Whether you have been here before or coming for the first time, whatever you are looking for, make the most of your time for one or more days with one of our local guides, passionate about the region and its history. Come to Normandy and discover the amazing sites that you have always heard about and dreamed of visiting.
With such a long and rich history in Normandy, we would recommend to stay for several day in order to discover our region, from Mont-Saint-Michel to Giverny, from William the Conqueror to the D-Day Invasion. Choose your own itinerary by combining different sites or themes together…
To optimize the time spent here in Normandy and to minimize the cost of the tour, we advise you to stay in one of the many hotels in or around Bayeux, as our company is based there. This charming medieval town is perfectly located at the center of the D-day Invasion area and close to the main highlights in the Normandy Region.
Whether you are a history buff and have been thinking of coming to Normandy for years or only since you have recently seen some war movies, your dream is coming here to reality!
During the tour, you will indeed step on this historical beach where so many died. You will see German bunkers and monuments everywhere.
And you will be able to pay your tribute to the fallen.
Your local tour guide will remind you of what was at stake in June 1944 and of the incredible planning needed for Operation Overlord to be a success. You will also be told about the extraordinary courage of the first 156.000 soldiers who landed on D-dayand the terrible sacrifice that went on during that entire summer. You will learn about the French Resistance and the German occupation during the four years before D-day.
Being there, you will understand better this invasion along 50 miles of the Normandy coast and its scale. It may also be an eye-opener on how grateful the French still are today, almost 70 years later!
Time has come for you to be there, on these battlefields, like on a pilgrimage. What an experience!
Trying to get off the beaten track and away from the crowds?
Tired of sharing the tour with others?
You have special needs or requests?
Why don’t you take the option of a private tour ?
And enjoy the day at your own pace and according to your own interests, with a tour guide just for yourself!
A day to remember… ! A granitic island in the middle of a huge bay under the influence of Europe biggest tides, where in 708 the Archangel St Michael (St Michel in French) ordered Aubert, the bishop of Avranches, the construction of a sanctuary. This is how Mont St Michel was born ! The first monastery was replaced by a Benedictine Abbey in the 10thC where the monks prayed and welcomed the pilgrims coming to adorn the archangel, in order to earn their right to go to heaven.
The “builder-monks” never stopped adding constructions century after century until they were chased away by the French Revolution in 1791. The magnificent abbey then became a prison !
In 1864, it was added on the list of French Historic Monuments, and it was restored before being opened to visitors. All of them are surprised by how audacious the architecture of the Abbey is, like suspended between earth and heaven and how beautiful are the rooms of the “Wonder”, the Cloister, the Church. There is a breathtaking view from the top that is worth the number of steps you have to come up ! Your guide will let you understand the symbolism of the architecture in this “book of stone”, going through the different rooms, one more incredible that the other. You might meet one of the monks of the new community who settled here a few years ago, and hear their Gregorian Chants vibrating in the church at the time of the mass. Your guide will also take you through the narrow cobbled streets around the village, with granite or half-timbered houses. Wander along the top of the fortification wall, built during the Hundred Years War, when Mont St Michel became a medieval castle.
Comfortable shoes recommended : a lot of walking, and many stairs !
Claude Monet, the world famous French Impressionist master, was born in Paris but he was raised in Le Havre, in Normandy, where his talent bloomed.
After Art studies in Paris, it’s in Honfleur, as a student of Eugene Boudin and Johan Jongkind that he discovered the “open-air” painting. This was a very new technique for the time, and the public, used to impressive antique or historical scenes, painted indoor, didn’t understand right away. The first years of Monet as a painter were hard : he and his family often didn’t have enough to eat.
It did not matter ! Nothing could stop him. He was fascinated by the natural light and by the changing colors it created. His whole life was an attempt of fixing on the canvas fleeting effects, instants that are vanishing as fast as they appeared.
Normandy and its changeable weather, where the sun alternates with clouds, provided him perfect settings : the clear and colorful costumes of the wealthy tourists on Trouville beach, the show of the sea and the cliffs of Etretat, the façade of Rouen cathedral.
He finally settled in Giverny, a small farmer’s village in Norman countryside, with his family in 1883. He lived there until he died in 1926, happy and quietly enjoying the comfort of his life, once famous. He kept transforming his gardens to improve them year after year. He also created the Waterlily Pond and the Japanese Bridge, his last subjects of painting.
Normandy has a long history, which didn’t start on D-day when the Allies landed. It was already a rich province at the time of Charlemagne, with prosperous cities and a lot of monasteries. Rouen was the second wealthiest city of the Kingdom of Francia Occidentalis (not yet France) after Paris, when Viking boats appeared offshore. Coming from the north, they were the “Norsemen”, or Normans. They first raided in order to pillage and capture slaves, in the 9th C. Then, they started settling in the area of Rouen.
In 911 the king of Francia gave them the county of Rouen, and their chief Rollo is considered nowadays as the first Duke of “Normandy”, the land of the Normans. Under the leadership of the Dukes, Normandy became one of the richest states of Europe which had a lot of influence on the history of the continent.
William the Conqueror, the seventh Duke, invaded England in 1066, and became its king. It was his family who governed both of Normandy and England for two centuries. Normandy was captured by the king of France, Philip August, in 1204, but a little more than one century later started a long war between France and England : the Hundred Years War. Normandy was destroyed several times, but was always able to rise from its ashes.
Track William the Conqueror in his country : he was born in the castle of Falaise, and is buried in the Abbey of the Men in Caen. The story of the invasion of England is on the nearly one thousand-year old Tapestry of Bayeux. Come to see the castles, churches, cathedrals, and abbeys built in the middle ages and discover the remnants of the time when Normandy was part of the leaders of Europe!