Culture, History, and Hiking in Northern France

Trip Level

This trip is rated a Level 3 (Moderate) according to our trip grading system.

Average Hiking Day
• 3-5 hours
• 4-6 miles
• 400-750 feet gain/loss

Challenge Days
Day 7 – 6.5 miles hiking over 4-5 hours, in combination with 2.5 hours of driving.

How Tough is This Trip?
While we do not see major elevation gain or loss, you need to be able to hike on uneven surfaces and feel comfortable on your feet for up to 6 hours a day. Ideally, you should have recent experience hiking 7 miles in a day.

The daily pacing is flexible and may be adjusted by the Trip Leader. Trail conditions, weather and the group’s level of fitness can affect hiking times.

Terrain

The trails are a mixture of flat walks through historic towns and hilly coastal tracks, which will contain rocky steps, uneven surfaces, and may become muddy and unstable with bad weather. Depending on tides, we will likely hike through the tidal flats to Mont St. Michel on Day 4, so be prepared to get a little muddy from your knees down—most people will carry their shoes in their packs and hike this portion barefoot, but Teva-type shoes could be considered as well.

Weather

In the maritime climate of Normandy and Brittany, temperatures are moderated by the Atlantic so it is never extremely hot or extremely cold. Temperatures may reach the mid-70s during the day, with cooling breezes, an occasional shower, and strong winds. At night, the temperature will drop moderately. The weather is variable so be prepared for anything: it can be cool and pleasant, hot and muggy, or damp and chilly.

Accommodations

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.

Cuisine

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 US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.

Transporation

We have short drives in a comfortable group bus throughout the trip, this will transport the group’s luggage, so you only need to carry a daypack for items you need for the day (rain gear, sweater, camera, water bottle). If you ever wish to skip a day’s hike, the van can take you to our next location.

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.