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 route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6095  
Length: 11 days
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 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 (the best oysters!), 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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Normandy and Brittany, Cyney and Francis Passavant

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.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

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 the perfect settings for our exclusive hiking and cultural adventure. We’ve crafted a journey that has you walking the D-Day beaches with an expert historian, crossing tidal flats on an 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, with its mysterious standing stones dating from 4500 BC. As you 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 appétit!

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

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

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

Days 6-8
Dinan / Cap Fréhel

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

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

From the Bay of Morbihan, hike to Poul-Fétan, the perfect place to enjoy a lunch of traditional galette Bretonne. On our private visit to Carnac, inhabited since 4500 BC, 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 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

2015
Sep 21-Oct 1, 2015

2016
May 17-27, 2016
Jun 11-21, 2016
Sep 21-Oct 1, 2016

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$6095 (13-15 members)
$6395 (10-12 members)
$6695 (6-9 members)
Single supplement: $820
Forced single supplement: $620
more on pricing

Trip Payment Schedule

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

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations
  • All meals included except 1 dinner
  • A glass of wine or beer with 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.).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation arriving to Caen, France, and departing from Rennes, France. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip and have reviewed your proposed air schedule with our office. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

Meeting Place:
Caen, France
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Paris, France (airport code CDG)

Departure:

Rennes, France
Date: Day 11

Suggested Airport for Departure:

Caen, France (airport code RNS)
Suggested flight departure time: 10:40 am or later

(Or as an alternative: Rennes Train Station. Estimated drop-off time at train station: 9:30 am)

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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Le Relais Saint-Michel

Le Relais Saint-Michel

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

This is a somewhat plain hotel but it has location, location, location: a direct view across the bay to the towering form of Mont Saint  ...
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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).

Laurence Frison

Departure Dates: September 21-October 1, 2015

Traveler, hiker, skier, and guide by passion, and graphic designer by trade, Laurence (Lolo) Frison embodies the life of an adventurer. She spent a decade exploring the world from Africa to Australia, including a three-month road trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles, and has specialized in guiding ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

James Fuss

Departure Dates: September 21-October 1, 2015

James Fuss is a trekking guide, photographer, cyclist, and chef extraordinaire. Born and raised in South Australia, James found his wanderlust early on family camping trips across Australia. His love of the culinary arts is deep-rooted as well, and as a young chef, he headed off to Europe to ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Sean Morrissey

Departure Dates: September 21-October 1, 2015

Sean Morrissey was born and raised in London but also spent time in Ireland with relatives while growing up (he holds both Irish and British passports). He moved to Australia at age 20, worked there for two years, then heeded the call of the mountains and became a professional guide, working in ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

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 Our stay on Mont Saint Michel was a highlight as was the four-mile walk to it across the sands. It was great, great fun! It felt like we were doing our own little pilgrimage. Nancy P., Newton Upper Falls, MA We had a lot of fun, visited many interesting sites, and the most unusual pilgrim walk across the bay to Mont Saint Michel was unforgettable. Kathy C., Houston, TX What a fabulous exploration do a beautiful area! Even the weather was perfect! Rose C., Charlottesville, VA

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Normandy and Brittany, Cyney and Francis Passavant