Bicycling Brittany and Normandy Plus! Bayeux and the D-Day Beaches

Cycling Brittany and Normandy!
  • Length 11 days
  • From USD$5895
  • Style/Level Classic 2.5
  • Countries France
  • Begin/End Saint-Malo / Bayeux
See related tours

France’s northwest coast with its rocky cliffs and sandy beaches is widely known for its pivotal role in WWII, but the region’s strong cultural identity and historic significance dates back to ancient Celtic roots. Just a couple hundred miles south of English Westcountry, Brittany and Normandy are geographically similar, though warmer, sunnier and less populated, compared with coastal England, and share a history of war, commerce, migration and cultural exchange that predates the Roman Empire. This trip is perfect for anyone who wants to…
  • cross a drawbridge and emerge from a dungeon,
  • imbibe local calvados, chouchenn and pommeau,
  • traverse a causeway to the world’s most famous tidal island fortress,
  • watch a giant church bell made by “deaf” artisans, or
  • touch history at Normandy’s beaches.
***If this sounds great but you don’t have time for the full 11-days check out our 7-day Bicycling Brittany and Normandy tour.***

Highlights

  • Saint-Malo, Port town of Cancale, Fort la Latte, Dinan – one of Brittany’s best-preserved Medieval towns, 13th-century Château de la Hunaudaye, Mont Saint-Michel, Hambye Abbey, a beautiful Benedictine monastery, D-Day Beaches, Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Bayeux, home to the famed Medieval tapestry commemorating the Norman Conquest of England in 1066

Includes

  • 11 days, 10 nights accommodation

  • meals as noted in itinerary

  • oyster tasting

  • guided visit of Dinan

  • guided visit of Mont Saint-Michel and its abbey

  • cider tasting

  • calvados tasting

  • All Classic tour inclusions

Keep in mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

Air Conditioning is not common at hotels and is rarely needed in Brittany and Normandy.


Date Price Private room fee Note
Jun 9-19, 2024 USD$5895 USD$650  Departure confirmed to go!
Aug 18-28, 2024 USD$5895 USD$650  One ReCycle credit spot available. Departure confirmed to go!
DateJun 9-19, 2024
PriceUSD$5895
Private room feeUSD$650
Note Departure confirmed to go!
DateAug 18-28, 2024
PriceUSD$5895
Private room feeUSD$650
Note One ReCycle credit spot available. Departure confirmed to go!

Download Itinerary

We’ll send you a link to a full day by day tour itinerary that can be downloaded and printed so you can review all the details online and offline. This packet also includes details about what to expect on tour and arrival and departure details.
Name(Required)
Email(Required)
Tour date(Required)
Have you traveled with us before?(Required)
Hidden
Hidden
Hidden
Opt-in to weekly news, recipes, and tour updates
Privacy(Required)

  • Total distance 477 km (296 miles)
  • Average daily distance 60 km (38 miles)
  • Tour style Classic
  • Tour level 2.5

Highlights: Saint-Malo

As you approach the walled city of Saint-Malo, pause to appreciate its tactical position near the mouth of the English Channel, its sheer, fortified walls, and its vast tidal beaches. Saint-Malo is notorious for its independent streak, having harbored corsairs-French privateers and pirates-who acquired fortunes from passing ships. Tonight enjoy a walk of the ramparts, and the opportunity to explore the old town’s citadel and cobbled streets before enjoying a sumptuous welcome dinner. Bike Fitting and Test Ride this afternoon.

Meals : Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Chateaubriand

Highlights: Cancale

Inland Brittany is a secret world of winding paths, walled villages, granite cottages and serene churches. Our first stop will be the Ferme marine where we will learn all about oyster farming. Pedal leisurely through this storybook countryside, or crank up your cadence to spend more time exploring the colorful port town of Cancale and its many culinary delights from the sea. Treat yourself to a lunch of oysters, langoustines, crabs, or clams as you watch the sailboats. Or perhaps you’ll head north to Pointe du Grouin, which marks the entrance into the Bay of Mont Saint Michel, before turning back toward Saint-Malo along rocky coastline and sandy beaches.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Chateaubriand

Highlights: Dinard, Fort la Latte

Just when you thought Brittany’s shoreline couldn’t get more picturesque, you arrive at the breathtaking blue-green waters of the Côte d’ Eméraude west of Saint-Malo. Here you’ll ferry across the broad estuary of the Rance River to the charming resort town of Dinard, where generations of wealthy British vacationers have built magnificent villas. The ocean breeze is fresh and strong as you ride Cap Fréhel’s soaring cliffs to the 14th-century Fort la Latte castle stronghold. This iconic fortress-complete with drawbridge, dungeons, turrets and sheer drop to the breaking waves-is fully restored and has been used in films including The Vikings (1958) starring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel de Diane

Highlights: La Hunaudaye Forest, Château de la Hunaudaye, Dinan

With the coast at your back, today’s ride guides you south through Brittany’s patchwork of farms, forests and rivers-home to the region’s rich cultural heritage that tourists seldom experience. At the edge of La Hunaudaye Forest, you’ll cross an impressive moat to explore the worn walls and secret corners of 13th-century Château de la Hunaudaye, a key example of Medieval architecture. We’ll then continue on to Dinan, one of Brittany’s best-preserved Medieval towns

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Le D’Avaugour

Highlights: Guided tour of Dinan, Saint-Suliac

We’ll have a guided tour of Dinan and explore its half-timbered homes, cobbled streets, ramparts and an attractive port on the Rance River, Dinan beckons visitors to shop its local craft boutiques, art galleries, workshops and cafés. You may wish to set out on foot, boat up the Rance Valley, or mount your bike and take a loop ride north along the Rance River estuary to Saint-Suliac and back. Riding from village to village, you’ll see fishermen at work, and children at play.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Le D’Avaugour

Highlights: Dol de Bretagne, First views of Mont Saint-Michel

The ride to Mont Saint-Michel awaits, but there’s a lot to see and do before reaching the kilometer-long bridge to the island tomorrow. On the way to Normandy, stop for lunch in Dol de Bretagne and explore its Abbey, formerly the seat of one of nine ancient bishoprics of Brittany. Later in the day, notice the abrupt hill rising from the flat countryside surrounding the village of Mont-Dol-a geological twin to Saint-Michel to further whet your appetite. Finally, chalk arrows point your route along the edge of the bay, and your first views of the world-famous island abbey can be seen! The site was first chosen as a stronghold during the 6th century for its proximity to the mainland, its low-tide accessibility, and natural defensive features during high tide. It has been a monastery since the 8th century and is the subject of a 164 million euro project to remove accumulated silt and restore it to an island.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Le Victor Hugo Hotel

Highlights: Guided visit Mont Saint-Michel, bell factory

Though Mont Saint-Michel falls into the modern political region of Normandy, both Normans and Bretons have claimed it as their own. This and the island’s other fascinating history is yours to savor this morning on a guided visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Mont Saint-Michel village and abbey. We shuttle to the D-Day beaches after the visit, stopping in Villedieu-les-Pôeles. This town has a fascinating and surprising history, it became a center of metal-work, having imported advanced coppersmithing techniques from the Middle East toward the end of the Crusades. Its inhabitants, still known as Sourdins (because repeated hammering of copper caused them to become deaf, or in French, sourd), were strong supporters of the French Revolution, and are still well-known for the artisanal manufacture of large church bells at factories like the one you’ll visit this afternoon. No cycling today as we shuttle to our accommodation close to Utah Beach.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Domaine d’Utah Beach

Highlights: Nazi artillery and bunkers, Utah beach landing site, Sainte-Mere Eglise and the Airborne Museum

The landscape in Normandy is impressively diverse, and today’s ride gives you a little taste of everything. A warm-up on rolling hills and hedge-lined roads. Next, Normandy’s swampy plains and vast bocage grazing lands dotted with the happy livestock and burgeoning produce behind the region’s culinary specialties: Camembert cheese, brioche, calvados, cider, lamb, succulent chicken and duckling! Finally, the Landing site of Utah Beach, and the Nazi defensive Artillery bunkers of the Atlantic Wall. Stop in Sainte-Mere-Eglise and visit the Airborne Museum and learn about the Utah Beach landing, before heading back to our hotel.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Domaine d’Utah Beach

Highlights: Point du Hoc, Omaha Beach, American Cemetery, Bayeux

Allied Forces invaded German-occupied France on June 6, 1944 on the beaches just east of Carentan, and today you’ll visit several sites and museums dedicated to honoring the memory of those who served. Regardless of your appreciation of military tactical history, chances are you’ll find yourself moved by witnessing the landing sites, the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, and by observing the German defenses still visible along the roadside. The day’s ride ends in Bayeux, home to the famed Medieval tapestry commemorating the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Legend has it that the tapestry was designed and woven in England by Reine Mathilde, William the Conquerer’s wife herself.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Domaine de Bayeux

Highlights: Cider and calvados tasting, Arromanches artificial harbor, Longues German battery

Your first stop will be at one of the local producers of cider and calvados. After the visit you will taste some of their specialties. Then pedal onto Arromanches, where the allies built a temporary harbor so that heavy equipment could be unloaded prior to conquering a deep water port. In the final part of the loop you’ll see the remaining of the impressive German defensive batteries in Longues. Save some time in the afternoon to view the incredible craftsmanship at the Musée de la Tapisserie in Bayeux.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Domaine de Bayeux

Highlights: Bayeux

Our tour ends this morning in Bayeux. Enjoy the rest of your travels in France.

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.



Pre-trip planning checklist



  • What was your favorite experience on this trip? Hard to say there were so many, the ride itself, the bell factory, seeing the D-day beaches.

    Richard W., Davis, CA
  • Mont St. Michael”s was visually awesome and I really enjoyed Saint-Malo. But also enjoyed the road (chalk) arrows. Great idea! So much easier than the sheets of paper.

    Karen F., Davis, CA
  • Great trip. Good team leaders, good route, food and wine were good.

    Bill D., Austin, TX