Spend a day away from Paris and visit the Normandy beaches where thousands of the Allied Powers’ troops landed on D-Day to reclaim France during World War II. Focusing on the sites where heavy losses were suffered by American soldiers, this full-day tour visits Utah Beach Museum, the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer and Omaha Beach Visitor Centre. Listen to poignant tales about the D-Day landings, enjoy time on the beaches and experience other Normandy highlights, too, with a traditional cider and calvados tasting plus a 2-course lunch in the countryside.
Leave Paris by air-conditioned coach in the early morning, and travel toward the shores of northern France. Listen to your guide’s tales of the bloody battles that took place in Normandy during WWII, and compare the stories to the sights of countryside tranquility that abound in the area today.Your first stop is Utah Beach Museum, housed in an original German bunker and built on the beach where the first American troops landed. The impressive museum charts the planning of Operation Overlord (the Allied codename for the Normandy Invasion) and documents the stories of French citizens whose actions during WWII shaped the face of Europe today.Explore with your guide, and learn about the events of June 6, 1944 — or D-Day — when the Normandy landings commenced. Hear of Utah Beach, where the first Allied troops arrived, and gaze out at unparalleled views of the sands from inside the museum before heading down to the beach itself. Utah Beach is now home to one of only six remaining original B-26 fighter planes that were used during the invasion.Continue into the Normandy countryside and stop to visit a traditional cider-making orchard for a tasting of cider and calvados (an apple-based brandy) inside an atmospheric 17th-century barn. Then, enjoy a break for lunch in a local restaurant with a view that overlooks the port of Grandcamp-Maisy. While the dishes served are subject to change, two courses are always served (a main course of fish or meat, followed by dessert) as well as a glass of cider. Feeling revitalized, head to Pointe du Hoc, a German defense on the cliff tops that was heroically seized by US troops. After stopping to stretch your legs, travel onward to Colleville-sur-Mer and pay your respects to the fallen at the American Cemetery. Gaze down from the cemetery to Omaha Beach, one of the landing beaches where many American soldiers are buried, and then step inside Omaha Beach Visitor Centre to learn about the Omaha Beach landings when very little went as planned. Having explored the center with your guide, return to your coach and finish your day with a drop-off at the start point in central Paris.