Brittany island house between boulders

The Côte de Granit Rose

Some of our hikes are in a spectacular section of the Brittany coastline known as the Côte de Granit Rose, where  pink cliffs rise above the deep blue sea and tiny cottages are tucked into small, rocky islands.

Photo by David Hughes

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Normandy and Brittany

Coastal Trails, Ancient Abbeys, and Legendary Cuisine

Normandy and Brittany route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5795  
Length: 11 days
Arrive: Caen, France
Depart: Rennes, France
Lodging: 10 nights in 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 tired feet)
3

Highlights

  • Visit the D-Day sites of Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach
  • 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, legendary cheeses, crisp ciders and wines of Brittany and Normandy


I loved the scenery, the deep history, the emotional Normandy beach hikes and cemetery visit, the Mont St. Michel pilgrimage, the super care, conversation and humor of our guides (truly extraordinary men), the great French food and seafood, the wonderful sharing with fellow hikers, and the great hikes of varying flavors and terrain.Marilyn K.—Pittsburgh, PA

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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

With a dramatic coastline of pink granite cliffs and a renowned cuisine of fresh-caught seafood and some of the most famous cheeses in the world, Normandy and Brittany are perfect destinations for a WT hiking and cultural adventure. We’ve crafted a journey that finds us walking the D-Day beaches with a historian, crossing tidal flats on our amazing hike to iconic Mont St. Michel, walking the ramparts at medieval Dinan, and taking in the scale of Carnac, one of the largest megalithic sites in the world. As we explore, our culinary forays include sipping Calvados at an apple orchard, visiting an oyster farm, tasting scallops fresh from the Bay of St. Brieuc, and sampling the tangiest Camembert and Pont L’Eveque cheeses. Bon appetit!

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-4
Bayeux / D-Day Beaches / Mont St. Michel / Côte d’Émeraude

After viewing the famed medieval tapestry at Bayeux, we head to the evocative trails above Omaha Beach for perspectives on the D-Day landings. An unforgettable hike across tidal flats (conditions permitting) brings us to Mont St. Michel, a pilgrim site since the 8th century, and we ascend the island’s single narrow street to explore the awe-inspiring sanctuary. On Brittany’s ravishing Côte d’Émeraude (Emerald Coast), we hike to Cancale, where France’s best oysters are harvested.

Days 5-8
Dinan / Cap Fréhel

A lovely hike brings us along the River Rance past half-timbered houses, and we walk the ramparts in Dinan’s perfectly preserved 13th century town. On Cap Fréhel, we hike to the ruined abbey of Beauport, whose massive walls evoke its former glory, and we boat to enchanting Île de Bréhat for stunning vistas back to the pink cliffs of the Côte de Granit Rose.

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

From the Bay of Morbihan, we hike to Poul-Fétan, the perfect place for a lunch of traditional galette Bretonne. On our private visit to Carnac, inhabited since 4500 BC, we walk among ancient standing stones that stretch for miles. We end our journey with a hike along the Côte Sauvage, the western coastline that stretches for more than six miles and offers some of the most dramatic windswept line of cliffs braving the Atlantic waves. Depart on Day 11 via Rennes.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated 3, Moderate, according to our trip grading system. We hike from 3 to 5 hours each day. The trails are not difficult but there are some rugged sections on the coastal tracks. Trip members should be in good shape and have good hiking boots. A vehicle will transfer our luggage between overnight accommodations.

On some days, we enjoy picnic lunches with local wine and regional specialties. On “town” days, we often have lunch at local cafes. Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the U.S. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 PM. Accommodations are in small hotels and inns. Single rooms can be requested but are not always available, due to the limited space in the hotels. If you require a single room, please make your request as early as possible.

In an effort to capture the spirit of old Europe, the hotels we use are often family-run converted villas or inns, full of ambience and colorful local history. Although the rooms in these hotels are not always of uniform or international size, our leaders always try their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2014
May 6-16, 2014

Jun 8-18, 2014
Sep 8-18, 2014

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$5795 (13-15 members)
$6095 (10-12 members)
$6395 (6-9 members)
Single supplement: $730
Forced single supplement: $530
more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations
  • All meals included except 1 dinner
  • Entrance fees for museums and sites
  • Land transportation, transfers as noted

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, transfers for independent arrival or departure, Paris/Caen or Rennes/Paris train service, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors; pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Minimum fee: None per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Chateau Hotel de Bellefontaine

Chateau Hotel de Bellefontaine

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Bayeux, France

A converted chateau a few minutes’ walk outside Bayeux, the Bellefontaine offers large, well-appointed rooms, each one a bit different, and ...
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Mont Saint-Michel Hotels

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Mont Saint-Michel, France

In Mont Saint-Michel, we stay in one of the following properties:

Hotel Le D’Avaugour

Hotel Le D’Avaugour

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Dinan, France

Right in the heart of medieval Dinan, this hotel is small, modern, and yet cozy, with a large patio that has a view of Dinan’s castle ...
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Domaine Du Val

Domaine Du Val

Days 7 to 8 (2 nights), Planguenoual, France

The Domaine du Val is in the Breton village of Planguenoual, in a forested setting two miles from the coast. The restored chateau itself very ...
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Hotel Le Diana

Hotel Le Diana

Days 9 to 10 (2 nights), Carnac, France

On the south coast of Brittany, Hotel Le Diana has a seafront location just across from Carnac beach, with panoramic views, comfortable rooms, and ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Richard Bell

Departure Dates: May 6-16, 2014

Richard Bell was born and brought up in Yorkshire, on the northeast coast of the UK, and has been an avid traveler all his life (he has now explored more than 100 countries). His first job was working as a purser on cruise ships for P&O and Princess Cruises, including a stint on that infamous ...
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Tim Burford

Departure Dates: May 6-16, 2014, June 8-18, 2014

Tim Burford has written hiking guidebooks to many regions, from Romania to Chile to Alaska, and is the author of the authoritative Travel Guide to Georgia (the former Soviet Union), published by Bradt, UK. Tim’s great passion is for the mountains, trails, and cultures of Central ...
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Nicos Caravellas

Departure Dates: September 8-18, 2014

Nicos Caravellas, born and raised in Greece, gained his love of nature early on family outings in northern Greece's mountainous countryside. During his university years, while earning his degree in teaching, he developed his mountaineering skills and decided to become a professional guide."I ...
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Laurence Frison

Departure Dates: May 6-16, 2014, June 8-18, 2014

Laurence Frison, of France, earned her diploma in graphic design but prefers the life of traveling, hiking, skiing, and guiding. She spent a decade exploring the world from Africa to Australia, including a three-month road trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles, and for the last two years she has ...
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James Fuss

Departure Dates: September 8-18, 2014

James Fuss is a trekking guide, photographer, bicyclist, and chef extraordinaire. Born and bred in South Australia, James acquired his wanderlust early while exploring Australia extensively on camping trips with his parents. His love of the cooking arts began early, as well, and after embarking on ...
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Annie Hawkins

Departure Dates: June 8-18, 2014

Annie Hawkins, born and raised in a small village in Burgundy, is a passionate world traveler and one of our most enchanting Trip Leaders. After studying art history in Provence, Annie moved to California, where she led adventure tours in the American Southwest and realized that leading adventure ...
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Client Comments

I loved the scenery, the deep history, the emotional Normandy beach hikes and cemetery visit, the Mont St. Michel pilgrimage, the super care, conversation and humor of our guides (truly extraordinary men), the great French food and seafood, the wonderful sharing with fellow hikers, and the great hikes of varying flavors and terrain. Marilyn K., Pittsburgh, PA An excellent trip with a nice balance of hiking, history and cuisine. Tom N., Upper St Clair, PA
An outstanding trip with a well thought out itinerary. Mary M., Stillwater, MN The highlight of this trip for me was the barefoot walk to Mont St. Michel. It's not to be missed! Thelma A., Morristown, NJ The trip of a lifetime, with leaders who were beyond outstanding. Bix W., Pebble Beach, CA