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Holidays

Self-Guided Cycling in Normandy

France
Available Departures: Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

7 days from

US$1,710

without flights
Cycle
Self-Guided
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Delve into history and learn of the D-Day Normandy Landings on this self-guided cycling holiday

Trip Code: SGDD
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Cycling in Normandy

Highlights
  • Delve into a thousand years of history in Bayeux, and discover the famous tapestry
  • Cycle along coastal lanes, through patchwork fields and visit quaint fishing villages
  • Pay your respects at Omaha beach where thousands of soldiers lost their lives on D-Day 
  • Indulge in delicious Norman cuisine and enjoy a tasting of the famed Calvados brandy

At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • 5 days cycling and sightseeing
  • Bike hire included
  • GPS Travel App
  • Daily departures available
  • Join In Bayeux / End in Trouville

Accommodation & Meals
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • 6 nights Hotel
Overview

This one week cycling trip around the Normandy coast is an immersion into the history of one of the most crucial battles of the Second World War, the D-Day landings. Your journey will take you along the length of the Allied Landing Beaches including Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword Beach. Along the way you will be able to pay your respects at the American Cemetery and Memorial and take a step back into history at Arromanches. Cycling all the way to the beautiful sandy beaches and seaside resorts of the Cote Fleurie, you will discover the multi-layered history of this region over the centuries and soak in its charm.


Cycling on average 45km a day along quiet lanes through tree-lined fields and emerging at cliff top vantage points, this is the perfect way to take in this landscape that was transformed less than a hundred years ago into a fierce and unrelenting battle ground, a world away from the peaceful farmland and coastal idylls you’ll cycle through on this tour. 

UPGRADE TO AN E-BIKE

If you’re looking for a bit of extra support whilst in the saddle, choose an e-bike to help lighten the load. 

Equipped with a battery and motor, these electric bikes give you a helping hand whilst you're pedalling, making it easier to climb hills. You’ll be able to travel further with less effort and more comfort. 

For further details including pricing, click through to the ‘Bike Hire’ drop down in the ‘Holiday Information’ tab, or speak to our sales team.

This tour is perfect for steady paced pedalling of an average of 45km a day through rolling tree lined country lanes, with plenty of opportunity for sightseeing and delving into the chequered history of this fascinating corner of Northern France. You’ll pass through seaside towns and bustling fishing villages with plenty of time to stop and explore the museums and memorials as well as sample some of the tasty seafood caught just off this coast. If you enjoy the history of the Second World War and the Norman Conquest, then this trip which visits the beaches of the Normandy Landings as well as the ancient cities of Bayeux and Honfleur, is perfect for you.

Why KE?

Step back in time and discover the history of our heroic ancestors and the D-Day landings on this specially designed cycling trip. 

We have included visits to 4 fantastic attractions as well as the cost of your bike hire on this trip.

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Itinerary

Arrive in Bayeux and settle into your accommodation before taking to the narrow streets to explore the character of this wonderful medieval city. Bayeux may appear in the history books for its links to war, but walking through this lovely city you would never know thanks to much of its beautiful Romanesque architecture escaping the heavy artillery of WWII unscathed.

Depending on your time of arrival, we recommend taking the time to visit the cathedral of Notre Dame and the Bayeux Tapestry. This spectacular tapestry is some 70m of woollen embroidery dating back to the 11th century, depicting the conquest of England by the Duke of Normandy in 1066. An impressive depiction of the invasion and craftsmanship which is said to have been made by William the Conqueror's wife, Reine Mathilde. In the evening, you can look forward to dining in one of the many nearby restaurants and perhaps sample some of the fantastic local cheeses.

Accommodation

Hotel

Having learnt of Bayeux's prominent role in the 1066 Normandy invasion yesterday, today you will begin your journey into the history of the D-Day landings. Hopping on your bike you will first cycle to Omaha Beach, often referred to as 'bloody Omaha' due to the heaviest losses during the landings, as depicted in the famous film 'Saving Private Ryan'. As you approach the beach you will see the dramatic Les Braves Omaha Beach Memorial, a tribute those who lost their lives during this battle.

Your route continues on to Port-en-Bessin where Operation PLUTO was completed, a pipeline installed under the channel from the Isle of Wight transporting fuel for the allied forces. The port is now a bustling fishing village with lots of small, brightly painted scallop boats loading and unloading at all hours of the day. Heading away from the coast you cycle inland to end your day back at Bayeux where you can enjoy your evening sampling the local delicacies.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Distance

53 KM

Today's ride will take you through a combination of high hedged country lanes, and quiet fishing villages tucked into the nooks of this pretty rolling coastline. The Longues sur Mer Battery is one of your first ports of call, a German gun battery preserved as a timely reminder of the ferocious battle fought here in the last century. Similarly the mulberry harbours, the remnants of which are still visible off the coast of Arromanches-les-Bains, remind us that this landscape is filled with the memories of war. Courseulles-sur-Mer is your final destination for this leg of your journey, a pretty beach front village now named Juno beach, the codename for the site of the Canadian army landings on D-Day. Like the other beaches along this historic coastline, there is an impressive museum built here within a stretch of the Atlantic Wall German defence bunkers.

For your evening meal tonight, you're free to explore Courseulles-sur-Mer. Seafood is in abundance here, and what could be better than a locally caught platter with a cold glass of crisp white wine, in a restaurant overlooking the sea it was caught in. Bon appetit!

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Distance

36 KM

Today you'll carry on along the coast, heading out past Juno Beach and on towards Sword Beach where part of the British army landings took place. Your journey takes you to Ouistreham, whose name is derived from the French for oyster - 'ouistre,' and the Saxon for village 'ham,' so perhaps this would be the perfect place to sample this delicacy along the route. The port is now dominated by the ferry terminal and shipping canal which provides a pleasant still water border for your cycle along the Caen canal to reach Pegasus Bridge. The key strategic victory that the British army achieved here is commemorated at the Memorial Museum where the original bridge is displayed. Reaching Cabourg, your home for the evening, you will have time to explore its promenades before making your way to your accommodation.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Distance

41 KM

Your ride this morning takes you away from the coast initially, travelling through the green countryside to reach the commune of Beaumont-en-Auge, nestled in the bucolic landscape of the Pays d'Auge. The region has a farming history dating back some 1000 years and produces renowned cheeses such as Camembert and Livarot. Colourful timber framed houses line your route as you pedal slowly through the quiet streets; perhaps you might like to stop for a coffee here before continuing your journey toward the coast at Deauville. Following the coastline, your ride takes you to the picturesque medieval town of Honfleur situated at the mouth of the Seine river. You'll see for yourself why this town provided such inspiration for Impressionist painters, with its pretty harbour, narrow streets and timber-framed or slate-fronted houses. The Eugene Boudin Museum here celebrates the art of not only Boudin in his birthplace, but also the Impressionist works of Monet and Courbet among others. Making your way to your accommodation you can settle in for the evening and discover for yourself the many options of restaurants serving wonderful Norman cuisine, often fresh from the sea.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Distance

51 KM

Setting off from Honfleur inland into the fertile lands of the Pays de Auge, your route this morning takes you through groves of apple trees, synonymous with the well-known cider and Calvados apple brandy of the region. Riding to Pont-l'Eveque, positioned at the meeting point of the three rivers of Touques, Calonne and Yvie, the tributaries of which help to make the land so fertile and green. Here you will have the opportunity to sample the famous Calvados brandy which carries the AOC label indicating products originating from a Protected Designation of Origin. Take your time to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of this pretty town, with its brightly coloured half-timbered houses and the beautiful 15th century church of Saint Michel. You might even like to enjoy a dip in the Lac de Pont l'Eveque, a popular family-friendly spot for swimming, fishing and watersports.

Continuing your journey back toward the coast, your ride takes you to the stylish Cote Fleurie seaside resort of Deauville and Trouville, where you will enjoy the final night of your holiday. Originally a fishing port, these neighbouring towns have been developed into an upmarket and vibrant coastal resort with grand villas and palaces, not to mention the glitzy Trouville Casino built right on the lively fishing port. Fresh seafood is still the order of the day here, with specialties including scallops, prawns, mackerel and sole on offer at the bustling fish market. Enjoy a fresh platter and raise a toast with a glass of crisp white wine to commemorate a memorable week of cycling in Normandy.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Distance

46 KM

Enjoy a relaxing continental breakfast in your hotel and perhaps take a final stroll around the beach and promenade of Trouville before making your onward journey.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Airport Airport
Direction Direction
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Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described

  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan

  • Self-Guided Travel App

  • Self-guided information pack containing your tour booklet and travel documents

  • Luggage transfer

  • Visit to Bayeux Tapestry Museum

  • Visit to Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema

  • Visit to Memorial Pegasus

  • Visit to Calvados Experience farm museum with tasting

  • City taxes

  • 27-gear Bike Hire

  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to Bayeux
  • Travel from Trouville
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Personal equipment
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

This holiday is led by a self-guided travel app, which contains the personalised details of your complete holiday itinerary. This includes the GPS-led routes for you to follow on your self-guided cycling and walking tours, as well as attractions, coffee stops and points of interest in the towns and cities along the way. The app does not need to have Wi-Fi connection to work, you simply follow the instructions we provide you to download the app to your phone before you leave home and you are ready to go.

Each mobile comes with a different expected battery life so we suggest you pack a spare battery pack with you just in case you require it.

You can expect to receive your Self-Guided Pack containing your tour booklet and all your relevant holiday documents no later than 3 weeks before your holiday start date. We will send your documents using signed for courier so that you can track your package and know that they are safely on their way to you. Should your self-guided trip be part of a longer adventure requiring you to leave home more than three weeks before your holiday start date, please do inform our sales team so that we can make alternative delivery arrangements.

Our Self-Guided Holidays are perfect for your next family holiday and are suitable for children of all ages.

Our partner hotels and accommodations are able to provide cots for young children, and some offer family rooms. We can also arrange hire of children’s bikes and tag along bikes for our self-guided cycling trips and with trips such as Lake Constance and the Danube offering routes on designated cycle paths you can rest assured in keeping your family safe.

As a parent we trust that you know your own child’s capabilities, please read the itinerary details to ensure the distances covered each day are suitable for your family. If this is a first time walking holiday for your family, a centre based trip is a fantastic option as it allows you to easily opt out of a days walking if a day of building sand castles, swimming in the pool or visiting museums is calling.

Please discuss this further with our sales team who will be happy to assist in picking the best trip for your family.

This trip starts at your accommodation in Bayeux. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a land only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. The nearest airport for this trip is Caen Airport, however Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport offers many more options from regional UK airports.

If you are flying into Caen Airport you can take the bus to Quai Meslin Railway Station in Caen from where you can take the 15 minute train journey direct to Bayeux. The total journey takes approximately 1 hour.

If you are flying into Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport you can take the bus to Caen from where you can take the train from Quai Meslin Railway Station direct to Bayeux. The total journey takes approximately 4-5 hours.

Alternatively, we can arrange a private transfer for you. The transfer from Caen Airport will take approximately 30 minutes and from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, it will take approximately 3 hours. Please ask our sales team for more information.

Normandy is a destination which lends itself to train or ferry travel from the UK. It is possible to take the ferry from Portsmouth to Caen with daily ferry crossings. It is also possible to travel via Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris from where you can take the bus and train to Caen.

The trip ends in Trouville. From Trouville-Deauville train station you can take the train via Paris Saint-Lazare to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, the journey takes approximately 3 hours. To return to Caen from Trouville, you can take the train via Lisieux, or the bus directly to Caen, from where you can take the bus from Quai Meslin back to Caen Airport.

This trip is on a bed and breakfast basis to allow you the most flexibility during your holiday.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

French cuisine is ingrained in French culture and is one of the country’s greatest contributions to the world. It is filled with passion; a celebration of the rich natural flavours of basic ingredients, to be enjoyed with one of the countries fine wines. Meal times are leisurely, a time to be enjoyed with good company and are an experience to be savoured.
 
The flavours of Normandy are dictated by the 600km of coastline which supply an abundance of seafood, and by the lush green pastures perfect for dairy herds and cattle, not to mention the delicious apple orchards which produce the local specialty, Calvados.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

We have ensured that your accommodation is centrally located for the sights along your way. You will stay in a selection of small 2 and 3 star hotels each chosen for their warm hospitality and fantastic locations along your route. All of the hotels offer something different such as lovely beachfront locations, historic properties which escaped the war undamaged, or cosy communal areas ideal for relaxing after a day on your bike.

All of the hotels offer a typically French continental breakfast of delicious fresh breads and pastries served with your morning coffee. Some hotels also offer additional hot items.

It is possible to arrange additional nights accommodation if you would like to extend your time in Bayeux or Deauville-Trouville. Please speak to one of our sales team for further information.

Bikes come with 27 gears and come equipped with 2 panniers for your daily essentials plus a milometer, a bike lock, pump and repair kit. We strongly recommend you bring your own helmet with you for the best comfort.

 

We also recommend packing a gel seat for extra comfort or a pair of padded cycling shorts, whilst the cycling is leisurely and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and explore it is always nice to have some padding for a comfortable ride.

 

E-bikes are also available at an additional supplement of £ 225. We are also able to arrange children’s bikes, trailers and child seats. Please ask our sales team for details.

Your main luggage will be transferred between each of your hotels while you are out on your bike. We ask that you please ensure your luggage is limited to one piece under 20kg and that your luggage is ready for collection each morning.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

The currency for part or all of this holiday is the Euro.

The advantage of a self-guided cycling holiday is that you decide the pace. This trip is designed for leisure cyclists and does not require you to be in peak fitness. Having said this it is always sensible to get some additional exercise before going on an active holiday. After all, the fitter you are the more enjoyable your cycling will be. You should be comfortable with cycling around 45km a day on cycle paths and quiet roads. We advise to dust off your bike and head out on a few rides before your holiday.

Normandy has a maritime-oceanic climate making a humid and varied climate with heavy rain over the winter period. Normandy’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean mean that temperatures remain mild with temperatures reaching 20 degrees in the summer months.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

The Rough Guide to Brittany and Normandy by Rough Guides
D-Day June 6, 1944, The Climatic Battle of WWII by Stephen Ambrose
The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages by Alain Erlande-Brandenburg 

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

  • Cycling shorts

  • Cycle helmet

  • Functional base layer

  • T-shirts

  • Scarf

  • Hat

  • Windproof jacket

  • Fleece / extra layer

  • Rain protection

  • Rucksack (approx. 20 l)

  • Small first aid kit for your rucksack

  • Sunscreen

  • Water bottle or hydration pack

  • Camera (batteries/memory card)

  • Mobile Phone (ensure your data package covers your destination)

  • Power bank

  • Waterproof phone cover

  • Sun glasses

  • Personal wash kit

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping to avoid the use of plastic bags

  • Tupperware for picnics

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

More Information

More Information

More Information

Land Only Information

Please note our 'from price' listed is based on 4 persons on twin or double occupancy, however we can quote for any number of travellers, including solo travellers, contact our sales team for a quote.

All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. You may even wish to make this holiday part of a bigger adventure or pair it with one of our other holidays. We can arrange additional nights accommodation before or after your self-guided trip, ask our sales team to find out more about this.

Our sales team will be happy to provide you a quote for scheduled flights or alternatively you may wish to book your own flights with a low cost carrier from your nearest regional airport.

Please DO NOT book your flights before you have received your booking confirmation and your deposit has been taken.

We offer some transfers to your hotel from the nearest airports, please refer to the 'joining arrangements and transfers' for further details for this trip.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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