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Caen Culture & history

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Small-Group Canadian Normandy D-Day Juno Beach from Paris

1. Small-Group Canadian Normandy D-Day Juno Beach from Paris

On June 6th, 1944 the largest seaborne invasion ever attempted in history took place. The Allied troops waged an extremely difficult attack on the German forces who were entrenched in bunkers along the coast of Normandy. More than 14,000 Canadian soldiers landed or parachuted into France on that day. Though the soldiers knew that they were fighting against the odds they carried on with courage and helped to win the battle for Normandy. During this insightful tour, you will take a guided journey through many of the historical landmarks that are pivotal to this moment in history. Take a walk on Juno Beach, just like the Canadian troops did in 1944, you can walk on the same sand they did on that very day. Whilst at Juno Beach, your guide will take you to see Juno Beach Center, the most comprehensive museum about the Canadian landings in Normandy. Visit the Canadian Cemetery in Beny-sur-Mer. There, stroll through the beautiful cemetery whilst paying your respects to the fallen Canadian soldiers. Also see "Hell's Corner," the furthest advance inland taken by Canadian troops on D-Day, 5-miles from the city of Caen. You'll also be able to see Abbey d'Ardenne, a HQ point for the nazis. Whether you’re a great admirer of military history or someone who is just curious about how the events really played out on D-Day, this tour will help you better appreciate the remarkable acts of courage that took place on Juno Beach. For they are well worth learning about and being remembered by all free folk today.

From Paris: 2-Day Normandy & Brittany Tour

2. From Paris: 2-Day Normandy & Brittany Tour

Discover the historic D-Day Beaches on a 2-day trip around the stunning French regions of Normandy and Brittany. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Paris - Caen (Meals: D) Take the Normandy motorway and make your first stop at Rouen for a walking tour in the old town before continuing to Honfleur. On the way between Rouen and Honfleur, enjoy a view of the newly built Pont de Normandie, a cable-stayed bridge. Take free time for lunch once in Honfleur, then continue to the beaches of Normandy and pass by the landing area at Omaha Beach. Visit the American cemetery of Saint-Laurent, stop off in Arromanches, and then continue on for dinner and an overnight stay at Novotel Caen (or similar). Day 2: Caen - Paris (Meals: B) Leave Caen in the direction of Saint-Malo located in the Brittany region. Take a guided tour of the town, including a walk along the ramparts and the cathedral. After free time for lunch, depart for Mont-Saint-Michel, the frontier between the Brittany and Normandy regions. Continue your afternoon with a guided visit of the abbey and free time for strolling and shopping, before returning to Paris.

From Paris: Normandy Landing Beaches D-Day Tour by Minibus

3. From Paris: Normandy Landing Beaches D-Day Tour by Minibus

Explore some of the most important sights in Normandy – the remains of historic Allied landings that changed the course of the Second World War. The full-day tour from Paris will take you to the German battery of Longues sur Mer, part of the German's Atlantic Wall of defense. You will also stop at the American Cemetery in Colleville, for an emotional visit, where 9,386 soldiers now rest. In 2007 a new Visitor Center was created to commemorate the operations of the D-Day Landings, and you will have time to learn more about these dramatic events. Continue to Omaha Beach, where more bloody events took place, and spend some time contemplating those moments before you break for lunch. In the early afternoon, you will see the ruins of the Arromanches’ artificial harbor, built by the Allies in less than 15 days. Finally, continue along the coast past Gold Beach to Juno Beach, where you will get a guided tour of the remains of the Atlantic Wall, before your return to Paris.

From Paris: Private Normandy D-Day Beaches Tour

4. From Paris: Private Normandy D-Day Beaches Tour

Depart from your hotel in Paris and then, after 2.5 hours driving, arrive at Colleville Cemetery. Nearly, 9387 American soldiers died during the landing and you will see the perfectly aligned gravestones across this expansive green lawn. The Cemetery visitor center is also very helpful if you wish to know more about the details of Operation Overlord. Omaha Beach was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion. the beach is just under the cemetery and was the theater of one of the most intense periods of fighting. The beach was nicknamed the Bloody Beach. You will stop by Arromanche, the seaside city which was a priority target of Allied troops. You will be able to have lunch at one of the restaurants that your driver will recommend to you. To end the visit, you will be driven to Pointe du Hoc. Symbolizing the courage of the young American soldiers involved in its storming, the famous Pointe du Hoc was one of the strongest German fortifications and was taken by force on the morning of 6th June by Colonel Rudder’s Rangers. The site, full of emotional memories, has been completely redeveloped; its impressive appearance bears witness to the intensity of the battle which took place here. You will then return to Paris.

Caen: Private Guided City Sightseeing Walking Tour

5. Caen: Private Guided City Sightseeing Walking Tour

Learn about the fascinating history of Caen, laying in the heart of Normandy, just 20km away from the landing beaches! Caen became a strategic center during the Middle Ages thanks to William the Conqueror. Walk down the charming medieval streets with the half-timbered houses and contemplate the impressive facade of the Caen Castle, one of the biggest medieval fortresses in Europe! Enjoy the special atmosphere of old times when passing the street "Rue Froide," full of unique small shops, bookstores, and artisans! Caen will surprise you by the huge amount of churches, abbeys and cathedrals, many of them built by William the Conqueror! Nicknamed "the city of tousends faces," Caen is really full of contrasts. Hardly destroyed by the bombardments, the city was successfully rebuilt. Today, you can experience the dynamic city full of hidden treasures waiting to be discovered with your guide. Do not hesitate to personalize the tour; your private local guide will be happy to adjust the visit to your specific needs.

From Caen or Bayeux: Normandy History Private Full-Day Tour

6. From Caen or Bayeux: Normandy History Private Full-Day Tour

Discover Normandy’s historical sites, rich heritage, and hidden gems on a private full-day tour with an expert guide. Be introduced to the region’s medieval history, architecture, and Viking roots as you walk through a historical crash course. Start your tour by visiting the Falaise Castle — a solid stone fortress built by the Dukes of Normandy around 1000 A.D. See how dukes and knights lived, fought, and ruled, and take your time to read the poems they wrote, to listen to their songs, and to try the food they liked as you stop for lunch here. Next, head to Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives to walk around the fantastic old marketplace, stepping on stones that have belonged to the market since they were laid down in 1066. Then, visit the medieval Crèvecœur Castle in Crèvecoeur-en-Auge for another step back in time before heading to your final stop in Bayeux. There, see and learn about the remarkable and unique Bayeux Tapestry — a medieval embroidery showcasing the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Finally, sit back and relax in the comfort of your private car as you head back to your accommodation.

Normandy: D-Day Beaches Private Tour from Caen or Bayeux

7. Normandy: D-Day Beaches Private Tour from Caen or Bayeux

Spend the day getting to know the Normandy WWII sites on a private guided tour from Caen or Bayeux. Visit Ste Mère Eglise, the hedgerow country, Utah Beach, the Airborne Museum, and the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. Enjoy included snacks and a stop for lunch. Your tour starts in the morning, with pickup directly from your accommodation in Caen or Bayeux. Prepare for the day with a fresh coffee and croissants before heading to the first Normandy WWII site on the itinerary. During the ride, benefit from the on-board audio system to hear your guide in the van. There will be digital resources provided during your ride so you can get some content about the places visited throughout the day. First, arrive at Ste Mère Eglise, the iconic village of the US Airborne, to understand how 14000 paratroopers played a crucial role in preparing for the success of D-Day. Visit the Airborne Museum (entry ticket included), where your guide will the exhibit to you. Then, head for the hedgerow country where you'll see the natural fences where so many German soldiers hid during the Battle of Normandy. On Utah Beach, your guide will explain why this beach could be so quickly and successfully taken. You'll then get to recharge with a gourmet lunch on Omaha Beach facing the monument to the Allies, The Braves (lunch costs not included). Learn the details of the battle that took place here 77 years ago. After lunch, you'll head for the Pointe du Hoc where you'll see many of the German WWII bunkers taken by the U.S. 2nd Rangers Battalion. Finally, at the Normandy American Cemetery, you'll have time to visit the site and the memorial before attending the Casing of the Colors ceremony. If time allows, see the Longues-sur-Mer battery, the last WWII German battery, whose 150-mm guns were shooting on D-Day. By the end of the tour, you’ll have made your way round-trip back to your accommodation.  

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What people are saying about Caen

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 332 reviews

Igor had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Normandy battles. He conveyed his knowledge in an engaging and very creative way. We learned so much from him. He helped us get an extremely realistic view of not only the battles, but a feel for what the of the local French inhabitants of the surrounding countryside lived through being occupied for years before the D Day invasion. He also helped us understand how the local terrain affected the battles by taking us on small roads to experience the thick hedgerows and the elevation changes of the ground especially along the coast. We all came away feeling we learned so much more than if we had just visited a museum. I would highly recommend Igor for your tour guide.

Absolutely the highlight of our trip (2 adults, 14 & 12 year old boys). We came to honour our family’s D Day sacrifice and were so grateful to have Jonathon be our tour guide. He was knowledgable, patient, supportive and an endless resource. A day we will cherish forever. Couldn’t have asked for a better experience, it was perfection.

This was an amazing experience. Truly an emotional and touching tribute to our Canadian soldiers. Our tour guide Nadir was THE BEST!!! His knowledge of the area and the history was superior and he went out of his way to cater to our needs and made the day truly memorable. Highly recommend.

Excellent tour, guide was on time and very knowledgeable. I recommend this tour

Our guide was knowledgeable about the topic. He is friendly also.