France | Normandy | Family Vacation
For a true taste of Normandy, sample Isigny’s world-famous sweet (or sea-salted) butter
6 days / 5 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Emotions run high on this spectacular visit to Normandy. Our easy-going route leads to a string of seaside ports and resorts, rich with mariners’ tales and world famous local seafood. Take time to wander through picturesque traditional villages, enjoy sweeping coastal views, and have fun on the beach. We’ll also visit historic sites as the Bayeux tapestry, the D-Day beaches, and other war memorials. This region offers a rare look at traditional France, in early times, during WWII and today. Don’t miss it!
From Barfleur to Bayeux, soak up a week of sweeping coastline, rolling woodlands and charming ports while reliving a pivotal chapter in American history on this six-day, family-friendly Normandy adventure. Our expert guides can’t wait to share the remarkable stories of this fascinating region as you bike, hike and explore the mystery and history of France’s northern regions. Enjoy the comforts of tasty, local fare and cozy accommodations at days end as you prepare for even more adventures-of-a-lifetime tomorrow.
- Climb to the top of an iconic 233-foot tall lighthouse in Barfleur, a quiet coastal fishing town where charming granite homes date back to the 17th-century
- Learn the D-Day story of an American paratrooper whose parachute caught on the spire of the town church in Sainte-Mère-Églises
- Walk in the footsteps of Allied World War II victors in Carentan and on Utah Beach
- Bike the beautiful clifftop roads of Pointe du Hoc, overlooking Omaha Beach and cemetery
- Relive William the Conqueror’s conquest of England as you walk along the colorful 230-foot Bayeux Tapestry
- Feast on fresh seafood, savory crepes, and Camembert cheese before unwinding in the comfort of the majestic 16th-century Chateau de Sully
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The scenery: Normandy has beautiful beaches, incredible cliffs, and pastoral farm land.
The seafood: With its vast coastline, Normandy offers superb seafood.
The battlefields: You'll see the D-Day landing beaches, the inland battlefields, some of the cemeteries of the principal armies, and plenty of fascinating museums.
Paris, France CDG or ORY
Paris, France CDG or ORY
We meet in Paris in the morning and begin the day with a transfer to the picturesque harbor town of St-Vaast. After enjoying a lunch, test your bike out on a quiet rural roads that wind into the lovely village. Walk along the coastal dike in St-Vaast’s lively port to visit the Tower of Vauban la Hougue. Tonight, join your guides and fellow travelers for a grand welcome dinner at Restaurant Les Fuchsias.
About Hôtel Granitière
Located in the heart of a traditional fishing town, Saint Vaast la Hougue, at the northeastern corner of Normandy’s Cotentin peninsula, Hotel Granitière a beautiful granite hotel, welcomes you with refined decoration where you will find comfort, calm and relaxation. Minutes from the harbor, you’ll fall in love with the village and it’s quaint hotel.
Today’s bike ride takes us to Barfleur, a charming fishing port with granite houses dating back to the 17th century. Earn some great views by climbing 233 feet to the top of the lighthouse at Pointe de Barfleur, it’s one of the tallest in France. Make sure to look down to see your Austin Adventures guide preparing a delicious picnic lunch below on the beach. Those who prefer to cycle back to St-Vaast can do so on a spectacular route through rolling woodlands and pastures. Spend the night strolling around St-Vaast and dining at one of the many amazing restaurants.
Fuel up with a warm breakfast before saddling up for another breathtaking ride. Visit the seaside resort at Quinéville en route to WWII locations in Ste-Mère Église where you’ll visit the incredible Airborne museum. Once we reach the coast again, decide if you’d like to continue on foot along the sandy beaches or by bike to the Utah Beach Museum and memorials.
About Chateau de Sully
Step back in time as you enter the gates of this historic French chateau. The beautiful gardens and classic architecture are a perfect complement to the luxurious and relaxing rooms overlooking the beautiful property.
Soak in the Jacuzzi, pamper yourself with a massage, indulge in some of the exquisite cuisine, or enjoy one of the many other amenities that Chateau de Sully offers.
Today you will visit the stunning battle grounds of Pointe du Hoc, an incredible sight filled with craters, bombed out bunkers and barbed wire fences. Cycle to Omaha Beach before enjoying lunch, after which you’ll hike through history to the American military cemetery with an expert regional guide narrating stories from the war as you walk. Tonight stroll in the lovely old town of Bayeux, with its half- timbered houses and fine shops before we dine in town.
Start the day visiting the colorful Bayeux tapestry, over 76 yards in length, embroidered with vivid illustrations of William the Conqueror’s conquest of England. Afterwards, get ready for another day of rich history as you head out for a loop ride to nearby WWII sights and experience a 360 degree war documentary. The route includes the “artificial invasion harbor” at Arromanches, and the German battery at Longues sur Mer. Later, spend more time in Bayeux and visit the many interesting shops and museums. Enjoy a marvelous farewell dinner, indulging in the region’s fine ‘surf & turf’ specialties.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Paris for your departure home.
**Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.
Arrival & Departure
Prior to the trip, arrive at your own convenience in Paris. On Day 1, we will meet you in the lobby of Grand Hotel Bedford (8th arrondissement) in Paris at 8:30 am. After a transfer to St-Vaast, lunch and briefing, the intro bike ride begins. After breakfast on Day 6, we take you to the airport, train station, or the hotel of your choice in Paris (three hour transfer).
Cycling & hiking:
- Day 1 mileage options: cycling 5 / 10 + walking 3
- Day 2 mileage options: cycling 12 / 25 + hiking 3 / 5
- Day 3 mileage options: cycling 20 / 28 + hiking 3
- Day 4 mileage options: hiking 5
- Day 5 mileage options: cycling 19 / 29 / 38
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They take the time to explain the local history and daily sightseeing and route options. Each route has been carefully planned to include options to please each traveler’s interests. Austin Adventures guides are available to help you select the distance that’s right for you and to offer advice and assistance as you desire.
Famous sights, renowned resorts and peaceful rural routes blend together here for some of the best cycling in all of France. Ride along the gently rolling Normandy coast to sleepy fishing harbors, sandy beach resorts and D-Day sites. Learn (and taste) the difference between the various choices and sizes of oysters. Read the Bayeux tapestry like a medieval comic book, the best account of the Battle of Hasting, which changed the course of history. Spend ample time at the various war museums, presenting a dramatic view of recent history. Drool at the amazing gourmet store Maison Gosselin in St-Vaast. This is northwestern France in all its glory.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- All breakfasts. Lunches and dinners as listed by day. Snacks along the route.
- Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- Bikes, helmets and other necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags and luggage service.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local guide and expert gratuities.
Not Included in Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures guides.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Want to know how to make fast friends in foreign places and how to get the most out of a destination by experiencing it like a local? Ask Adam, a longtime Austin Adventures guide who now serves as European Operations Manager in Holland. He caught the travel bug during a semester abroad in New Zealand and Australia and quickly discovered he never wanted to stop experiencing—and more importantly, sharing—the wonder of travel. He taught English in China, managed a resort in Mexico, and now lives with his wife and child in Amsterdam, ensuring guests have the best guides and experiences possible on their European adventures.