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Coastal Normandy and WWII History

  • 4.5

    (2)

  • 5 nights | 30 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 3
  • Self-guided from: €1190
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.

Tour description

From Caen to St Mere l' Eglise, embark on a WW2 memorial tour of Normandy, cycling along the beaches where the famous landings took place and through cities full of history.

Starting in Caen where you can visit the WWII Memorial, cycle the Calvados region to the famous Pegasus Memorial and Museum. The tour then takes you to Bayeux, famous for its 11th-century tapestry. On the way there, you will stop in Arromanches where you can visit the Landing museum. Continue cycling along the coast, and you will get the chance to visit Omaha beach with the US Military Cemetery, the Pointe du Hoc, Utah beach and other famous historical battle sites.

This tour is as beautiful as it is emotional.

Daily program

Day 1: Arrival in Caen
Arrival in Caen - the main city of the region and home of the WWII Peace Memorial. Check in to your hotel and then enjoy some free time and explore Caen. A museum visit of the Caen Memorial is a highly informative and complete start of your tour. Orientation in the evening with an English speaking guide.
Overnight in Caen

Day 2: Loop ride to the Beaches of Normandy (option: 19 miles/30 km or 31 miles/50 km, 151m elevation gain)
Cycle to Merville-Franceville-Plage sur Mer in the Calvados area and visit the Battery Museum. Then head on to Pegasus Bridge, originally named the Benouville Bridge. There, you can visit the Pegasus Memorial and museum, dedicated to the first liberators who arrived in Normandy on the night of 5th/6th June 1944.

Finally, you will arrive in Ouistreham where, on Riva Bella, you will have an overview on the landing area of Sword Beach. Here you can visit the Atlantic Wall Museum, inside the "Big Bunker", a former German headquarters. The Belvedere has an interesting orientation table and in front of the casino you can visit the Landing museum.
Overnight in Caen

Day 3: Caen – Bayeux (35 miles/57 km, 349m elevation gain)
Today you will ride from Caen to Bayeux. You will reach Arromanches & Gold Beach, where you can visit Arromanches 360, a circular theatre where "The Price of Freedom" is shown on nine screens. In the D-Day Landing Museum in Arromanches you will learn about the construction and operation of the artificial harbors assembled in front of Arromanches on the days following D-Day.

You will finish in Bayeux, where you may take the opportunity to visit one of the many points of interest of this town of art. The Bayeux Tapestry – 230 ft long and 2 ft high (70m x 50 cm), completed in the 11th century- is unique in the world. Other visits include the recently re-opened Musée de la Bataille de Normandy and Mémorial du Général de Gaulle.
Overnight in Bayeux

Day 4: Bayeux – St Marie du Mont (32 miles/52 km, 281m elevation gain; or 44 miles/70 km, 336m elevation gain)
A strong ride today from Bayeux to discover some of the most famous WWII sites in the area: Colleville-sur-Mer and Omaha beach. In Colleville take some time to visit the US Military Cemetery, the chapel and the memorial dedicated to the youth of America.

There is also a viewpoint which overlooks Omaha Beach. After you continue to ride to La Pointe du Hoc, Carentan and Utah beach.
Overnight in St. Marie du Mont

Day 5: Loop ride to St. Mere Eglise (32 miles/52 km)
A loop tour from your hotel will first focus on the Utah Beach landings close to your hotel, then move north toward the point on the coast at Quineville then inland to St Mere Eglise, and a visit the famous battery of Crisbecq, Azeville and the very famous village of Ste Marie du Mont. Then back to your hotel.
Overnight in St. Marie du Mont

Day 6: Departure
Departure after breakfast at your leisure. Trains through Bayeux and on to Paris are possible.

Dates

Daily: May 1-Sep 30, 2018

Prices

Category A: 3-, 4- and 5-star Upgraded hotels
Per person, double occupancy
€1340
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€420
Solo traveler surcharge (1 person in party)
€1160
Bike Rentals
Electrically-assisted bike
€80
Road bike (on request in July)
€80
Tandem bike
€30
Category B: 3- and 4-star Standard hotels
Per person, double occupancy
€1190
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€210
Solo traveler surcharge (1 person in party)
€620
Bike Rentals
Electrically-assisted bike
€80
Road bike (on request in July)
€80
Tandem bike
€30
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

Active 4 Adventures Terms and Conditions

Cancellation of Tours 
If a cancellation is made:

  • after confirmation but before the 60-day period, all deposits are returned except $125 per person.
  • within 60 days, but more than 45 days, all of deposits are retained
  • within 45 days additional penalties may apply, up to 100% of tour costs.
  • No refunds are available once the trip commences. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS, including weather or other factors beyond our control.

We reserve the right to cancel any tour prior to departure for any reason, in which case, a full refund will be processed. If the tour is canceled within 45 days of departure, an additional discount will be made for an alternate trip in addition to the full refund.

Responsibility: 
The tour operator acts as an agent in securing all aspects of these tours and is responsible to the participants for the arrangements, services, and accommodations included only in such capacity. The tour operator, its agents, and/or employees shall not be responsible for personal injury or property damage arising out of the act of negligence of any direct or associated carrier, hotel, or other person rendering services or accommodations; nor is the tour operator responsible for injury, death, damage, loss, or delay in any means of transportation or any event beyond the actual control of the tour operator, its agents or suppliers or due to force majeure. In the event it becomes necessary or advisable, for any reason, to alter the itinerary or arrangements, such alterations may be made. Additional expenses, if any, will be paid by passengers, likewise, any savings will be shared by passengers. The tour operator reserves the right to decline, accept, or retain at any time, any person as a participant of any tour, or to cancel any tour. Instruction in bicycle use is not provided, and participants assume all risks associated with the activity they have booked; and participants affirm they are familiar with the operation of a multi-speed bicycle. By completing this booking you affirm that you and all participants are in good health and capable of engaging in the activity you are booking.

HELMETS ARE REQUIRED. 

Reservations, Deposits, and Final Payment 
AGREEMENT: by completing a booking form and signing your acceptance either by handwriting or by typing your name; you agree that you accept all Terms herein and that this is a directive to perform services on your behalf. All persons named in this booking are subject to this agreement and your signature implies acceptance of all terms by all participants named and that, as signer, you have made all persons aware of the terms – regardless of how final payment is made. 

Full payment is due 60 days prior to departure. The tour price is per person based on double occupancy and includes those items mentioned in the itinerary, plus any prepaid optional items. Single room requests are subject to supplemental charges, and must be requested at time of booking. Group sizes are limited to a maximum and a minimum; a deposit will confirm space. 

If we do not receive payment or hear from you about your intentions to pay by 60 days prior then we may assume that you intend to cancel and you will be subject to terms of cancellation below. 

Hotels from the point of tour departure through tour completion. Rooms are doubles and include private bath or shower. Single rooms are limited and require supplemental charges, singles not requesting single rooms will be booked into a double, and if a share arrangement is unavailable then the supplement will be assessed. If alternative hotels of the same category/standing are booked because of lack of availability, there will be no change to the tour price. If availability forces the booking of inferior/superior category hotel or room; you will be advised in advance and given the option to accept or decline the change as well as any change in tour price. 

Meals included vary; check the individual trip description, however normally dinner in the tradition of each property is included. 

Transportation includes a variety of situations. Longer trips may include transfers, and often, guided trips include transfers. Please refer to the trip description to be sure what is included. If you wish to arrange for separate transportation our agency can complete your needs. Also, daily vehicle support will transport baggage. Sightseeing and side touring are included only when paid in advance or noted on the itinerary. Tips, taxes and service charges are included on each included item such as hotels, restaurants, governmental, guides. Most attractions such as chateau entrance fees are not included. 

Exclusions 
The tours do not include all other trip costs such as airfare, trip and/or medical insurance, excess baggage charges, or any personal items. Meals in addition to those mentioned in the itinerary are excluded, as well as any unpaid optional tour or sightseeing event. Drinks are typically excluded. 

Emergency Service: each self-guided cycling and walking tour includes what we call Emergency Service. This is a local contact available by telephone with English speaking staff. Examples of reasons to call: broken down equipment (other than flat tire); minor injury/illness that hampers or prevents continued cycling or walking, (serious injuries must first be reported to emergency medical responders – numbers are provided), missed trains/connections that would change your services, or the need to schedule additional services such as transfers. This service is only available during daylight cycling/walking hours. Hotel staff are available for other non-emergency related matters outside of your cycling/walking activities.

PROBLEMS: If you find a problem or something that doesn’t meet with your expectation you may call this service to seek help. A resolution will be attempted in a timely manner. If you do not avail yourself of this service before making changes on your own you assume responsibility for any added costs you may incur as well as forfeiting any potential refunds. Problems must be brought to the attention of Emergency Service during the trip as resolutions after completion of travel are nearly always impossible to fix. 

Bicycles 
For tours longer than 8 days, a participant may wish to bring their own bicycle for assured comfort and better trip enjoyment. You know your bicycle inside and out, which leaves less to adapt being in new terrain. Bicycle rentals are optional for all tours, and can be made available for an additional charge for those who prefer. Bicycles are typically hybrids equipped with necessary gear for this type of travel/terrain. You may rent a road bicycle on many tours, but you must explicitly request this type of bike in your booking or at least 60 days prior to travel – supplements will apply for road bike rentals. Hybrids are multispeed bicycles equipped with bags, locks, water bottles, repair kit, and other misc items. All bicycles are kept exclusively for our customers. Any customers who choose to bring their own bicycles are responsible for all mechanical issues, for all transportation issues including traveling by train, which is difficult in France on the TGV. (See our recommendations in your travel documents.) If you plan to rent a bicycle, you are responsible for the bicycle once you take possession of it at your first hotel. Your responsibilities include any costs for damage or theft up to the full value of the bicycle. 

Air and Train Reservations 
We do not handle air reservations. Customers are encouraged to contact a travel agent or web service. Car and train reservations/tickets can be arranged by us in advance. If we should make any such reservation or ticket purchase on your behalf you agree and understand that we do so in an agency capacity and are performing a reservation service only. Fees for this service may apply. You further agree that you are subject to all terms and conditions of the car/rail/service provider. You are responsible to be familiar with those terms and agree that you are ultimately responsible to the car/rail/service provider for any reservations, changes, cancellations, disputes or other regardless of how your reservation was made on your behalf. With respect to train travel with bicycles, you are advised that rules exist for transport on TGV and other high-speed trains. Please ask for information on baggage limits if traveling by TGV prior to purchasing tickets. We are not responsible for any problems you may have traveling on the TGV with your bike. See your travel documents for our suggestions. 


Modification/Changes 
Once a booking request is received and confirmed, any modification of dates or alteration of itineraries will require a change fee. Fees vary according to the scope of the change but can be substantial if last minute changes lead to hotel or other service cancellations. A minimum change fee of $20 applies to any change within 60 days of travel. 

In the event that any significant changes are made because of a problem with a supplier, for example a hotel bankruptcy, we will advise you as soon as is reasonably possible with the alternatives available. Such changes may require a supplement or even offer a refund, but except in extreme circumstances, all Terms still apply. This does not apply in the case of Force Majeure. 

Force Majeure: Refunds and compensation payments are not liable in circumstances beyond our control or our supplier’s control. This includes but is not limited to changes due to war, threat of war, acts of terrorism, civil strife, strikes, natural disaster, fire, adverse weather or other acts of God. 

Insurance 
Trip cancellation insurance is not included in the tour price but is strongly recommended. This will protect you should you need to cancel for certain necessary reasons such as illness, and provides your refunds for air and tour in full. Additional insurance for baggage, health/accident is also strongly recommended. An insurance offer will be included with your initial confirmation and final documentation after receipt of your deposit. Our preferred insurer is CSA who is well respected in the industry and highly rated. We assume that if you choose not to use our preferred provider that you are taking protection through another provider of your choosing. 

Pre-departure Documentation 
After receipt of your final payment, a variety of documentation will be sent by email delivery including suggestions for clothing, preparations, packing, money, etc. Also, included will be confirmations, travel info, release forms, and an outline of what to expect. You are responsible for passport requirements, and we suggest you plan early to apply for a passport. Some foreign nationals will be required to have a visa to enter France. Please check your government requirements. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and use this information. Instructions will be provided to you. We can ship materials to you, but must add $25 for USA/Canada and $45 for all other destinations to your invoice for DHL delivery. (HI, AK, Puerto Rico and US territories get $25) 

Additional responsibilities of you the traveler include, but are not limited to the adherence of all local laws, respecting customs and culture, assessing your abilities, respecting other trip members privacy, and if on a guided trip following the suggestions and advice of the guide. 

Privacy
All information provided in a booking will be kept in a confidential manner and will not be disclosed or sold to other companies for any purpose beyond what is needed to secure your travel arrangements with our suppliers. Credit card information will be destroyed or deleted from files, but mailing information and past travel information will be retained by us. You may receive mailings from us periodically unless you explicitly ask to be removed from said mailings. Any photos that you send, or that are taken by our guides with your permission, are deemed to be our property and available for use in promotions we make without any compensation to you for their use. 

You are enrolling in a self-guided vacation and accept the Terms above as stated. You understand what self-guided travel involves and agree that you are capable of managing by yourself during the tour and comfortable with the independent aspect and freedom of travel that this style of vacation offers.

Ratings

Ratings Snapshot

  • 5 Star 1
  • 4 Star 1
  • 3 Star 0
  • 2 Star 0
  • 1 Star 0

Average Ratings

  • Overall

    4.5

  • Difficulty level (Actual vs. expected) 3
  • Value 4
  • Included meals 4
  • Bikes & equipment 4.5
  • Hotels or boat 4.5
  • Scenery 5
  • Ease of navigation 3
  • Tour documents 3.5
  • Local tour company services 5
  • Route selection 3.5

Reviews

Brendan June 21, 2017

Extraordinary Adventure

Disclaimer: I wanted to show my kids the Normandy battlefields and we did just that. And my youngest child, an eight year old rock star, was on this trip which is not normal. But it also made it extraordinary. She biked every mile on the route btw! But buyer beware! This may not be the trip for you!

The positive points:

1. Good hotels. Especially Le Grand Hard (near St.Marie du Mont); it is extraordinary and you won't want to leave. It's a 15 minute bike ride from Utah Beach. That is not the case for the other hotels.

2. Good bikes and service. Dropping off the bikes on the first night, David was prompt, professional and made the fitting fun and easy. All the bikes performed as advertised.

3. The countryside is extraordinary - even without the famous and inspiring battlefields. Each beach is different and each day is different. I definitely recommend going from east to west!

4. Some concerns: the GPS and route maps are almost worthless considering the technology on your phone. Google Maps, especially, had
better bike routes than what the guidebooks were describing. The GPS units are way out of date and I would NEVER suggest this trip without a working phone with Google Maps! It saved the day often - especially for side trips and accurate mileage and arrival times. The tour company should get updated with current technology ASAP!

5. The return trips to Caen and Bayeaux take away from time at battlefield museums and introduce unnecessary busy roads. There are closer hotels near the beaches. Bayeaux was lovely and the tapestry a highlight but the mileage was too unbalanced.

Everyone at Biketours.com was super friendly and helpful. Food was good. But bring your phone with a good data plan! Because without it, you will be lost and probably going the wrong way. Lots of beautiful little country roads in Normandy. You will be tired every night!

Crewdog10 April 5, 2016

Great way to visit the Normandy coast and see first hand where it took place.

The hotel accommodations were great. Everyone that we came into contact with were wonderful .