Mill along River Weir and medieval town of Bayeux, Normandy, France
Utah Beach, Normandy, France
PLP-180613P236 - © - Clément Philippe
Marine anchor at Ouistreham in France
Port of Grandcamp-Maisy in France
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
coast of Normandy
From Ouistreham to Sainte-Mere-Eglise in 4 days
Hemmed by its beautiful sandy beaches, the Côte de Nacre is fully alive, sincerely welcoming and deeply iconic. A region that attracts visitors from around the world, its landscapes, museums, memorials and military necropolis bears witness to what was the greatest military operation of all time: the Allied Landings in 1944.
From Caen to Utah Beach, here’s a complete 4-day schedule to get to know everything about the history of the US landing.
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CaenSainte Mère Eglise
Upon your arrival in Caen, head first to discover the Memorial, a place of history and reflection on the close links between respect for human rights and the preservation of peace. The building occupies the site of the command bunker of the German General W. Richter who fought the Anglo-Canadian troops on June 6, 1944. Visitors have the opportunity to journey through the collective memory, from 1918 to the present day. After lunch in the centre of Caen, go for a post-meal walk on the beach of Ouistreham or a swim if the weather permits.
In late afternoon, you can explore the Sword and Juno Beach areas where you can visit the Pegasus Memorial. The real Pegasus Bridge, dismantled and replaced on the Orne by a slightly larger version, is now located near the museum which illustrates, through displays and objects that bear witness, the lives of the men under the Occupation and during the Landings. Spend your first night in Caen.
MyTripTailor Advice: Owned by the du Conseil Général du Calvados, Château de Bénouville houses the European Institute of Gardens and Landscapes, a European meeting place and a documentation centre on the theme of gardens. Temporary exhibitions relating to the subject are held regularly.
You leave Caen today for Arromanches. With its beach still dotted with ghostly concrete floats, Arromanches-les-Bains recalls the technical prowess of the Allies in the aftermath of June 6, 1944: the construction, in just a matter of days, of a floating artificial port for the supply of troops. Reinforced after the terrible storm of 19 June 1944 that destroyed the one at Omaha, the artificial port of Arromanches has kept imposing elements, including twenty Phoenix caissons that formed part of the 8km long dam that sealed off the harbour.
Continue proceedings with a visit to the D-Day Museum and watch a screening of the Arromanches 360 ° movie shown in high definition on nine screens. The film The 100 Days of Normandy consists of archive footage of the entire Battle of Normandy. A completely absorbing account of the terrible hours of the conflict. One kilometre further along, on the left, a tarmac road leads to the positions of the powerful German battery Longues-sur-Mer where you can follow an hour-long guided tour before heading to Bayeux to visit its museum-memorial. Spend the night in Bayeux.
MyTripTailor Advice: don’t leave Bayeux without seeing the famous tapestry!
Depart Bayeux on the third day for Omaha Beach, probably the most famous of all the D-Day beaches. The austere and desolate aspect, in its eastern part, of this narrow beach against the backdrop of a bare bank serves to illustrate the tragic and glorious events that took place there on D-Day.
An impressive place of memory, the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer gathers nearly 9,400 perfectly aligned crosses.
Allow around 3 hours to visit these two sites.
Go shopping for a good picnic at Pointe du Hoc where you can spend the afternoon.
You have earned a seafood platter at the small fishing and pleasure port of Grandcamp-Maisy where you should spend the night.
MyTripTailor Advice: At Pointe du Hoc, a moving video, with archive images and veterans’ testimonies, evokes the ranger’s assault on the point.
You leave the small port of Grandcamp for a morning outing to Utah Beach where racehorses are sometimes trained, before heading to the D-Day Landing Museum for a 2-hour tour.
Renovated and re-inaugurated on June 6, 2011, this fascinating museum details, minute by minute, and with great authenticity, the events that unfolded here.
Break for lunch and stroll through the peaceful village of Sainte-Mère-Eglise before going to discover the Airborne Museum followed by the D-Day Experience in St-Côme-du-Mont if your schedule permits.
MyTripTailor Advice: don’t miss, in Sainte-Mère-Eglise, the soldier Steele, still hanging on the church steeple.
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