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The Ageless Inspiration of Normandy.

Experience historic Normandy from the inside out. From Paris, drive to Giverny. Onto Rouen, Honfleur, and Deauville. Walk Pointe-du-Hoc and Omaha Beach. Trace D-Day history in Longues-sur-Mer, Arromanches, on Utah Beach, in Ste.-Mère-l'Eglise and La Cambe. Explore Bayeux, see Mont St. Michel, learn about coppersmithing in Villedieu Les Poêles, and take a grand tour of Versailles.

     Normandy. What does the name conjure up? D-Day, of course, and American GIs hitting Omaha Beach. But the region's history reaches much further back—to A.D. 708, when, in more peaceful times, an angel spoke to a bishop and asked that he build an oracle. And to 1066, when the Duke of Normandy set sail on the English Channel to earn his moniker, William the Conqueror.


France

Type:Custom Journeys

Mode:Land

Sample Journey

This is a nine-day sample itinerary. Remember that R. Crusoe can create a Normandy journey of any length to meet your exact specifications.

Day 1: United States
• Overnight flight to France.
Overnight in flight
 
Day 2: Paris, Giverny, Rouen, France
• Drive from Paris to Normandy.
• Visit Giverny, home of Claude Monet.
Overnight in Rouen

Day 3: Rouen
• Walking tour of Rouen including Notre Dame Cathedral, the Old Marketplace, St. Maclou district, and Rouen Cathedral.
• Options: visit Le Bec Hellouin or antique-hunting.
Overnight in Rouen
 
Day 4: Honfleur, Deauville, Caen, Bayeux
• Explore Honfleur and Deauville.
• Visit Le Mémorial de Caen and Église St. Pierre in Caen.
• Evening at leisure in Bayeux.

Overnight in Bayeux
 
Day 5: Pointe-du-Hoc, Omaha Beach, Longues-sur-Mer, Arromanches
Walk the D-Day Overlord Route to Omaha Beach.
Private visit to the American Cemetery.
• See artillery pieces in Longues-sur-Mer.
• Visit the Invasion Museum in Arromanches.

Overnight in Bayeux

Day 6: Utah Beach, Ste.-Mère-l'Eglise, La Cambe, Bayeux
• Visit Utah Beach, explore the Airborne Museum, and visit the German Cemetery at La Cambe.
• Walk the Queen Matilda tapestry.
• Visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the British Cemetery in Bayeux.
Overnight in Bayeux

Day 7: Mont St. Michel, Villedieu les Poêles
• Drive to Mont St. Michel.
• Tour of Mont St. Michel.
• Visit the Bell Foundry, the Atelier du Cuivre, and the Maison de l'Etain in Villedieu.

Overnight in Bayeux

Day 8: Versailles, Paris
• Visit Château de Versailles.
• Option: guided city tour of Paris.
Overnight in Paris

Day 9: Paris; United States
• Fly home.

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Sample Pricing

Per person sharing room from $8,690 for this nine-day sample itinerary

For more information, to book, or to speak to an R. Crusoe & Son tour specialist, please call us at 800-585-8555.

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Pre-Tour or Post-Tour Option

Paris is France’s capital city. To understand France as a whole, it’s important to have a working knowledge of this great metropolis.

     Paris is a city of history, romance, style, and beauty. There are at least 32 reasons to stroll along the Seine—namely, the 32 unique bridges that cross the river, the oldest being Pont Neuf, built five centuries ago. Paris is a city of magnificent churches and public gardens that charm and seduce. Art museums? The Louvre, of course, is Paris’ foremost gallery, but there are a whole collection of, well, collections around town that you shouldn't miss. And let us not forget the incredible meals that await around evey corner...

Paris Extension. 4 Days.

Arrive in Paris and settel into your hotel before we take a panoramic city tour. The Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, and more.

     Then spend time at one of two excellent art collections, either the Rodin Museum or the Musée d'Orsay. Follow up with a visit to Napoléon's tomb at Les Invalides and a walk in legendary Montmartre, once home to Dalí, Picasso, Modigliani, and other masters.

     Speaking of art, no Paris visit is complete without time in the Louvre. We take a guided tour to view the highlights including the "Mona Lisa" and the "Venus de Milo." If you'd like, continue on to the Pompidou Center for contemporary art or the Orangerie for Cluade Monet's fantastic Water Lilies series.

     We conclude our Paris visit beyond the city limits, at Versailles, extravagant residence of the Sun King, Louis XIV, and his court. If you would like, take a behind-the-scenes tour with a lecturer who leads you to areas of the palace normally closed to the public.

     Pricing: Please speak to an R. Crusoe travel specialist for pricing information.


Remember that R. Crusoe & Son can create Paris pre-tour and post-tour itineraries of any length to meet your exact specifications.

 

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The Battle of Hastings: The Other Normandy Battle.

The story begins in England in January 1066. King Edward the Confessor dies. Although he had promised the throne to his cousin, William, Duke of Normandy, he changed his mind on his deathbed and gave it to Harold Godwinson, member of a powerful English family.

     William took this act as a declaration of war. In Caen (Normandy), he gathered a large army with soldiers from far and wide in France. He also assembled a fleet of ships and set sail in the autumn, landing in England on 28 September 1066.

     In the mean time, King Harold II, who had been expecting a Norman invasion, moved his army north to defend against attacking Norwegians and his brother, Tostig. Harold’s forces were victorious in this battle.

     King Harold then learned that William’s forces had arrived in England. Another of Harold’s brothers, Earl Gyrth, urged a delay to assemble more men for battle. But Harold, wanting to prove that he could properly defend his kingdom, hurriedly departed London, gathering additional soldiers en route.

The Battle of Hastings.

     The fighting on 14 October 1066 was ferocious. Weary from recent battles, the English nevertheless proved tough opponents. At one point, William’s horse was killed from underneath him, and many thought he was dead. But he stood up, threw off his helmet, and rallied his troops. He and his knights successfully counter-attacked and killed Harold.

     William rested his troops for two weeks near Hastings. Reinforcements also came across the channel to help.

     Meanwhile in London, the weakened English government chose Edgar the Atheling as king.

     William advanced his troops to London, where Edgar abdicated, and William was recognized as king. William—now William the Conqueror—was crowned King William I on Christmas Day, 1066 in London’s Westminster Abbey.

     Although the battle took place on English soil, the famous record of the conflict—the “Bayeux Tapestry”—hangs today in Bayeux, Normandy. The 230-foot long embroidered cloth (“tapestry” is actually a misnomer) depicts events before, during, and after the Battle of Hastings. It was created between 1070 and 1077 and was likely made at the behest of William’s half-brother, Bishop Odo, in England. (Odo was the Earl of Kent and the builder of Bayeux Cathedral.) The “Bayeux Tapestry” has been listed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Registry.

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