Normandy Cycling Holiday

  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Moderate
  • Duration/s

    7 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Carentan / Trouville
  • Distance

    177 miles/285 kms
  • Themes

    CoastalEbike
  • Accommodation

    Comfort to Superior
  • Tour code

    027-113CFR
Price From £971

Overview

An extended version of our D-Day Beaches Cycling Holiday, this route takes in all five of the landing beaches and then continues eastwards along the Cote Fleurie (Flowering Coast) to the elegant resort towns of Cabourg, Deauville and the medieval port of Honfleur.

On this 7 night holiday you will cycle from Carentan at the base of the Cotentin Peninsula, along the undulating Normandy coast to Honfleur at the mouth of the Seine river. Along the way you’ll take in gorgeous beaches, rolling green countryside and pretty Norman villages.

This is D-Day country of course and the route visits each of the 5 beaches that were used for the mass allied landings that took place here on the 6th of June 1944. During the ride you’ll come across all manner of sights, relics, museums and memorials that acknowledge the fierce battles and huge loss of life that occurred in this now quiet and peaceful corner of France during World War II.

Beaumont-en-Auge

Beaumont-en-Auge

Aside from the D-Day connection this is a naturally beautiful stretch of coastline and the route leads you to some picture-perfect little towns and villages that feature the traditional timber-framed, brightly coloured houses so typical of this area. You’ll venture inland to some delightful little places where wonderful local produce such as Calvados brandy and Pont-l’Évêque soft cheese can be sampled and bought.

On the Cote Fleurie, you’ll cycle along the seaside promenade at Cabourg and enjoy the elegant resorts of Deauville and Trouville. The medieval port of Honfleur is sure to be another highlight as is the peaceful ride through the apple orchards of the Auge region.

The rolling countryside here is beautiful but this also means of course that you have climbs to contend with each day. Most of them are mercifully short but nonetheless you will need to be in reasonably good shape to enjoy this route. If you are at all concerned about your fitness levels then consider renting an e-bike which will make things a lot easier and take the sting out of the climbs.

 

 

Itinerary & Map

The rolling countryside here is beautiful but this also means of course that you have climbs to contend with each day. Most of them are mercifully short but nonetheless you will need to be in reasonably good shape to enjoy this route. If you are at all concerned about your fitness levels then consider renting an e-bike which will make things a lot easier and take the sting out of the climbs.

View larger map

Day 1: Arrive Carentan

Carentan

Carentan

After checking in to your hotel the rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy this pretty little town. The gallery arcades and beautiful townhouses that surround the 11th century cathedral provide plenty of old world charm and we also recommend a stroll around the marina which is located on a canal linking the town to the Normandy coast some 8km away.

Day 2: Circular ride to St. Mère Église and Utah Beach, 37 miles/60 kms

Utah Beach

Utah Beach

A scenic and quiet greenway cycle path leads you through the Cotentin marshes to the nearby town of St. Mère Église. On D-day this was the first town to be liberated by the allied forces and don’t miss the unusual memorial hanging from the side of the church that commemorates a unique episode during the battle.

The route then leads you out to the coast to a huge sandy beach.  This beach was code-named Utah Beach during the  D-Day landings and the Utah Beach Museum does a great job of describing the events of 6th of June 1944. You then follow a network of scenic rural lanes back to your hotel in Carentan where you will spend another night.

Day 3: Carentan – Omaha Beach – Port en Bessin, 31 miles/50 kms

Colleville sur mer - Omaha Beach - Normandy - France

American Cemetery – Omaha Beach

Today’s route leads you first to Isigny-sur-Mer, a small village renowned for its cheese, butter and caramels. After a stroll around and perhaps a coffee you mount up and head out towards the coast. The Pointe du Hoc is a natural promontory of land that juts out into the channel providing excellent views along the coast in both directions. This commanding position was highly prized by both sides during the landings which explains why the landscape here is still marked with many deep bomb craters. Riding further east you pass through several small hamlets before reaching the pretty village of Coleville-sur-Mer. The nearby very beautiful beach is the infamous Omaha Beach, where some 2000 US soldiers lost their lives during the very challenging landings on this well defended stretch of coastline. The sea of white headstones stretching across the impeccably manicured lawns of the adjacent American Cemetery is a poignant reminder of what happened in this now peaceful corner of France in June of 1944. After a few more kilometers of pleasant cycling along quiet rural lanes you reach the little fishing village of Port-en-Bessin where you will stop for the night.

Day 4: Port en Bessin – Gold Beach – Juno Beach – Courseulles sur Mer, 22 miles/35 kms

Arromanches

Arromanches

Continuing eastwards along the Normandy coast you reach the impressive German defensive battery at Longues-sur-Mer before continuing through the leafy Norman countryside to the town of Arromanches. Looking out to sea from the town’s lovely beach you will see the remains of the ingenious Mulberry Harbours that were towed across the channel from England and flooded to create a makeshift breakwater that enabled allied forces to offload heavy equipment and supplies more easily. It’s worth taking time to stroll around this pretty little town and, if you are interested, the D-Day Museum  does an excellent job of bringing those momentous days from WWII to life. More scenic cycling along a network of quiet rural lanes eventually delivers you to the little port of Courseulles-sur-Mer where you will spend the night.

Day 5: Courseulles sur Mer – Cabourg, 25 miles/40 kms

Cabourg

Cabourg

Today’s route continues along the majestic Normandy coast. You’ll pass through a succession of small seaside towns and a golden sandy beach is never more than a few meters away to your left. At the port of Ouistreham you turn inland and follow the Caen Canal to another famous d-day landmark – Pegasus Bridge. The bridge was captured in a daring nightime raid by British glider-born troops just prior to the landings commencing and this prevented German reinforcements from getting to the easterly landing beaches.

You cross the bridge and enter the Cote Fleurie (flowered coast). The name stems from the wonderful gardens and floral displays that surrounded the sumptuous seaside villas during the Belle Epoque. Your destination today is Cabourg, a bustling seaside town that has been a popular resort since the early 1900s.

Day 6: Cabourg – Honfleur, 31 miles/50 kms

Beaumont-en-Auge

Beaumont-en-Auge

Today’s ride leaves the Normandy coast and ventures inland following winding, hedge-lined country lanes to the delightful little village of Beaumont-en-Auge. This dreamy little place features a pretty main street lined with traditional and colourful timber-framed houses. The route then winds it way back towards the coast, past apple orchards and small farms to the elegant resort town of Deauville. You then follow the coastline to the charming town of Honfleur which is located at the mouth of the river Seine. You’ll enjoy spending the night in this medieval port with its picturesque harbour and colourful townhouses.

Day 7: Honfleur – Trouville, 31 miles/50 kms

Trouville

Trouville

The final ride of your Normandy Cycling Holiday introduces you to the Auge countryside once more. You’ll cycle through a peaceful scenic countryside of orchards and dairy farms. This is of course calvados country but the area is also renowned for its fabulous cider and sensational soft cheeses too. In the quaint little town of Pont-l’Eveque we recommend you sample the local cheese which many consider to be as good if not better than the more famous soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert.

Finally the route brings you back to the coast and the beautiful resort town of Trouville. The charming ambiance of this lovely old town with its winding streets and beautiful beach makes a fitting finale to your Normandy cycling adventure.

Day 8 : Departure

After breakfast it’s time to checkout and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2020 Arrival Dates
Daily arrivals 01 April to 15 October

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2020 Prices
027-113CFR
Per person
01 Apr
to
15 Oct
Comfort category
Double/twin £1004                  
Single £1472                  
Triple £971                  
Solo cyclist £1731                  
Superior category
Double/twin £1417                  
Single £2174                  
Triple £1369                  
Solo cyclist £2433                  
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Deposit per person £330

Price Includes

7 nights accommodation in your chosen category. See practical information
7 x Breakfast
Luggage transfer (2 x 20kg piece pp)
Maps & route information
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)
Entrance fees to monuments

Supplements

Halfboard, comfort (£273)
Halfboard, superior (£304)
Extra night Carantan, double/twin, comfort (£62)
Extra night Carantan, single, comfort (£108)
Extra night Carantan, double/twin, superior (£72)
Extra night Carantan, single, superior (£124)
Extra night Trouville, double/twin, comfort (£72)
Extra night Trouville, single, comfort (£124)
Extra night Trouville, double/twin, superior (£160)
Extra night Trouville, single, superior (£278)
Regular bike with lock & pannier. See practical information (£119)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£227)

Practical Information

Bikes

Hybrid bike

Crossbar model used on this tour

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 24 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are provided on arrival.

unisex bike

Unisex model used on this tour

 

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.

Comfort: Comfortable hotels.

Carentan: La Roselière
Port en Bessin: Le 6.3 Resto Home B&B
Courseulles sur Mer: Hotel de Paris
Cabourg: Hotel Les Mots Passants
Honfleur: Hotel Le Dauphin
Trouville: Hotel Le Trouville

Superior: Good quality hotels

Carentan: L’Auberge Normande
Port en Bessin: Hotel Mercure Omaha Beach
Courseulles sur Mer: Hotel La Crémaillère
Cabourg: Hotel les Bains
Honfleur: Hotel Le Cheval Blanc
Trouville: Hotel Mercure

Getting There

Take the ferry from Portsmouth to Caen or Le Havre and then either drive or take a bus/train to Carentan (40 mins from Caen/2hrs30 mins from Le Havre). Alternatively, fly or take the Eurostar to Paris and then take a train to Carentan via Caen.

At the end of the trip catch a bus to Le Havre or a train to Caen or Paris from Trouville.

Gallery