Things to do in
Normandy

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Our most recommended things to do in Normandy

Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey Ticket & Self-Guided Tour

1. Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey Ticket & Self-Guided Tour

Discover one of the world's first UNESCO World Heritage Sites with a visit to Mont-Saint-Michel abbey. Explore the site with a self-guided tour aided by an information booklet and learn the fascinating history of the site entirely at your own pace. The worship of Saint Michel was introduced on the holy mount in 708 and it became one of the most important places of medieval pilgrimage. Benedictine Monks began building an abbey here in the 10th century.   The abbey has withstood the assaults of man, time, and the elements. The heroic resistance of the mount to English attacks during the Hundred Years’ War (14th and 15th centuries) made it a symbol of French national identity.  Monks left the abbey in 1790 and it was listed as a historic monument in 1874. The whole site has been returned to its former glory thanks to ongoing restoration work.

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From Paris: Full-Day Mont Saint Michel Tour

2. From Paris: Full-Day Mont Saint Michel Tour

From Paris, board a private bus to the island of Mont Saint Michel. On the journey, listen as your guide provides interesting stories from the history of the abbey. Follow your guide on an orientation tour to ensure you see the most important attractions, including the hilltop Abbey of Mont Saint Michel. Enjoy a few hours at your leisure to explore the abbey and soak up the splendor of its interior with an audio guide tour, or stroll in the picturesque streets. Choose from a variety of lunch options ranging from dining rooms with rustic meat to sophisticated restaurants with bay view terraces specializing in seafood. Or, stop by one of the Mont Saint Michel's creperies to feast on galettes (buckwheat pancakes) with Normandy cider. In the late afternoon, board the bus for a return journey to Paris.

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Day Trip to Mont-Saint-Michel from Paris

3. Day Trip to Mont-Saint-Michel from Paris

Depart Paris and travel by luxury air-conditioned coach to the amazing fortified city of Mont Saint-Michel off the Normandy coast. Sit back and relax and get stunning views of the countryside along the way. Stop for a break at a nearby village that dates back to the days of the Normans, and stroll the winding streets and narrow pathways to find the best views of the bay. Continue to the mouth of the Couesnon River, where Mont-Saint-Michel was built on an islet just a few hundred meters from the mainland. Explore the fantastic architecture and remarkable monuments of the walled city at your own pace. Climb along the ramparts to make your way up to the abbey at the top of the town. Built in the 11th century by William of Volpiano, the monument has played a vital role in the history of the commune and feudal society it represents. Depart Mont-Saint-Michel in the late afternoon and drive back to Paris to get dropped off at the starting point.

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Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches Full-Day Tour from Paris

4. Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches Full-Day Tour from Paris

Enjoy an unforgettable day trip from Paris, and visit the Normandy Landing Beaches, where the outcome of changed World War II and the future of Europe forever. Learn about the dramatic events of 6 June 1944, with round-trip minibus transfers from Paris. Drive through the Normandy countryside to discover some of the most significant sites of the campaign. During the day, you will go to Omaha Beach, see the German Bunkers, visit Operation Overlord Museum, and travel to Pointe du Hoc. Best-known as the site of the heroic assault by U.S. Rangers on D-Day, Pointe du Hoc lies 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) west of Omaha Beach. Gaze in wonder at more than 10,000 white crosses that mark the fallen soldiers in the American Cemetery. Whether you’re a history buff, curious about this very important battle, or have some personal connection to the D-Day landings, your guide will help bring the battle fields to life, telling unique stories of the soldiers who fought and died to put an end to Hitler’s plans for Europe and the world.

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Paris: Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches Day Tour with Lunch

5. Paris: Normandy D-Day Landing Beaches Day Tour with Lunch

Explore the beautiful Normandy countryside on a full-day tour of the D-Day landing sites, and discover the rich traditions of Normandy at a typical cider and Calvados farm. The tour departs Paris for the historical battlefields and leanding beaches along the coast, including the Utah Beach Museum, housed in an original German bunker on the very beach where the first American troops landed. Learn about the complicated planning behind Operation Overlord, and hear touching stories of ordinary men and women whose actions shaped the face of Europe as we know it today. The museum also offers unparalleled views over Utah Beach and is home to one of the only remaining B-26 airplanes in the world. Stop at a traditional cider-making orchard, and taste the ciders and Calvados (apple brandy) typical to the region in a 17th-century barn. Next, enjoy a Norman-style lunch of freshly prepared seasonal produce in a restaurant overlooking the port of Grandcamp Maisy. After lunch, travel to Pointe du Hoc to see the German cliff-top defense that was heroically taken by US Rangers during the D-Day landings. Overlooking the English Channel, the site remains much as it was over half a century ago, with original German fortifications and the crater scars of bombs. Pay your respects to the fallen at the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., son of President Roosevelt, and a Medal of Honor recipient, is buried here, along with almost 10,000 soldiers.

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Bayeux: American D-Day Sites in Normandy Tour

6. Bayeux: American D-Day Sites in Normandy Tour

Meet your guide at Place de Québec and then begin your D-Day exploration adventure, retracing history as you uncover the day of June 6, 1944. The first stop of the tour is Omaha beach, where the deadliest landings of the day took place. From your guide, learn about the landings here and the soldiers who risked their lives. After Omaha, visit Utah beach, the second location where American troops landed on D-Day. Next, visit the US military cemetery and for the chance to pay respect and honor the soldiers of World War ll. The tour continues to Point du Hoc next, a breathtaking cliff offering lunar landscapes and a magnificent viewpoint over the English Channel. The site was built as a key point of the Atlantic Wall by the Germans because it was the highest point between the Omaha and Utah beaches and provided a great observation spot to notice any arrivals from the sea. Your D-Day sightseeing tour of Normandy ends with a visit to the village of Sainte-Mère-Eglise, the heart of the jump zone for the 82nd Airborne U.S. forces. Listen to stories of how paratroopers rained on the village, and how one of them famously got caught in the tower of the church. With options for both half- and full-day tours, tailor your experience to your meet interest and schedule.

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Giverny: Monet's House and Gardens Guided Tour

7. Giverny: Monet's House and Gardens Guided Tour

Escape the busy city and visit the enchanting home and gardens of the famous impressionist painter Claude Monet. Stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens with your knowledgeable guide and learn more about the flora as well as the importance of the gardens in Monet's paintings.  Meet with your small group (max. 9 people) and your guide before entering the gardens. First, visit the water garden with the water lilies that inspired many of his paintings and then the 'Clos Normand'. Your guide will point out different species of flowers and features of the garden. As you wander through the gardens and visit Monet's house also learn more about Claude Monet's life, and why he became the master of impressionism.  At the end of the tour, you can stay longer to stroll on your own or take a look in the big gift shop before you exit. From early spring till the first days of November, Monet's gardens are a fairy of colors and fragrances. Feel free to ask your guide about the picturesque village of Giverny and what more there is to see.

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Half-Day Trip to Giverny from Paris

8. Half-Day Trip to Giverny from Paris

Enjoy a half-day trip to the former home of Claude Monet, one of the most famous painters of French Impressionism. Located in the tiny hamlet of Giverny on the banks of the River Seine, 50 miles west of Paris, the house and gardens were bequeathed to the Académie des Beaux-Arts by his son in 1966. They were opened as a public museum in 1980 following large-scale restoration work. Depending on the option you choose, your tour will either be guided, audio guided or at your own leisure.  Depart Paris and travel by comfortable air-conditioned coach. As there is no direct public transport to Giverny, this is the ideal way to get there. You will drive via the western districts of Paris and take the Normandy motorway as far as Bonnières. After crossing the River Seine at Vernon, continue to Giverny through the wooded plateaus of Eure. Giverny attracted several Impressionist painters in the 19th-Century, most following the lead of the movement’s founder, Claude Monet, who lived there for 43 years. During the tour, you will visit the Master’s house, where the spectacular colors and enchanting garden were designed like a work of art. Be dazzled by the flowerbeds and plants and get a sense of the artist’s feelings and inspirations as you stand in front of the famous water lilies and weeping willows in the delightful water garden.

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From Paris: Full-Day Mont Saint-Michel Guided Tour

9. From Paris: Full-Day Mont Saint-Michel Guided Tour

On this full-day tour from Paris you will discover Mont Saint-Michel, a traditional Norman village. On the drive through Normandy, your guide will recount the rich history of the region marked by invasions, first by the Romans and then the Barbarians, before the region was fought over in the Hundred Years’ War. You will have lunch in the restaurant Relais St Michel, facing the Mont Saint-Michel. You will then tour the famous Abbey and admire the Gothic buildings built on top of each other over the centuries, such as the Cloister and the Monks’ dining hall. You will then be free to stroll around the village and let yourself be taken back to the medieval atmosphere in its narrow paved streets.

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Normandy D-Day Beaches: Day Trip from Paris

10. Normandy D-Day Beaches: Day Trip from Paris

Enjoy a full-day trip from Paris to the D-Day Beaches in Normandy in the company of a knowledgeable official guide, who will bring these historic sites to life. On June 6, 1944, known as D-Day, the Allies opened a new European front against the troops of the Third Reich. It was the largest military operation in history, and marked the beginning of the Battle of Normandy that would lead to the end of WWII. More than 150,000 soldiers from America, Britain, Canada, and many other nations landed by sea and air on a number of beaches along the Normandy coastline and the steep cliffs at Pointe du Hoc. Board the luxury air-conditioned coach in central Paris at 07:00 and get set to enjoy a unique day in Normandy. Relax and admire the beautiful landscapes of the French countryside before reaching the Caen Memorial Museum at around 10:15. The Caen Memorial Museum, also known as the Peace Museum, was established to tell the story of the various stages of WWII, particularly the Battle of Normandy and the advance of the Allied forces across France. Your guided tour will include an opportunity to see everyday objects from life under occupation, maps, and models of military vehicles, as well as film screenings recreating the emotions of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Lunch (if the lunch option is selected) is included at the Caen Memorial Museum restaurant. In the afternoon, the tour continues to several iconic landmarks that played a part in the landings. Your first stop will be at Pointe du Hoc, overlooking the hundred-foot-high cliffs between Utah and Omaha beaches. Stormed by the American Rangers on 6 June, it was one of the key German fortified sites along the Normandy coast and was extensively equipped, at that time, with heavy artillery. Visit the well-known American Cemetery at Saint Laurent, located just above Omaha Beach and near the town of Colleville-sur-Mer. This 170-acre site has 9,387 white marble headstones, lined up perfectly across the grass, a memorial, a chapel, and the Garden of the Missing. It pays tribute to the American soldiers who died during the Battle of Normandy. A small trail leads down the hill to Omaha Beach, giving you the opportunity to walk across the sand. You will have an hour to explore this site. The next stop is in Arromanches, a historic town known for its artificial port that was built to assist the Normandy landings. On D-Day, the harbor saw the unloading of almost 10,000 tons of equipment. You can still make out the floating reinforced concrete Phoenix constructions in the water. Before returning to Paris, you’ll make a short stop near sandy Juno Beach and its cemetery, one of the key D-Day landing beaches for Canadian troops on June 6, 1944. You’ll arrive in Paris at around 21:00.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Normandy

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What people are saying about Normandy

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,852 reviews

It’s a long bus ride but it is well worth the trip. Saint Michel’s is quite spectacular in person. I am so glad I went just bring some reading material on the bus round trip about 9 hours.

Everything was on time. The tour guide was informative and engaged us with the myths and legends of the Mont St Michel. The transportation was comfortable. Highly recommended

Really unique place to see! Wished we could have spent more time at the location but it is a long travel day.

Everything went on time like clockwork. One of our best day trips to date!

Amazing trip! Beautiful views and informative tour guide!