Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches Full Day Tour
Meet your English Speaking Driver/Guide who is a local Expert on WWII and the Normandy landings
Upon arrival at the meeting point, you will be welcomed by your English speaking guide who will be waiting with a sign bearing the name of the tour and with the Ophorus logo on it. Also, all our guides have a nominative badge so that it will be easy for you to recognize them.
Once you have met your guide, he/she will go over the program and itinerary of the day with you. Then, board your comfortable, air conditioned Mercedes minivan and begin to make your way to visit the major D-Day sites.
All our vehicles are equipped with an on board P/A system which means that everyone will hear the guide's commentary during driving time, even if you are seated in the back of the van! Also, we have bottled water at your disposal and you can use our free wifi as you travel from one destination to another.
First stop will be in Sainte Mère Eglise
On the morning of June 6, 1944, also known as the longest day, thousands of soldiers from the Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy in an attempt to liberate France and the continent from the German occupation. This marked the beginning of a fierce and deadly battle against surprised but well-trained Nazi troops.
Among the allied troops, the Americans landed on two different beaches, later named Utah and Omaha. First, head towards Sainte Mère Eglise heart of the drop zone for the 82nd Airborne U.S. forces. Indeed, the D-Day landings did not only happen from the sea! Airborne divisions and paratroopers rained on this village, and one of them famously got caught in the tower of the church. The village is also home to the airborne museum that can be visited during one of our private tours from Bayeux.
Reach the Utah beach landing area
Then, your Normandy battlefield tour will take you to Utah beach, the second beach where the American troops landed. Again, listen to your guide as he reveals the historical facts of the landings and how the troops were able to storm the beaches in this area.
It is here that the 101st airborne pathfinders were dropped the night before d day invasion. Your guide will also take you to the US military cemetery where you can pay your respects to the ones who fell during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy that followed.
Visit stunning Pointe du Hoc
Also located in the American sector, head to the Pointe du Hoc, a breathtaking cliff offering lunar landscapes, stunning bomb craters and a magnificent viewpoint over the English Channel. Given the toughness of the operation, the Pointe du Hoc was given to Rangers to land upon.
The battle site, dotted with German bunkers was rough, as the Pointe du Hoc had been built as a key point of the Atlantic Wall. It was the highest point between Utah beach and Omaha beach and provided a great observation spot to notice any unfriendly arrivals from the sea. You can still see an artillery gun battery there and feel as if it was still 1944.
Followed by Omaha landing beach
This Normandy battlefield tour will also take you to Omaha beach, where the deadliest of the landings took place. Even though bombings occurred before the landing itself, they failed to neutralise the German positions in that sector.
In addition, troops and amphibian vehicles were disembarked too far from the shore, leading to an absolute failure and thousands of men being killed under heat German fire. The assault on this beach was perfectly depicted in the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan movie. Learn more about the landing and the following days as your tour guide explains all the events that took place on the beach and how the battle raged and evolved inland.
End the tour at the American Cemetery of Colleville sur Mer
If time permits, your guide will also make a stop at the Omaha Beach American Cemetery and memorial in Colleville sur mer where you will have some time to pay homage to the fallen. Depending on the timing of the day you might also have the opportunity to enter the visitor center.
Mont Saint Michel Full Day Sightseeing Tour
Travel to Southern Normandy
The Unesco World Heritage Listed, Remarkable Gothic Jewel Mont Saint Michel is an island off the coast of Normandy, in the English Channel, and is one of the best Normandy tours you can choose. It is located about 1 kilometer from the shore and sits in a bay that sees some of the biggest tides in Europe. A few years ago, it was linked to the mainland by a bridge that gets flooded during high tides a few times a year only.
The first church was built on the mount in 709 at the request of Archange Michael. A couple of hundred years later, a small group of Benedictines settled there permanently and the church was enlarged. The first monastery was carved in the rock in the 11th century and gradually got bigger and bigger over the following centuries. In the medieval time, it quickly became an important destination for pilgrims, just like Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
Visit the Benedictine Abbey with your guide
The construction of the Mont Saint Michel abbey as we know it nowadays was finished in the 13th and 14th centuries, and the grand chancel was replaced in the 15th century. Those hundreds of years of architectural prowesses have left us with a magnificent monument, now referred to as the “Wonder of the Western World”. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
During your day trip to Mont St Michel, our friendly English-speaking driver / guide will take you from Bayeux to the Mont Saint Michel, which you will access via a shuttle and the bridge in accordance with local requirements. While on the road, make sure to take it all in and observe the beauty of the Normandy coastline.
Our Mont Saint Michel tour will then take you to the abbey itself, at the very top of the mount. Follow your guide on a walking tour. The history of its construction will be explained in detail and while you are there, make sure to snap some pictures of the amazing views on the surrounding bay!
Mont Saint Michel is also a lively small town
After the visit of the abbey, enjoy some free time to explore the town at your own pace and bring back some souvenirs for friends and family. Your guide will also suggest some great restaurants for lunch, suitable for all budgets.
If you want to indulge, the Mère Poulard restaurant is probably the most famous on the mount. It gained its reputation thanks to its unique omelette soufflée recipe. It is well worth a visit and a must-try when on a Mont Saint Michel day tour but keep in mind you will need a large amount of time as the restaurant is so popular with visitors.
Honfleur, Beuvron en Auge and Calvados Tasting Full Day Tour
Visit the Charming small Town of Honfleur
Located on the Seine Estuary close to Le Havre and the incredible 'Pont de Normandie' bridge, the small port town of Honfleur is one of the most beautiful of the area with its historical center and vieux bassin port and marina. The historical town center still retains stunning half timbered houses, old cobbled stone streets that are located around Sainte Catherine church.
The church itself is quite surprising as it has a double roof nearly all made out of wood. Dating back to the 15th century, the church was built by ship builders explaining why the vaulting of the two naves resemble the hulls of ships.
Honfleur is also home to famous museums such as the Eugene Boudin museum dedicated to the 19th century painter who originates from Honfleur. Located on Erik Satie square, the museum is home to more than 100 art works of Boudin but also includes paintings from Courbet, Monet, Lebourg, Dufy and many more.
Visit a most beautiful village of France
After the visit of Honfleur, you will have some time for personal discovery as well as lunch. Then, it will be time to head towards your next destination of the day, the small village of Beuvron en Auge. Rated as one of the most beautiful villages of France (plus beaux villages de France), this village can be considered as a picture perfect postcard of a traditional Normand Village.
Stronghold of the d'Harcourt family, on the Cider and Calvados trails, its half timbered houses, old covered market and surrounding manor houses make it a treat to discover. Here you will have some time to stroll through the village on your own for personal discovery.
End the day with a commented tasting of Apple Brandy
Finally, reach a local Calvados distillery located in the heart of the Pays d'Auge. This family owned estate produces some of the most famous Cider, Calvados and Pommeau of Normandy. Here, more than 25 varieties of apples are grown on the 30 hectares of orchards composed of either standard trees or cordons trees.
After more than a century of production, the family has gained recognition worldwide for the subtle and delicate art of blends. After a short introduction to the different products that are distilled here, you will participate in a commented tasting of the local spirits. After the tasting, it will be time to return to Bayeux and this will be the end of our services.