Coastal Trails, Ancient Abbeys, and Legendary Cuisine

Overview

With a dramatic coastline of pink granite cliffs and a renowned cuisine of fresh-caught seafood and delectable cheeses, Normandy and Brittany are the perfect settings for our captivating hiking and cultural adventure. We’ve crafted a wonderfully varied journey—you’ll walk the D-Day beaches with an expert historian, cross tidal flats on an amazing walk to iconic Mont St. Michel, and explore Carnac, one of the largest megalithic sites in the world, with its mysterious standing stones dating from 4500 BC. Culinary forays along the way include sipping Calvados at an apple orchard, visiting a historic oyster farm, tasting scallops fresh from the Bay of St. Brieuc, and sampling the tangiest Camembert and Pont l’Eveque cheeses. C’est merveilleux!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-5
Bayeux / D-Day Beaches / Mont St. Michel / Côte d’Émeraude

After viewing the famed medieval tapestry at Bayeux, we head to the high cliffs between Utah Beach and Omaha Beach to experience the dramatic D-Day landing sites of June 6, 1944. We’ll walk this evocative trail with an expert historian, passing German bunkers and shell holes. An unforgettable hike brings us across the tidal flats (conditions permitting) to Mont St. Michel, a pilgrim site since the 8th century. On Brittany’s ravishing Côte d’Émeraude, we hike to Cancale, where France’s best oysters are harvested (with a tasting, of course!).

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Days 6-8
Dinan / Cap Fréhel / Íle de Bréhat

Contouring along the River Rance, our hike brings us past half-timbered houses, and we’ll walk the ramparts of Dinan’s perfectly preserved 13th century town. On Cap Fréhel, our trail leads to the ruined abbey of Beauport, and a boat crossing brings us to enchanting Íle de Bréhat, sheltering a variety of rare wildflowers. We’ll explore this car-free island on foot, with stunning vistas back to the dramatic pink cliffs of the Côte de Granit Rose.

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Days 9-11
Bay of Morbihan / Carnac / Côte Sauvage

From the Bay of Morbihan, our hike leads to Poul-Fétan, the perfect place to enjoy a lunch of traditional galette Bretonne (savory buckwheat pancakes). In Carnac, we walk among ancient standing stones that stretch for miles amid burial mounds. Our journey ends with a spectacular coastal walk at the Côte Sauvage, with its windswept line of cliffs braving the Atlantic waves. Depart on Day 11 via Rennes.

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Highlights

Highlights

See the extraordinary Bayeux Tapestry, a 230-foot-long embroidery depicting the Norman Conquest of England in 1066
Visit the evocative D-Day sites of Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach with a historian
Hike to spire-topped Mont St. Michel, France’s famous island-abbey
Explore Carnac, one of the most important prehistoric sites in Europe
Savor fresh seafood (and famous oysters!), legendary cheeses, crisp ciders and wines of Brittany and Normandy

Details

Length: 11 days
Cost From: $5995  
Arrive: Caen, France
Depart: Rennes, France
Lodging: 10 nights charming hotels and country inns
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

Easy to moderate trails, 3-6 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike)