This bike tour of Normandy covers hips. Between Bayeux and Rouen there is a great variety of landscape and architecture. You go along the landing beaches, stay in pretty towns and villages, see old Normand Abbeys, visit great museums, taste the best cheeses, cider and Calvados you can think of, cross the Seine River and more…
Day 1: Arrival in Bayeux
You must find some time to visit the famous tapestry, the cathedral, and the Commonwealth war museum, which are allocated in the center of the town, as well as the wonderfully preserved old part of the town. Being the allies headquarter soon after the landing, Bayeux has not been bombed and is extremely well preserved.
Day 2: Around Bayeux, ~36, 52 or 81 km
From Bayeux and the commonwealth memorial, you head north-west until Omaha beach and the American war cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer. Before returning to Bayeux you can make a stopover at the typical fishing village of Port-en-Bessin. A longer option takes you to "Pointe du Hoc" near Grandcamp-Maisy.
Day 3: Bayeux - Caen/Benouville, ~34, 48 or 60 km
Following the narrow Aure Valley you soon reach the coast at Longues-sur-Mer and the old German Battery on the cliff of Gold beach. From here it will be a short downhill to the famous artificial harbor of Arromanches. Juno Beach and the Canadian Museum are at a short distance and Courseulles-sur-Mer is a great place for sea food. In the afternoon, you follow the little Seulles valley inland to get to the “Capital” Caen and finally to Benouville.
Day 4: Caen/Benouville - Cabourg/Beuvron-en-Auge, ~45, 60 or 81 km
Along the Orne canal from Caen to the sea you get to the famous Pegasus Bridge, the landing target of the British parachutes and the beginning of the longest day! From Pegasus Bridge, you soon get to Ranville, the first liberated town in France. Then you ride towards the coast and the last site of the D-Day, the Merville battery! From here a short stroll along sandy beaches brings you to Beuvron-en-Auge.
Day 5: Cabourg/Beuvron-en-Auge - Honfleur, ~45 or 70 km
The morning ride leads through the prettiest Normandy post card landscapes with rolling hills, apple orchards and local spotted cows. You’ll reach the awesome village of Beaumont-en-Auge which will be the perfect stop for lunch in a great local restaurant. A slightly longer option will take you to the town of Cambremer. You then reach the coast at Deauville-sur-Mer to admire some of the greatest Anglo-Norman architectures. From the fishing harbor of Trouville you follow the coast to Honfleur. This town on the south bank of the estuary of the Seine River a gem and brimming with art and history. It has also been a strategic port before becoming an important trading harbor in the XVI century. During the XVII century, Honfleur was the starting point for many navigators for the new world like Brazil, New-land or Quebec. And from that rich past almost everything is preserved: Churches, the old port, the bell-tower and the ware-houses. And the cobblestone streets are far too small for cars…. a real treasure.
Day 6: Honfleur - Brionne, ~54 km
You follow the Seine Estuary to the east and get to an area known for its thatch roof. Your longer option takes you into the natural reserve of the “Vernier Marsh”. You progress inland on a quiet country road along the Risle River until the pretty town of Pont-d'Audemer where a break is well worth for lunch but also to discover the architecture and the numbers of little canals. You continue along the Risle valley before you reach the old village of Le Bec Hellouin and its well-maintained XII century abbey. Open to the public and still run by monks you will have the opportunity to visit one of the great abbeys in Normandy.
Day 7: Brionne - Rouen, ~61 km
This last ride is short enough to give you the time to visit Rouen in the afternoon. The morning ride is a mixture of wealthy farming land and woods to get to the market town of Bourg-Achard. A longer option would have first taken you to the old chateau of Harcourt. From Bourg-Achard, a downhill takes you to the Seine River bed and the little town of La Bouille from where you will cross the large and famous Seine River on one the barges. There is a free shuttle service run by the local council. You then approach the big city of Rouen on a very quiet road following the north side of the Seine River.
Day 8: Departure
7 nights in 3*** and 4**** hotels in cat. A
7 nights in 2** and 3*** hotels in cat. B
7x copious breakfast
detailed tour description and maps
self-guided tour - 8 days / 7 nights
arrival every Saturday and Monday
season I (910 €/person in double cat. B and 1200 €/person in double cat. A)
season II (+30 €/person in cat. B and +50 €/person in cat. A)
"arrival any day"
possible except Tuesdays and Wednesdays, min. 4 persons, or with supplement 40 €/person
route (2): ~290-410 km/180-256 miles
for people with cycling experience and a good level of fitness
how to get there
by car: motorway to Caen and on to Bayeux
by train: station Bayeux, direct from Paris (2h15) with TGV
by plane: airport Paris
free parking at the cathedrale in Bayeux
back to Bayeux by van for 160 €/ride or 190 €/ride on Sunday and public holiday, max. 4 persons, on request
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