Normandy, Saint Malo, Mont Saint Michel Tour

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Normandy! What an historical treasure this place is! To enjoy a Normandy tour, click here to read about our Normandy tours. This region of France is two hours from Paris on France’s most Northern point of the English Channel. Normandy is described as “entre terre et mer”/twixt land and sea. For many French people, the old French song “Je veux revoir ma Normandie, ses paturages et ses prairies…” (I want to once more see my Normandy, its pastures and its meadows …) describes this area.  Bien sûr, the farmlands are beautiful, but the seaside is magical, too.

If you can, take time to enjoy this region! Its wealth of diverse beauty will capture your senses and envelop you in an emotional experience.

June 6, 1944 is the date of the D-Day Invasion, an event which changed the world. To arrange a tour to the D-Day sights of Normandy, please read about our Normandy tours.

Visiting Normandy today is a privilege, since the events of that day are preserved in museums and at the Landing Beaches sites. Utah, Omaha, Gold, Sword, and Juno Beaches have markers and memorials. The Normandy Church in the village square of Sainte Mere Eglise has stained glass windows that honor the paratroopers that were killed landing in the village on D-Day morning. In Normandy, there are cemeteries which preserve the names of those who gave their lives for a cause in which they believed. It is heart-warming to see the flags of the Allies flying in the coastal towns, since they still today (67 years later) remember the sacrifices made for France.

In American Cemetery, the graves all face west to the United States. This most somber and beautifully maintained resting place is a very moving place to visit to see Old Glory flying with pride and respect, as this was given to the US by France. The Cemetery is directly above Omaha Beach and is a stirring reminder to us of the sacrifices made during World War II.

In touring Normandy, the intensity and drama of the WWII places of interests are tempered by the more serene landscape and beauty of the countryside. Only minutes from the memories of Omaha Beach is the town of Bayeux, spared from the devastation of the war. Along with an amazing cathedral, the Bayeux Tapestry and the actual town of Bayeux are musts to visit! The Tapestry is 230 feet of embroidered linen detailing William the Conquer’s invasion of 1066.

At a far Western point of Normandy, Mont Saint Michel is a work of awe!  Surrounded by dangerously moving sands and linked to the mainland by a dike, this “Marvel of the Occident” is unique in the world. Built on a rocky islet which was principally a cultural and pilgrimage center during the Middle Ages, the Mont Saint Michel is a remarkable Gothic monastery and one of the most visited spots in France.

Giverny is also in Normandy. The home and gardens of Claude Monet are in Giverny. This colorful spot is like a welcome mat for Normandy, as it’s right outside of Paris and can therefore be enjoyed as a day trip from Paris. However, remember that it’s only open from April through October. Visiting this haven of beauty, it’s easy to fathom why Monet loved it and gained inspiration for his art work for a period of over 40 years. In his own words, “…a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.” Read more about our Giverny tours.

Equally beautiful and entirely different is the fishing village of Honfleur, located not too far from the huge port of Le Havre. The serenity and calm spirit of this little jewel of a town is enchanting.  It’s easy to see why the artists loved to paint here–artists like Monet, Manet, Seurat, Sisley, Pissaro, and Renoir. No wonder some consider Honfleur the birthplace of Impressionism.

And so it goes as one explores Normandy! While the events of June 6, 1944 shaped much of what is now visited in this northern region of France, the Norman countryside, with its cool, wooded valleys, its golden prairies, and its beech and pine forests remains a haven of peace and tranquility. Click here to read more about our Normandy tours.


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