Normandy Cycling Holiday

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.

Beaumont-en-Auge

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.

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.

Normandy Cycling Holiday

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.

Beaumont-en-Auge

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.

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

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.

Day 1 : Arrive 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

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

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

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

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

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

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 : Trouville - end of trip

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

Bikes

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.

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: Guest room 101e Airborne

Port en Bessin: Hotel La Marine

Courseulles sur Mer: Hotel de Paris

Cabourg: Hotel Les Mots Passants

Honfleur: Hotel Le Dauphin

Trouville: Hotel Le Chantilly

Superior: Good quality hotels

Carentan: La Roseliere

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

Local taxes

Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night

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.

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