History has given an important role to this part of the world, and no European vacation would be complete without time spent in France: Brittany and Normandy. In Normandy, the Bayeux Tapestry details how the Normans defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 while the D-Day landing beaches make a poignant destination for any traveler. See how the landings took place, and then mark the visit by touring the Normandy American Cemetery to understand the true magnitude of these events.
As your adventure vacation for couples takes you through the rolling green hills of Normandy, you come to the rugged Brittany countryside. Once again history leaves its mark, this time in the form of standing stones from the Neolithic era, which can be seen around Carnac. Legend also links the young King Arthur to the forests around Paimpont where he is said to have received Excalibur, his famous sword. The Breton coastline is very long and consists of stark rocky outcrops interspersed with delightfully peaceful sandy coves where it would seem you are the only person alive.
Located just one and a half kilometer from the coast and connected by a causeway, Mont St Michel looks like a fairytale come true. Perched on a rocky island in the middle of vast sandbanks is a large Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael. Between the 11th and 16th centuries, a village grew up in the shadow of the walls and presents some great photo opportunities.
Of course, it wouldn’t be France without good food and drink. Watch out for luscious crepes found throughout France. They have their regional roots in this part of the world, and of course, with such an immense coastline, seafood is always top of the menu – in particular sweet Atlantic oysters, freshly shucked and dressed with garlic vinaigrette! Mon Dieu! There are no wines made this far north. The climate is too bracing, but never fear, there is sterling local brew called Calvados, a brandy made from distilled cider. With all this food and drink, it’s good to experience all of this as part of a cycling tour – so you can work off the extra pounds.