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France, Orne (61), Suisse Normande, la voie verte du bord de l'orne entre Thury Harcourt et Caen, pont de brie ©L.-M. Preau/hemis.fr

France, Calvados (14), Caen, le port, le bassin Saint-Pierre et L'abbaye-aux-Dames ©Caen, le port, le bassin Saint-Pierre et L'abbaye-aux-Dames

France, Orne (61), Cerisy-Belle-Etoile, le mont de Cerisy, ruines du château (vue aérienne) ©F. Cormon/hemis.fr

France, Calvados (14), Suisse Normande, Thury-Harcourt, ruines du château incendié en août 44 par l'armée allemande (vue aérienne) ©F. Cormon/hemis.fr

France, Calvados (14), Suisse Normande, la voie verte du bord de l'orne entre Thury Harcourt et Caen, boucles de l'Orne à Thury Harcourt ©L.-M. Preau/hemis.fr

France, Calvados (14), Ouistreham, plage de débarquement Sword Beach, mémorial et monument aux français libres et au commando Kieffer et ses 177 fusiliers-marins français qui débarquèrent ici le 6 juin 1944 ©R. Soberka/hemis.fr

Close up of fresh ripe apples in rustic wooden crate made out of wine barrel. Healthy Home grown food. ©MementoImage/iStock

Apples

The Orne valley by bike

The Vélo Francette® from the landing beaches in Flers

Along the signposted tracks of the Vélo Francette, come and enjoy Norman nature dotted with orchards, with a soothing bike ride along the rivers and streams of the Orne valley. Take a breakfrom daily life through the landscapes of this ancient steel region, marked by the history of the last war, and immerse yourself in an active and rejuvenating stay.

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Ouistreham Flers

Day 1 - Ouistreham – Caen

Your trek begins by immersing yourself in the memories of June 1944 on the landing beach of Ouistreham. From the coast, take the green lane on the old towpath along the Canal de l’Orne. Stop to admire Pegasus Bridge which also has a place in the story of the landings. Next, follow the bike path that leads you to the port of Plaisance de Caen. Take time out to stroll through this historic city and contemplate the legacy of William the Conqueror through his chateau and two beautiful abbeys, walk through its botanical gardens and visit the war memorial.

  • Distance : 16 km
  • Duration : 0h21
  • Altitude + :29 m
  • Altitude - :3 m

Day 2 - Caen – Thury-Harcourt

From Caen, resume your course from the previous day by crossing the racecourse and Espace Naturel Sensible, the “green lung” of the city. The cycle route continues to press along the Orne, in a wilder state, following the path of an old railway track. Leave the river for a small cultural detour to the archaeological site of Vieux-La-Romaine. You will arrive at Thury-Harcourt, famous for its canoeing-kayaking centre.

  • Distance : 26 km
  • Duration : 0h33
  • Altitude + :176 m
  • Altitude - :3 m

Day 3 - Thury-Harcourt - Pont-d'Ouilly

As you leave behind Thury-Harcourt, the hills that earned the region the term Suisse Normande begin to appear. Through lush countryside, meeting herds of cows here and there, the greenway guides you to Clécy, an ideal place for a break on the terrace. Take the opportunity to sample Norman apple juice before climbing back up to Point-d’Ouilly.

  • Distance : 20 km
  • Duration : 0h21
  • Altitude + :298 m
  • Altitude - :49 m

Day 4 - Pont-d'Ouilly – Flers

Resume your route through hilly terrain along the Noireau. This course crosses the steep valley and leads you to Condé-sur-Noireau. The uneven climb of the véloroute eases as you arrive on the side of the magnificent Mont-de-Cerisy where you can admire the park and the remains of the chateau. Take the opportunity in Flers to visit the chateau before taking the train back.

  • Distance : 21 km
  • Duration : 0h25
  • Altitude + :274 m
  • Altitude - :49 m

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