1. 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.