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Day Trips in France

Which Normandy Day Trip, should you take from Bayeux?

Ophorus Blog - Which Normandy Day Trip, should you take from Bayeux?
Bayeux is the perfect gateway to visit the most important sites the Normandy region has to offer. Striking Chalk cliffs, Historical events, Iconic French Monuments and local delicacies are all part of our selection of day trips from Bayeux.

BEST NORMANDY SMALL GROUP DAY TRIPS FROM BAYEUX

Normandy is blessed with its location, and along the Alabaster coast visitors can enjoy a multitude of sights; striking chalk cliffs, D-Day beaches and picturesque villages dotted along the coast. The region is also home to a vast Medieval Heritage with the epic journeys of William the Conqueror, Richard Lion Heart or Joan of Arc. It is in also in this region of France that you can find the largest and most valued collection of religious art. And when it comes to Art, where better than to experience Impressionism that has left an indelible mark on this region of France.

1. D-Day & the Battle of Normandy

D-Day Landing beaches

The D-Day Landing beaches are probably the most popular attractions in this part of France. On the morning of June 6, 1944, also known as the longest day, thousands of soldiers from the Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy in an attempt to liberate France and the continent from the German occupation. This marked the beginning of a fierce and deadly battle against surprised but well-trained Nazi troops. Among the allied troops, the Americans landed on two different beaches, later named Utah and Omaha.

From Bayeux, Caen or Honfleur we operate private and shared day trips that will take you to the most significant sights linked with D-Day. Our private tours can be fully customized and adapted to your wishes while our shared tours have set programs that include set itineraries and visits. Both our private and shared tours are conducted by local guides that are experts in D-Day, the Battle of Normandy and WWII in general.

The Freedom Route

If you are in search of unique itineraries, our team of professional travel experts design unique itineraries that you will find nowhere else. As France Travel specialists, we are able to craft itineraries that will have you experience our regions in a different way. Our Freedom Route program is a perfect example.

La "Voie de la Liberté" is a special route that begins in Sainte Mère Eglise and ends in Bastogne, near the Luxemburg - Belgian border. The route was created to commemorate General Patton's U.S 3rd Army as it made its way from Normandy to Belgium. Our distinctive program includes special visits and detailed commentaries of this particular theme in the Normandy section made by one of our expert D-Day and Battle of Normandy Tour Guide.

2. MEDIEVAL TIMES

Since the 5th century, churches have played a significant role in Normandy and the region boasts masterpieces such as the cathedrals of Evreux, Coutances or Lisieux Basilica not forgetting world renowned Mont Saint Michel. History buffs will also be pleased as Normandy is home to Mighty Castles, medieval villages, towns and cities that have passed through time from William the Conqueror to Richard Lionheart and Joanne of Arc.

Follow the Trail of William the Conqueror

In 911, the King of the Francs, Charles the Simple, is forced to hand over the region to Viking King of the time, Rollon. With time, the Vikings became Norman (Nordman originally) giving the name to the region and ruled over a large territory known as the Duchy of Normandy. Eventually, the region will be ruled by an exceptional warrior, William the Conqueror, who in 1066 invades England and became its sovereign. This epic story is illustrated in the famous Bayeux Tapestry. Important monuments of Normandy linked to William the Conqueror include the Bayeux Cathedral, William the Conqueror's castle in Falaise and Abbaye aux Dames abbey in Caen.

Follow the Trail of Richard Lionheart

King of England and Duke of Normandy, Richard Lionheart is closely linked with the town of Rouen, his Capital and the Mighty fortress of Château Gaillard that was erected between 1196 and 1198. Masterpiece of medieval military architecture, the fortress will nevertheless fall into the hands of the French King Philippe Auguste in 1204. Critically wounded during the siege of the Castle of Chalus, he is buried next to his father in the Abbey of Fontevraud but his heart, brain and eyes were embalmed and are buried in a recumbent statue of the King in the Cathedral of Rouen.

3. Impressionism in Normandy

The Impressionist painting movement was born in Normandy during the mid to late 19th century. A new generation of painters who had decided to leave their workshops and head out to the countryside had discovered an area that benefited from exceptional lighting, Normandy. Around the small town of Honfleur, painters such as Monet, Courbet, Boudin and many others start painting outdoor scenes of towns, landscapes or monuments.

In 1872, a painting by Claude Monet made in the Port of Le Havre and entitled "Impression, soleil levant" will have journalist and art critic Louis Leroy name this new movement Impressionism. Other famous painters will follow such as Degas, Pissaro, Renoir, Sisley and Caillebotte who paint along the coast or inland along the Seine Valley. Some of the most famous locations linked with Impressionist painters include Etretat and its cliffs, Honfleur, Giverny with the House & Gardens of Claude Monet, Le Havre and even lesser known Dieppe.

 

4. Gastronomy in normandy

Normandy is without a doubt one of the most gourmet destination of France. The region is best known for all its dairy products including butter, creame and cheese. Here is produced the famous Camembert cheese one of France's most popular if not THE most popular with roughly 53 000 tons sold each year. Other famous cheeses of Normandy include Livarot, Neufchâtel and Pont l'Evêque. Visits to farms and dairies make for a great day especially if you are into tasting locale products.

Another local product that must be tasted while in the region are the apples and pears transformed in traditional drinks such as cider, Calvados and Pommeau. There are a considerable number of different types of apples grown in Normandy such as la bouteille, le bedan, le rouge-mulot and that are blended to make cider that reaches 3° to 5° alcohol due to the fermentation of its sugars.

Calvados, the famous local apple brandy is still made the traditional way with a first then second distillation process and then stored in oak casks. With time, the brandy ages slowly picking up light tannins from the wood. Lesser known Pommeau is a mix of apple juice and calvados that also ages in oak casks and is the Normand aperitif as it is served chilled, is easy to drink and thirst quenching.

We organize bothe private and shared small group tours departing from Bayeux or Caen as well as private shore excursions departing from all the main Normandy Cruise Ports such as Le Havre, Honfleur, Cherbourg and Rouen.

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