Culture, History, and Hiking in Northern France

Overview

With dramatic coastlines, tiny stone villages, medieval abbeys, and renowned cuisine, Normandy and Brittany are the perfect setting for our cultural hiking adventure. We visit the D-Day beaches with a historian, walk across tidal flats to iconic Mont-St.-Michel, and experience the most breathtaking stretches of Brittany’s coast on wonderful hikes. Culinary treats abound, including cider fresh from the orchards, sweet crepês, savory galettes, and a bounty of local seafood from moules marinières to oysters—Louis XIV had Brittany’s Cancale oysters brought to him at Versaille. Join us for a delightful adventure in history and cuisine.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Caen / Bayeux / D-Day Beaches / Mont St. Michel

We view the famed 11th century Bayeux Tapestry, and head to the coast for a hike at Pointe du Hoc, the high cliffs between Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, where a historian brings the dramatic events of D-Day to life for us. We’ll savor the cuisine of the north coast, sampling Normandy’s famed cheeses and tasting the local Calvados brandy. Mont-St.-Michel, a site of pilgrimage since the 8th century, rises like a mirage from the shimmering sands of the bay. We hike the coast for stunning views, and then right across the tidal flats to visit a private chapel in the sanctuary, off-limits to the general public.

 View Lodging
Days 5-6
Cancale / Saint Malo / Dinan

At Cancale, we’ll sample the tastiest oysters in Brittany, visit the charming port of Saint Malo, and hike along the river Rance past half-timbered houses. We explore Dinan, a 13th century Breton town surrounded by medieval walls, with a specialist guide.

 View Lodging
Days 7-10
Côte de Granit Rose / Ploumanac’h

Surreal rockscapes of glistening rose-tinted crags line this exquisite section of Brittany’s coast known as the Côte de Granit Rose. Our hikes follow coastal trails leading to Brittany’s most revered pilgrimage site, and we’ll see Castel Meur, the famous stone house wedged between two huge rock outcrops. We explore Tréguier, a gem of a medieval town, savor plates of delicious fruits de mer, and enjoy our historic seaside hotel set along pink granite rocks in the village of Ploumanac’h. Depart on Day 10 via Guingamp.

 View Lodging

Highlights

Highlights

See the extraordinary 11th century Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the Norman Conquest of England
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 the most spectacular coastal trails on Brittany’s coast
Savor fresh seafood, famous oysters, legendary cheeses, crisp ciders and wines of Brittany and Normandy

Details

Length: 10 days
Cost From: $6195  
Arrive: Caen, France
Depart: Guingamp, France
Lodging: 9 nights charming hotels and coastal inns
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures, Culinary
Trip Level:

Easy to moderate walks and hikes, 3-6 hours a day, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day's hike)