Welcome to Bayeux

On 6 June 1944, 160,000 Allied troops, supported by almost 7000 naval vessels, stormed ashore along the coast just north of town. Bayeux was the first French town to be liberated (on the morning of 7 June 1944) and is one of the few places in Calvados to have survived WWII practically unscathed.

A very attractive and historic town, Bayeux makes an ideal base for exploring the D-Day beaches and is crammed with 13th- to 18th-century buildings plus a fine Gothic cathedral.

Top experiences in Bayeux

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Bayeux activities

$85.63 Cultural & Theme Tours

Normandy Beaches Half-Day Trip from Bayeux

After pickup from Bayeux, your guide will take you to the three important World War II sites in Normandy. Your first stop is Pointe du Hoc, the German battery that was attacked by US Rangers on D-Day. Hear how the Rangers, commanded by Lt Col James Rudder, scaled the cliffs to get to the German gun position — a scene that was famously depicted in the war film Saving Private Ryan. With its huge fortifications blown to pieces, the site remains as it did when the US Rangers left it: like an eerie lunar landscape.Then drive along the coast to Omaha Beach, where soldiers of the Vierville 29th and Colleville 1st Divisions landed. By far the most difficult place to land on D-Day, Omaha Beach was the bloodiest of the five beaches and the operation almost failed, but the bravery of those young men turned this operation into a victory. You’ll make two stops along the 4-mile (6-km) beach, one on each end, to give you an appreciation of the sheer scale of the events that took place here. Overlooking the eastern end of Omaha Beach is the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, which you’ll visit next. This cemetery — the largest American cemetery in Europe — holds the bodies of 9,387 soldiers who fought to liberate Western Europe from the Germans. Pay tribute to the 307 unknown soldiers or visit the resting place of more famous figures such as General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. End with a tour of the Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center, where you’ll learn more about the scenes that took place on Omaha Beach in 1944. Through personal stories, narrative texts, photos, films, interactive displays and artifacts, you’ll grasp the bravery and sacrifice of the American soldiers who fought at the D-Day landings, culminating in the victory of the Allied forces. After this insightful and moving experience, your guide will drive you back to Bayeux to conclude your tour.

$125.59 Cultural & Theme Tours

Normandy Battlefields Tour - American Sites

Begin your tour with a visit to the Sainte-Mère Church and Airborne Museum, the site of a massive airborne operation involving 15,000 U.S. paratroopers during World War II. Hear from your knowledgeable guide how the brave soldiers descended from the skies on the night before D-Day and learn the incredible story of Private John Steele, one of the paratroopers.Continue onward to Utah Beach, where soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division leapt from their landing crafts and headed inland under the orders of General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. The first day of battle saw relatively few casualties, but the same cannot be said for those that followed.Visit the German Cemetery, the largest in Normandy dedicated to German casualties of war and the place where over 21,000 fallen soldiers are laid to rest. Spend time at Pointe du Hoc, one of the very largest German coastal batteries. The guns located here rained shells down on Allied soldiers across Omaha and Utah beaches, and the job of silencing them fell to a certain Lt. Col. Rudder and the U.S. Rangers of the 2nd Battalion.Spend time on Omaha Beach, widely considered the most famous of the D-Day landing beaches. Gain an insight into the challenge faced by the Allied forces landing here under heavy German fire, and take time to consider their extraordinary courage.The last stop on your tour is the American Cemetery and Visitor Center, the final resting place of 9,387 U.S. soldiers. The cemetery overlooks Omaha Beach and honors soldiers of all ranks in equal measure. Spend time walking among the marked graves and consider this fitting tribute to those who never made it home after World War II.After nine hours discovering the Normandy battlefields, travel back to Bayeaux where your tour will come to an end.

$74.21 Cultural & Theme Tours

Omaha Beach Half-Day Trip from Bayeux

You’ll be picked up from central Bayeux or your hotel and driven by comfortable 8-passenger minivan to three of Normandy's most important World War II sites. Throughout your 3-hour morning tour, your guide will tell stories about the events surrounding D-Day, the infamous day in 1944 when the Allies invaded German-occupied Normandy.First, visit the prominent cliff of Pointe du Hoc, one of the largest German coastal batteries. With their long-range guns and canons, they threatened the whole American sector all the way to the coast to Omaha Beach and Utah Beach. On D-Day, American forces landed on the small rocky beach, bravely scaled the sheer cliffs, and successfully located and destroyed the guns. It was quite a feat — many thought it would be impossible — and the total casualties were devastating. With its huge fortifications blown to pieces, the well-preserved site remains as it was when the US Rangers left it — like an eerie lunar landscape.Next, drive along the coast to Omaha Beach, the most famous of the five D-Day beaches, depicted in the movie Saving Private Ryan. American soldiers had to jump out of their Landing Craft, wade their way out of the cold water, cross the beach and get up onto the bluff, all while being shot at. Due to the site's topography, this operation was D-Day's bloodiest and almost failed, but the bravery, courage and sacrifice of those young men turned it into a victory.Overlooking the bluff is the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, which you’ll visit next. The final resting place of 9,387 American service men whose graves are marked by beautiful white marble headstones, this site is a poignant tribute to those who fought so valiantly in one of the deadliest battles in history. You’ll see some of the better-known graves including the three Medal-of-Honor recipients and General Theodore Roosevelt Jr, as well as Ollie Reed father and son and the two Niland brothers, who served as inspiration for Saving Private Ryan.After your tour of the cemetery, hop back in the minivan and relax on the contemplative ride back to Bayeux.

$125.59 Cultural & Theme Tours

Normandy American D-Day Beaches Full-Day Tour from Bayeux

The tour departs Bayeux, and while driving between sites, the English-speaking guide will also share anecdotes, veteran stories, and much more. When you arrive at each location, the guide will show you around, explain in detail what happened, and then allow free time to take photos, etc. Principal sites visited on this tour: 101st Airborne Briefing - We will stop at one of the key sites in the Utah sector which was an objective for the 101st Airborne. At this point in the tour you will learn about the American missions on D-Day and the important role that the 101st Airborne played. Their mission, code named Albany, was vital for a successful beach landing on the Normandy coast code named Utah Beach. Utah Beach - The westernmost landing beach that U.S. forces assaulted. Hear how events unfolded and the role that Theodore Roosevelt played in achieving ultimate success against the German defenders. Lunch stop - Time will be provided for you to have lunch 82nd Airborne Briefing - As we head further inland after visiting Utah Beach, we will give you a detailed explanation of the mission objectives for the 82nd Airborne. Their mission, code named mission Boston was also vital for D-Day success. Sainte Mere Eglise - An objective for the 82nd Airborne in the early hours of D-Day. Hear the incredible story of paratrooper John Steele, who got caught on the church steeple during the drop. Pointe Du Hoc - Hear the amazing story of the American Rangers who had to scale nearly 100ft cliffs to silence a German long range gun battery position. You will be in awe when you see the battle damage and the German bunkers that remain at this impressive site. Omaha Beach - This turned out to be the most difficult landing beach attacked on D-Day. Hear the harrowing stories of sacrifice, see the German positions that were almost impossible to overcome, and hear stories of bravery that finally allowed the U.S. to prevail. Normandy American Cemetery and Visitor Center - This is a fitting end to the tour. You will be able to spend time in the Visitor Center and walk the magnificent 172 acres of the cemetery. You will be able to pay your respects to many of the people you will have heard about during the tour. You also pass by other sites of interest where the guide will share stories.

$85.63 Cultural & Theme Tours

Normandy Battlefields Tour - Canadian World War II Sites

You’ll be picked up from your hotel or a meeting point in Bayeux in the afternoon for your half-day tour of Normandy’s Canadian World War II sites. Travel 30 minutes to the coast to your first stop, the Juno Beach Centre, located just behind the sand dunes of Juno Beach.First opened in 2003 by a D-Day veteran, Garth Webb, the Juno Beach Centre is the only museum in Normandy dedicated to Canada’s role in WWII. On your visit here, learn about the role the Canadian Army played in the war and commemorate the contributions and sacrifices these soldiers made during the liberation of France and the rest of Europe. Surrounding the museum you’ll see German bunkers and beach obstacles, Canadian and Allied military equipment, and historic monuments and sculptures.Your next stop is the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, near where the Third Canadian Division landed. Beautifully situated on a hill overlooking the Atlantic coast, this cemetery is the final resting place of more than 2,000 Canadian, British and French soldiers, including the 359 Canadians killed on D-Day.Continue to Ardenne Abbey, a masterpiece of Norman architectural design dating from the 12th century. Your guide will explain the troublesome history of the abbey, starting with the early years of the German occupation when it was a focal point for the local French Resistance. It was then taken over by Colonel Kurt Meyer’s regiment of the 12th SS Hitler’s Youth division. In June 1944, 20 Canadian soldiers were illegally executed here. The abbey was liberated a month later as the Canadians reached the city of Caen, and in 1945 Meyer was tried by Canadian Military Court and found guilty of war crimes.After your time at Ardenne Abbey, relax and reflect on the drive back to Bayeux.Please note: Due to special events taking place to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, this tour may be amended on June 5, 6 and 7, 2014. It may not be possible to access the beaches, in which case alternative sites will be included instead.

$68.50 Cultural & Theme Tours

American D-Day Beaches Half-Day Small-Group Tour from Bayeux

Choose a morning or afternoon tour, then hop into your air-conditioned minivan in central Bayeaux and head out to the Normandy coast — site of the famous D-Day landings of WWII. Along the way, listen as your guide sheds light on the sacrifices and hardships faced by the US soldiers involved on June 6th, 1944.During your 4 hour tour, take in top sites of interest including Omaha Beach — widely considered to be the site where the most violent fighting took place — and the German gun battery positions along the Pointe Du Hoc.Visit the American Cemetery — home to the graves of the US soldiers who paid down their lives for peace — and perhaps pay your respects. Gain insight into the conditions faced by the US soldiers and their German adversaries, and hear stories, facts, and anecdotes dating back to WWII.Explore the sites at your leisure during free time, then return in comfort to central Bayeaux where your tour will come to an end.