distillery and learn how apple cider is produced and also distilled and aged into the famous Calvados liquor of Normandy. Later we will check into our hotel for the next 5 days in the heart of Bayeux and enjoy dinner at a creperie!
Honfleur, Calvados Distillery + tasting, Hotel Domaine Bayeux
Day 4- Mont St Michel
Most of our day will be spent at one of the world's most stunning attractions, Mont St Michel. This city on a rock dramatically soars into the sky just off the coast of Normandy in a shallow bay. We will start by making our way to the top of the hill to tour the Abbey. At the top we are rewarded for our climb with spectacular views and Gothic architecture dating back to the 11th-century, definitely the highlight of the trip. On our way down we will stop quickly for a souvenir to bring home, and then head to a wonderful restaurant for some regional food. After having a little break at the hotel we will enjoy an evening at the Hippodrome of Cabourg where you will experience a horse race right from your seat in the gourmet restaurant!
Mont St Michel, Cabourg Horse Races, Hotel Domaine Bayeux
Day 5- D-Day History & Bayeux Tapestry
We start our day visiting Arromanches-les-Bains to see the remnants of the Mulberry Harbor built by the British forces after the D-Day battle to establish a port for bringing in ships full of supplies and troops. This harbor was a key part of the supply chain that enabled the Allied forces to push onward to fight the Nazis and liberate France. Next we will head to Longues-sur-Mer, a German Artillery battery which is the only one to retain its original guns intact in the bunkers, making it one of the most well-preserved WW2 sites in France. This visit provides an up close learning experience and magnifies the challenge the Allies faced of breaking through the German coastline defenses. Next we will drive back to Bayeux for lunch downtown and meet our guide for a walking tour of Bayeux and it's history. Afterwards you will have a free evening to enjoy as you please.
Arromanches-les-Bains, Longues-sur-Mer, Bayeux, Hotel Domaine Bayeux
Day 6- Normandy Countryside
Onward we go to the Bayeux's Museum where will see a 70 meter long, 1000 year old tapestry woven with pictures telling the story of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, a fascinating experience with audio translation of the art. Then we will head to the countryside to visit a Camembert farm to learn about one of the most famous cheeses of France. After the tour and trying the cheese, the next stop is an old farmhouse that has been renovated and turned into a B&B for a delicious 4 course lunch prepared by the owner of the farm. We continue with our day by stepping into a fairytale for a while with a visit of the Chateau St Germain de Livet, a magical site complete with multi-colored Castle, Moat, and wandering wildlife in the gardens! Before dinner back in Bayeux, we may have some time for a little game of Pétanque, the favorite picnic game of the French!
Cheese Farm, lunch at B&B, St Germain de Livet, Pétanque, Hotel Domaine Bayeux
Day 7- Point du Hoc, Omaha Beach, American Cemetery
Today we tour the most famous WW2 and D-Day sites in France with an expert guide and history buff who will explain the unfolding of events of the invasion and intricate details of the battle and the war. During the invasion of Normandy, the United States Army Ranger Assault Group attacked and captured Pointe du Hoc after scaling the cliffs, one of the most heroic acts on D-Day. The Pointe du Hoc is now a monument and one of very few places in Normandy where the craters left by bombing can still be seen. After a break for lunch, we will head to Omaha Beach where the American forces landed in France and endured one of the bloodiest battles of WW2. Above the beach, the American Cemetery is dedicated to the thousands of American troops who lost their lives on that fateful day, a visit that is truly one of the most moving experiences. After returning back to the hotel, you will have the evening free to enjoy as you wish
Point du Hoc, Omaha Beach, American Cemetery, Hotel Domaine Bayeux
Day 8- Giverny & Chantilly Castle
Early morning we will check out and depart Bayeux to go back towards Paris, but the tour is not over yet! First we will arrive at the House and Gardens of Claude Monet, the legendary painter and father of French impressionist art movement. You will be able to see the property as it was when he was alive and see reproductions of his works in his studio and home. We will also walk through the gardens to see lillies, dahlias, irises and hundreds of other flowers blooming. After a short stroll through Giverney to grab lunch, we continue on to visit Domaine Chantilly, one of the most magnificent chateaus of France, full of royal splendor and a fascinating art collection. We will then drive to the hotel and have our farewell dinner. The time for us to remember all the marvelous places and fun times that we had together. In the morning you will check out on your own and use the hotel shuttle to take you to CDG airport to return home or continue your travels.
Giverny, Chantilly Castle, Hotel Novotel Suites Paris Roissy CDG