ParisByM
contact@parisbym.com +33 6 52 86 11 36
ParisByM receptive travel agent
Normandy WWII Museum

Normandy WWII Museum

The Normandy WWII Museum located in Caen, France is great for people of all ages and different ranges of historical interest.  World War II was not like any other war but a historical event that created shockwaves throughout the world.  Its ramifications are still evident as it has shaped the world we know today.

Normandy WWII Museum

 

What will you see in this Normandy WWII museum?

Upon arrival to the Memorial de Caen, you instantly see massive flag poles consisting of every great nation involved in World War II.  This instantly sets the stage on how influential this war really was.  This Normandy WWII Museum is the biggest museum in all of Normandy for many reasons.  It doesn’t matter how much prior knowledge you have on this topic or whether you consider yourself a big history fanatic, the museum caters to everyone of all degrees and ages.

The museum is structured as one massive timeline, explaining the series of events of WWII. The storyline begins with background information between the foreign nations and the explanation in the rise of totalitarian leaders involved, such as Hitler and Mussolini.   This Normandy WWII Museum takes into consideration that many visitors might not know why WWII was started, so by adding this to the exhibit, it is greatly beneficial and informative.  The timeline then proceeds from these causes of WWII all the way through the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Normandy WWII museum

Many focal points of the war are displayed such as Hitler’s invasion in Europe, American involvement after the Pearl Harbor attack, and the strategies and war tactics of the Allies and Axis Powers.  The key focal point is on World War II and the actions in Normandy, but the museum touches nicely on all the things before and after that had a hand in shaping how Europe is today.

Why is this Normandy WWII museum so interesting?

The Memorial de Caen doesn’t fail to shed light on sensitive and often-ignored aspects such as both civilian and soldier casualties, Holocaust victims, and the mass destruction of civilizations.  Despite the content containing graphic material, the museum portrays the information in an organized, clear, and tasteful way.  Real artifacts like worn uniforms, newspaper clips, guns, and machinery are displayed throughout the entire exhibit, giving visitors an actual sense of what the war was like.  Because WWII applies to many nations, captions and explanations placed underneath these artifacts and graphics are written in French, English, and German.  Along with these explanations, audio and video clips are displayed across the entire exhibit to aid in a better understanding of the content.  Audio tours are also available in multiple languages if you don’t understand English and French well.

How to visit this museum

Normandy WWII museum Being the largest and most complete museum in Normandy, plan to take at least three hours to fully see the entire exhibit.  Many people have expressed that they wish they planned more time for the museum!  If you only have time on your Normandy trip to visit one museum, make sure it is this one. The information may seem overwhelming at first but arrows are placed frequently to direct and make sure visitors see the information in the correct chronological order. Visitors may also buy tickets to see a short film on the D-Day Invasion as well as follow a tour guide throughout the museum if they wish to have a more in-depth education on the war.  This is extremely helpful especially to those who might not know a lot about WWII!  The Memorial de Caen presents a sobering picture of World War II and all of its ramifications as it broadens awareness to such an influential event.

ParisByM highly recommends taking time to see the beautiful yet heart-breaking exhibit as it raises awareness and knowledge of one of the biggest events in history.

More information to prepare your visit is accessible on the Memorial website here. If you are interested in visiting it during an excursion in Normandy, you can contact us to organize the full visit for you.

Here are 3 articles you might be interested in:

What To Visit For Your Normandy Battle Tours ?

D Day sites: The American Sector

Normandy Beaches Tour, An Other Side Of Normandy

Normandy Beach

Normandy Beaches Tour, An Other Side Of Normandy

Want to take a relaxing breakNormandy Beaches Tour is the vacation for you. You will find perfect places to spend relaxing holidays, don’t wait anymore and book your trip with our guide.
More than just being the region of the Normandy Battle, its landscapes have actually made it a cradle of art, and more specifically an impressionism. Indeed, plenty of gorgeous landscapes sculpted by nature are inspired by this location.
Whether to do a touristic tour or an unusual getaway its all up to you!

To have advice for a Normandy Battle Tour, you can read this article here.

 

For a Romantic Normandy Beaches Tour


 

Honfleur

Walking along the streets and feel the French charm of the city that inspired many impressionists. A city full of flowers, it conveys a cozy and warming feeling. Fortunately, the charm of old days has been preserved since the city was affected by the bombs during World War II.

On the beach, all kinds of activities are proposed: Gliding, kite, surfing, paddle, hiking. In the summer, there are also organized sand castles contests. All the keys for a relaxing weekend!

Normandy Beaches Tour

Honfleur Harbor @Pixabay

 

Cabourg

For a romantic trip between lovers, Cabourg is the perfect place! This is a popular location for filmmaking (La Boum, Intouchables…). Each year a romantic film festival is organized. There are also spa therapy and casino that are the main attractions of the city.

Another monument you can’t miss is the Grand Hotel of Cabourg. This city was made famous by the French writer Marcel Proust who stayed there for a period. He described it in his book In Search of the Lost Time. This well-known monument was also occupied by Germans during World War II.

Normandy Beaches Tour

Cabourg Beach @Wikimedia Commons

 

 

For a Family Normandy Beaches Tour


 

Deauville – Trouville

Deauville is a seaside resort, well known for its leisure port and casinos. Parisians, especially, used to come here due to its proximity.
Along the white sand beach, you will find the symbolic multicolored beach umbrellas and the mythical boards. The 3 kilometers of beach was as well used by many artists as inspirations.
For those who love horseback riding, you have 2 hippodromes and a training center at Deauville.

Across the river, you will find the twin city, Trouville. The city is quieter than Deauville, which is a more luxurious place to go.

Normandy Beaches Tour

Deauville’s Famous Sunshades @Wikimédia Commons

 

Le Havre

This modern city with a harbor was classified as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2005. Rebuilt by Auguste Perret after World War II’s bombing, the building has a quite unique structure.
It is as well the hometown of the impressionist painter Monet.

The most important monuments and museums are the Church of Saint Joseph and the MuMa, Museum of Modern Art André Malraux. You can also take a look at the sample flat of Auguste Perret to discover an ideal apartment in the 1950’s.

Normandy Beaches Tour

Le Havre @Wikimedia Commons

 

 

To be close-to-nature Normandy Beaches Tour


 

Etretat

Come enjoy the sunset on the pebble beach of Etretat! Former fishing village, and as well seaside resort in the XIXth century, many painters and writers, inspired by the city, took part in its blooming. Boudin, Maupassant or Flaubert, to name just a few of the biggest ones.

This outstanding site with a natural treasure took a part in WWII. The halls were transformed into a military hospital.

The city is famous for its cliffs covered by limestone (white chalk), which gives its white color. On the Beach, enjoy the view on the Aval cliff in a shape of an arch, hollow needle, and human hole. Pay attention to the human hole so you wont fall in!

etretat, etretat cliffs, Normandy Beaches Tour

Etretat Beach

 

Tahitou

For the people who dream to be connected with nature, Tahitou is made for you! This small island is a heaven on earth, ideal for recharging your batteries. Tahitou can be reached by boat or by foot as well, for the most courageous, when the beach is at low tide.

On the island, an ornithological reserve can be found. You can also visit the lazaret, with a marine museum, and the Fort Vauban, which was classified as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2008.

Do not forget : dogs are not accepted on the island

Normandy Beaches Tour

Tahitou @Wikimedia Commons

 

3 Other Articles You May Be Interested In

Étretat

What are the main tourist attractions in Normandy?

Mont St. Michel

D Day sites: american sector

D Day sites: The American Sector

On 6th June of 1944, the largest naval battle in history occurred in Normandy. With more than 155,000 soldiers, 14,000 war ships and thousands of airplanes, the Allies fought to liberalize France from the German occupation in the World War II.

What to see?

D Day sitesBest known as D-Day, it was what many consider the turning point of the war. Combating the German occupation, the Normandy region became a home base of sorts for the units of the Allies. The American units, which had a huge role in the battle, were established in what is now named “The American Sector”, composed of some beaches and villages.

Many consider Omaha beach the most important one. It is here that the Americans landed and faced their first battle in hopes of liberating Europe. The Americans also landed, due to some miscalculations, in the Utah Beach. These two beaches are close in proximity, and in both locations, you will find many memorials, bunkers, and war remnants.

Colleville-sur-Mer - Cimetière américain de Colleville… IntercomAnother important place was the small town “Sainte-Mère-Eglise”, located in the heart of the airborne operations, this village served as a key place that proved vital to stop the German reinforcements. Also widely know for being the location where the airbornes were launched from.

 

6 kilometers (approximately 4 miles) away from Omaha beach, you can find the “Pointe du Hoc”, a cliff used by the American forces as an attack point.

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a large cemetery where more than 9000 fallen American soldiers are buried. It serves as a memorial from France to honour those who died for the liberty of the country.

How to experience?

D Day SitesThe American sector of Normandy has many stories throughout history to tell. From ParisByM, we recommend to take a guided tour to not miss any detail of the largest naval battle in history. In addition, many parts of the Normandy regions has memorials, museums with real war machines and iconic places which were a key to the victory.

Feel free to discover how the Americans helped liberalizing Europe through the feelings: the horror of war, the strategy and the euphoria of the victory in 1945.

Further posts:

D-Day sites: 5 beaches of Normandy

5 DDay Tours in Normandy

What are the main tourist attractions in Normandy?

Normandie, Normandy, etretat cliffs

Étretat

Étretat is a commune in Normandy (North-East of Le Havre) best known for its chalk cliffs. Very similar to those which can be found in Dover, these cliffs soar above the gravelly beach and form natural arches and complex formations.

The Cliffs

Normandy, Cliffs, Daytour, France, etretat

Cliffs of Etretat, Normandy, France; photo by Jarrod Castaing

Built as a simple fishermen’s village, Étretat is now one of the most renowned and beautiful beach resort in France: thanks to its white cliffs, the shingles and the natural arches, the town is the perfect destination for tourists from all over the world.  The Étretat chalk cliffs are made of different varieties of chalk and rise from 230ft to 300ft above the sea level.

The most unusual and interesting formation is, without a doubt, the so-called Needle (in French, “Anguille”), which rises 70 metres above the sea: an underground river and the natural erosion created, throughout the years, these natural structures, which are now the main attraction of Étretat and one of the most impressive and magnificent natural landscapes in France. Walking along specific trails, you can enjoy vertiginous routes with sensational views over the ocean: interestingly, you can recognize these cliffs, the arches and the “spires” from countless paintings by Impressionist artists like Boudin, Courbet and Monet, who were attracted by the breathtaking and unique landscapes.

Also, the cliffs were used as a special setting by the writer Maurice Leblanc, in 1909, for the novel “The Hollow Needle” (in French, “L’aiguille creuse”), which features one of the most famous character in literature, the gentleman thief “Arsène Lupin”.

The Beach

etretat, etretat cliffsThe gravelly beach, surrounded by the cliffs, is well protected from wind and tides: it is one of the favourite beach resorts in France and tourists from all over the world come there in order to relax and enjoy all the beautiful landscapes that can be found; however, during winter time, the beach regains its “wild” form. Gravel and stones are necessary to the preservation of the beach, since they protect  it from atmospheric agents.

A long walkway-dam called “perrey” divides the beach from the village: it used to protect Étretat from dangerous tides. Besides, the old sea front has been destroyed during World War II in order to better defend the coast.

The Village

etretat cliffs, notre dameThe small village is full of tiny cafés and cosy restaurants. However, the most interesting part of the city is what can be called as the “Old Town”: there, you can find  the impressive church of Notre-Dame, built in the XII century and now historical monument. The Norman Gothic style and the “lanter-tower” highlight the uniqueness of the building: moreover, the Roman façade makes the structure even more characteristic, underlining an amazing mix of cultures and architectures. Close to the church, you can also find a war grave, the “Étretat Churchyard”, which contains 264 Commonwealth and one German burial from the First World War.

clos lupin, etretat cliffsIn Étretat, you will have the chance to find several  beautiful châteaux, manors and villas: first of all, the so-called Clos Lupin, in rue Guy de Maupassant (interestingly, another artist who spent most time in the town…): the house, where Maurice Leblanc used to live, is surrounded by gardens and flowers (the name “Lupin” comes from the flower called “lupines”, in French “lupin”). The house is now a museum, where you can find interesting Lupin-style enigmas. Then, you can find the Manoir de la Salamandre, a typical old regional house, similar to those that can be found in the Pays d’Auges, an area in Normandy: it is a great illustration of the architecture of the region. Finally, you can also take a look at the Villa Orphée, built by the composer Jacques Offenbach: from there, you will have a beautiful view over the cliffs.

Last but not least, Étretat is also known because of the “White Bird” affair, where two pilots, in 1927, tried to make the first non-stop flight from Paris to New York: however, after the departure, the biplane disappeared in the ocean.

How to get there

etretat cliffs, impressionismÉtretat is about 50 minutes by car from Honfleur, via Le Havre. You can easily go there by bus (from 1 to 2 hours), starting from Le Havre’s “gare routière”, adjacent to the train station.

 

 

 Want to see more?

 

Related Posts:

D-Day sites: 5 beaches of Normandy

Mont St. Michel

5 DDay Tours in Normandy


The Paris attractions trips package is aimed at tourists coming for the first time to Paris and looking for Paris itineraries and top things to do in Paris. Book one of our Paris vacation packages to fully discover the city within your time and budget constraints., france tourist attractions

France Tourist Attractions You Should Visit

Want to visit France? Beyond the Paris and France tourist attractions you are already familiar with, such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Disneyland Paris, or the Château de Versailles, France is full of tourist attractions through its beautiful regions. Here is a short list.

1 – Futuroscope

futuroscope, amusement parks in Paris, france tourist attractions

Located in Chasseneuil-du-Poitou and in Jaunay-Clan, in the region Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the Futuroscope, with 1.9 million visitors per year, is a leisure park that offers scientific and technology-based attractions. Due to the diversity of the different ones, they are accessible to both adults and children.
You can experience sensorial attractions with realistic special effects, such as 3D and 4D (Ice Age attraction for instance) simulators, or get your adrenaline pumped up in training centers such as the Arena Fun Experiences, where you will test sports like the Flying Ball, and where you will experience sensational slides. More information here.

 

2 – The Castle of Chenonceau (Château de Chenonceau)

Chenonceau, 5 days in france, france tourist attractions

Wikimedia Commons

Among France tourist attractions, we can obviously find the Château de Chenonceau, one of the Loire castles. It is THE castle which can’t be missed during your visit of the valley of the Loire. It is the second most visited castle in France, after the Château de Versailles. Built in 1513, it is an emblematic castle which has known many personalities, like Catherine de Medicis. At ParisByM, we have designed a package “Loire Valley”, where the visit of this castle is included. More information about the castle here and about the package here.

 

3 – Colleville-sur-Mer American Cemetery (Omaha Beach)

American cemetery D Day Omaha beach, france tourist attractions

Each year, the Colleville-sur-Mer American Cemetery attracts numerous visitors who pay tribute to the graves of 9,387 US soldiers dead during Operation Overlord during the Normandy landings of June 6, 1944.

The cemetery is on the edge of Omaha Beach, there is a chapel, a garden, and you can attend the American Flag Descent and Folding ceremony, which takes place every day.
We have created for you a special itinerary American D-Day Tour here. More information here.

4 – The Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont Saint Michel, mont saint michel abbey, france tourist attractions

Who has never wanted to visit the Mont Saint Michel? This rock detached from the mainland facing the English Channel is above all a village, on which thrills the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, overhanging a huge bay, which offers you a magnificent view. It is a must, and it is only 2 hours from the landing beaches in Normandy ! You can plan your visit checking information here.

 

5 – Top 1 France tourist attractions in winter/spring: ski resorts in the Alps!

france tourist attractions

pixabay.com

If you are visiting France from December to May, it is essential that you go skiing on the Mont Blanc massif, where a wide choice of resorts is possible: Chamonix, Brévent, Les Houches, Planard … According to if you want skiing at altitude or in valley. A great opportunity to discover the French Alps. More information here.

 

 

 

6 – Gorges du Verdon (Verdon Gorge)

france tourist attractions

Wikimedia Commons

Located between the Var and the Alpes de Haute Provence, the Gorges du Verdon are part of the natural beauty of France. The turquoise color of the Verdon river will not leave you indifferent, and for the sportsmen and sportswomen, a little walk will make you discover the detail of these magnificent landscapes .. Learn more here.

 

 

7 – Provence: Arles

provence in 5 days, arles, france tourist attractions

Provence is one of the most visited regions of France. Aix-En-Provence, Avignon, the famous village of Baux-de-Provence, they all are a must see, but the Roman heritage of this region is not to be overlooked: come and visit Arles, the magnificent Roman city remains with its amphitheater, its ancient theater, the thermal baths of Constantin (les thermes de Constantin), or the cryptoportica. History lovers, the information is here.

 

 

 

We hope our France tourist attractions will help you to prepare your visit!

 

Related posts

Arles

4 French Castles to See in Loire Valley

What are the main tourist attractions in Normandy?

Giverny, Fondation Claude Monet, Fleurs

Fondation Claude Monet

Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) is a French painter known for his art movement called impressionism. The name of the style derives from the title of a Claude Monet work: Impression, Sunrise

He lived in Giverny from 1883 until 1926. He painted his house in the colors of his painting palette, designed his gardens with flowers and colorful vegetables, and built a pond. These incredible scenery inspired him to create artworks.

His son inherited his house and bequeathed the estate to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in his will when he died in 1966. Once the house and garden restored, in 1980, the estate was declared public and the Fondation Claude Monet was created.

The Fondation Claude Monet presents 3 main areas:

The House

Giverny, Fondation Claude Monet, maison de Claude MonetThe place where Monet lived. Initially the house was smaller, so he extended it on both sides in order to have more spaces for his family and his works. He decorated and painted his house to his own taste and used color such as blue, yellow, pink… The house has, on the ground floor, a kitchen, a dinning room, the studio room, the pantry, the sitting room and, on the first floor, the family rooms. Note that the paintings in the house are reproductions as the real ones are in museums.

The Clos Normand

Giverny, Fondation Claude Monet, Clos Normand

It is a garden with metallic hoops, trees and lots of colorful flowers such as cherry and apple trees, tulips, irises, daffodils, daisies, dahlias, peonies, nasturtiums, wisterias, poppies…

 

 

 

The Water Garden (Japanese garden)

Giverny, Fondation Claude Monet, jardin d'eau, pont japonais

Monet bought a land with a pond at the back of the Clos Normand and built there a Japanese bridge. He designed the water garden with trees and flowers such as bamboos, cherry trees, maple trees, water lilies and other kind of lilies…

 

 

And also

The Japanese Prints (Monet’s collection of ukiyo-e prints) and The Waterlily Studio (a gift and book shop).

While visiting the house and the gardens, you can see that he was passionate about gardening and that this area was an absolute source of inspiration for Monet. In fact, his gardens will inspire him to create artworks such as the water lilies series. The tour will leave you amazed.

Pointe du Hoc

Pointe de Hoc

US President Regan giving a speech for the commemoration of the 40th birthday of the D-Day at Pointe du Hoc.

The Pointe du Hoc is the highest point between western Utah Beach and eastern Omaha Beach. From this point, you can overlook the English Channel. This lookout provides a great view of the coast of Normandy.

Because of its’ particular location, the Germans placed heavy artillery (gun pits) on the cliff, threatening both Omaha and Utah beach. It was then considered an essential mission to blast the German artillery immediately when Operation Overlord began to protect the landing troops and reduce casualties.

On D-Day, the U.S Army attacked and took over Pointe du Hoc after scaling its cliffs. Unfortunately, they discovered the artillery had recently been taken to another location.

 

Normandy D-Day Tour, American sector

Sainte-Mère-Église

Normandy D-Day Tour, American sectorSainte-Mère-Eglise was the first town of France in the Cotentin region liberated by American paratroopers. It is also famous for the American paratrooper, John Steele, who’s parachute was caught on the church tower during the Overload operation. You can see a copy of John Steele still attached to his parachute on the church tower. There is a museum dedicated to American paratroopers called Airborne Museum. It is located just in front of the church. This museum takes you back to D-Day alongside American paratroopers. Also, admire Sainte-Mère-Église with its special atmosphere full of history.

Normandy D-Day sites, Normandy, D-Day sites

Carentan

Normandy D-Day sites, Normandy, D-Day sites, CarentanThe small town of Carentan is known for its cultural heritage and its medieval buildings. It’s a city full of history. There are a lot of places to visit such as Notre-Dame of Carentan church which suffered a lot of damage during the D-Day bombings. Additionally, you will find hotels which housed famous people such as French writer Honoré de Balzac and emperor Napoléon 1er, as well as beautiful harbours. 

Normandy D-Day sites, Normandy, D-Day sites, Omaha beach

Omaha beach

Omaha_Beach_Memorial_on_German_bunkerOmaha beach was one of the landing beaches assigned to the Americans for landing in France on D-Day. This is where they suffered the most casualties while fighting against Germans troops in hopes of liberating Europe (30% of all casualties of the D-Day). Hence the name « Bloody Omaha » or « the Beach of blood ».

The name Omaha was used as a code name during Operation Overlord, chosen because it was the place of birth of one of the officers engaged in the operation (the city of Omaha in Nebraska). The same with the other American beach, Utah beach,  state of birth of another American officer.

Located a few meters away, the American cemetery of Colleville-sur Mer overlooks the beach. 

American cemetery D Day Omaha beach, france tourist attractions

Normandy American Cemetery

American cemetery

On the 8th of June in 1944, the U.S First Army established a temporary cemetery in Normandy. After the war, the present-day cemetery was established just a short distance to the east of the original site building a memorial and a chapel to go along with it.

The cemetery is located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach. Among the 9 386 graves are the ones of 3 recipients of the Medal of Honor and 2 sons of President Theodore Roosevelt (one being one of the 3 recipients of the Medal of Honor, the other killed during WWI and reburied next to his brother after WWII).

This is a place of reflection to honor the memory of the dead, many Americans go to meditate on the grave of one of their ancestors.

Utah beach

Utah beach

Utah beach is the most western of the five landing beaches during WWII. It was used for amphibious landings undertaken by the United States Army troops. The code name comes from the name of the US state from where one of the officer participating in the landing was from.

normandy tourist attractions, 5 beaches of Normandy

D-Day sites: 5 beaches of Normandy

On June 6, 1944, allied soldiers from America, Great Britain and Canada landed on 5 beaches of Normandy for D-Day (also known as operation Overlord) to help the French from the Nazis. This operation was the turning point of the conflict as it marked the beginning of the end of WWII. In 2014, Normandy celebrated the 70th anniversary of the D-Day.

Each expeditionary force was assigned to a specific sector. Here is a list of 5 beaches of Normandy among the most famous from West to East:

Utah Beach (American sector) 

5 beaches of Normandy

Credits: Wikipedia

This is the first beach where the operation began. There is a museum, the Utah Beach Museum, which pays tribute to the soldiers and describe the D-Day through a rich collection of photos, objects, vehicles, and stories from the preparation of the landing to its success.

You can also visit Saint-Mère Eglise which is a village near Utah Beach. It was the first village to be liberated by the American paratroopers. Every year, Sainte-Mère Eglise pays tribute to its liberators among whom John Steele, the famous paratrooper who remained hanging on the bell tower of the church.

Omaha Beach (American sector) 

This is where the most brutal fighting took place, hence the nickname ‘Bloody Omaha’. The casualties were reported high: approximately 30% of the total loss of the D-Day. Around the beach itself, there are 3 things that you must visit: the Beach Memorial Museum , the cemetery and ‘la Pointe du Hoc’.

The Omaha Beach Memorial Museum was founded in memory of the soldiers. You will find the materials and the objects they used during their operation on the beach and some recreated scenes sometimes with testimonies.

American Cemetery, 5 beaches of Normandy

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is the first American cemetery in France. It gathers 9387 white gravestones which are perfectly lined up. Every day, at 4:15 pm (from 16/09 to 14/04) or 5:15 pm (from 15/09 to 15/04), the visitor has the opportunity to attend the ceremony of colors, where the American flag is taken down and folded while a band plays the American anthem.

Located between Utah Beach and Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc is one of the most evocative of the D-Day sites. Because of the steep cliffs, the landing was made particularly difficult but US Army Rangers scaled it all the same to disable a German gun battery. It is now bomb-cratered and you can see the remains of old bunkers.

Gold Beach (British sector) 

5 beaches of NormandyGold Beach is most famous for being the landing site of the British Army. But the most interesting sight of the area is the artificial harbor in Arromanches, where the Allies sank dozen of floating blocks to construct an artificial harbor, which allow them to disembark the military materials in the following months (more than 500 000 vehicles, 7 000 000 tonnes of materials and 2 500 000 men). This is well explained in the museum dedicated to it.

Juno Beach (Canadian sector) 

dday tours, 5 beaches of Normandy

This is where 14 000 young Canadians disembarked, all of them volunteers. Half of them perished on the beach. Nowadays you are still welcome by young Canadians when you visit the touching Canadian cemetery and the Juno Beach Center, dedicated to the engagement of the Canadians in the war.

 


Sword Beach (British sector)
 

Sword Beach was the site of the landing of5 beaches of Normandy the British division whose aim was to go free the city of Caen, 10 000 miles south of the beach. There were not a lot of casualties during the landing itself, but the British met the Panzer Divisions which counterattacked just south of Sword Beach and the battle was fierce. It was this beach, more exactly Ouistreham, which was chosen to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Landing, in 2014.

For the anecdote, here is the origin of the name of the 5 beaches of Normandy:

  • Utah and Omaha were called like that after the name of the place from where the commanders of the landing divisions were originated.
  • Gold, Sword and Juno are fishes name (Goldfish, Swordfish and Jellyfish). To avoid the confusion between the fish and the marmelade, Jelly was changed into Juno after the name of one the officers’ wife.

5 beaches of Normandy

How to visit these 5 beaches of Normandy?

When visiting the 5 beaches of Normandy, you cannot prevent from feeling very emotional. We highly recommend this place for those who love history or for those who want to discover more about the Normandy landings, or for the families who want to pass on the flame of memories to the youngest generations.

Of course it will be hard for you to visit all of these places in one day and you should consider staying at least 2 days if you want to see everything. If you only have one day though, you will want to focus either on the American sector or on the British & the Canadian sectors.

If you do not go by yourself with your own car we advise you to take a private excursion from the city of Caen or Bayeux, or a day tour from Paris. You can also combine this trip with a one day tour to Mont Saint Michel. 

 

3 more articles you may be interested in.

5 DDay Tours in Normandy

Mont St. Michel

Visiting the Beaches of Normandy

 

dday tours

5 DDay Tours in Normandy

D-Day is one of the most important days in world history. It was the day the Allied Forces landed in Normandy, France to begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi control during World War II. To walk on the same beaches as the Allied Forces and to learn more about “The Longest Day,” check out this selection of guided DDay tours in Normandy.

1. Normandy Battlefields Tour – American Sites – 100€

Credits: Wikipedia

Credits: Wikipedia

Interested in America’s participation on D-Day? This small group tour is perfect for you. You will visit Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery, and everything in between! Tour groups are limited to 8 people so your professional tour guide will be able to provide you with personalized attention. The American Sites tour lasts 9 hours. The cost is 100€ per person (for groups of 4), which includes hotel pick-up/drop-off, transportation to sites via minivan, and your tour guide.

Book the American Sites Tour

2. Normandy Battlefields Tour – Canadian World War Two Sites – 70€

dday tours

Credits: Wikipedia

The Canadian WWII Sites tour is best for those who would like to learn more about Canada’s lesser-known involvement on D-Day. On this tour, you will visit Juno Beach, the Juno Beach Centre (the only museum dedicated to Canada’s WWII involvement), and the Bény-Sur-Mer Cemetary. You will also learn about the tragedy at Ardenne Abbey. This tour lasts 9 hours and costs 70€ per person for groups of 4. You and your group will travel via air-conditioned minivan to all of Canada’s D-Day sites.

Book the Canadian Sites Tour

3. Normandy Battlefields Tour – Sword Beach and the British Airborne Sector – 70€

This half-day tour covering the British D-Day sites will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of Great Britain’s involvement in D-Day. You will visit the Normandy Battlefields, Merville Gun Battery and Museum, Sword Beach, and the Commonwealth Military Cemetery. This tour lasts 5 hours and costs 70€ per person for groups of 4. The tour groups are small, with a maximum of 8 people per tour, so your experience will be intimate and informative.

Book the British Sites Tour

4. D-Day Landing Beaches and Caen Memorial Museum Tour – 119€

dday tours

Credits: flickr user Geert Orye

Are you interested in D-Day but want a tour that covers more general information? The D-Day Landing Beaches and Caen Memorial Museum Tour might be perfect for you. This tour offers groups the option of touring both the D-Day beaches and the museum in one one-day trip. Plus, tour groups will receive a guided tour of the Caen Memorial Museum. It costs 119€ per person for groups of 4 and includes a two-course lunch at La Terrasse, a restaurant with water-front views. The tour begins with the Caen Memorial Museum and ends with a five-hour guided tour of the Normandy beaches.

Book the DDay Beaches and Museum Tour

5. Normandy Day Trip From Paris – 180€ – 255€

If you are staying in The City of Light but looking to learn even more about France’s history, this D-Day tour is perfect for you! You will visit the Normandy Landing beaches, the Omaha Beach Museum, and the artificial harbors with an expert guide. Then, you will have lunch at the Caen Memorial. The tour company will provide round trip transportation and hotel pick-up/drop-off (if your Paris hotel is centrally located). The cost of an 8-person Small Group Tour is 255€ per person, including hotel pick-up/drop-off and lunch. The cost of a Standard Tour in a 50-person motorcoach is 180€ per person and 210€ per person for hotel pick-up/drop-off.

Book a Day-Trip from Paris

Helpful Hints

  • Reminder: on Sunday, prices go up! From tours to taxis, prices rise on Sunday so be sure to remember this when planning your trip to Normandy and looking for DDay tours.
  • Want to visit Normandy on your own? Your best option might be to take your D-Day tour into your own hands by renting a car, buying a Normandy Pass, finding a good map, and talking to our travel experts at ParisByM. The Normandy Pass is available at tourism centres and offers visitors some advantages such as reduced rates at certain museums and small gifts. Maps could be available online so you can begin to organize your trip immediately. Rent a car from Paris through our partner Europcar and start your journey!

Getting to Normandy

Most of the DDay tours mentioned, aside from the day trip from Paris, leave from Bayeux, France, a city 20 minutes south of the Normandy Landing Beaches. So, if you plan on staying in Normandy for a few days, look for accommodations in Bayeux.

If you are not staying in the Normandy area during the time of your DDay tour, there is a train station located in Bayeux. To get there from Paris, you will take the train toward “Cherbourg” from the Saint-Lazare station (around 35€ each way). The trip will take about two and a half hours. The Bayeux Train Station is about 20 minutes from the city centre, so you can choose to walk the distance or take a taxi (around 5€).

SNCF Information

It is also possible to fly into the Caen Airport, then rent a car and drive to the city of Bayeux from there.

 

 

Visiting France? Check out these articles for more information

Visiting the Beaches of Normandy

Why should you use a local travel agent in Paris?

Practical information for your trip to Paris & France

normandy tourist attractions, 5 beaches of Normandy

What are the main tourist attractions in Normandy?

The name Normandy comes from the digestion of the words “North man” (in Scandinavian languages). In fact, the region gets its name from the Vikings (north men) who settled there over a millennium ago. Since, Normandy has seen its fair share of action. What are some of its tourist attractions?

 

The Beaches

Normandy’s beaches are the historic site of the allies’ Operation Overlord. D-Day has become one of the most famous scenes of modern history, and justly: it marks an incredible victory in a conflict against a decided evil. The term Omaha beach sounds familiar, but in fact, there are also Utah, Sword, Gold, and Juno beaches. You can walk around the sites, where the craters still mark the ground between the bunkers. The American military cemetery is also worth the visit.

normandy tourist attractions

Omaha Beach (Wikipedia Commons)

 

The World War II Museums

Given this history, the Normandy region is packed with museums devoted to the conflict, focusing especially on the French or Western European front. Among the most famous are the Museum of the Battle of Normandy, the Musée du Débarquement, the Memorial of Caen, and the brand new Overlord Museum. Admittedly these are tourist attractions, and so the museums are bound to feature English-language labels in each exhibit.

normandy tourist attractions

 

The Bayeux Tapestry

Often considered the first graphic novel, woven in the 1070’s.  The tapestry of Bayeux is an embroidered cloth almost 70 meters long, which tells the story of the Norman conquest of England. It features William, Duke of Normandy, and Harold, Earl of Wessex and later King of England, and culminates in the Battle of Hastings. Its unique medieval aesthetic makes it artistically, as well as historically, indispensable.

normandy tourist attractions

Bayeux Tapestry (Wikimedia Commons)

 

Local Beverages

Looking for a different way to spend your day? Cider and juices are a regional specialty, as well as the local hard liquor, Calvados, and their bottling sites are favorited tourist attractions. A visit to the brewery is great fun, even before the tasting. Enjoying some cool drinks is a great way to take a break from the weighty history of Normandy and still enjoy its uniqueness.

normandy tourist attractions

Calvados and Cider

 

Normandy, Caen, Castle, France, Daytrip, Student Tours to France

Normandy day trip from Paris – what to experience?

Between Paris, and the English Channel you will find the region of Normandy. You can choose to visit some of the area’s highlights on a day trip from Paris – but what to experience? We want to complete a little guide for you, for inspiration to your Normandy day trip tour from Paris!

One of Normandy’s premier sights (as in, you cannot miss, it is truly breaktaking!) is the tidal island of Mont Saint-Michel. Mont Saint-Michel is connected to the coastline, via a causeway.

You also have to experience the charming town of Honfleur, with its unique wooden church and jumble of houses surrounding a peaceful harbor, was passed back and forth between the English and the French in the Middle Ages. This you have to explore, when taking your Normandy trip from Paris!

Normandy

The gorgeous seaside town of Honfleur in Normandy, France

 

Normandy’s beaches also are remembered in history, also called the D-Day beaches, where the tides of the Channel brought Allied troops to the European mainland on D-Day, and the tide of history turned against tyranny. Note that, with ParisByM, you are able to enjoy a full day excursion from Paris to the D-Day Beaches in Normandy in the company of an official guide, who will bring these historic sites to life.

On June 6, 1944, known as D-Day, the Allies opened a new European front against the troops of the Third Reich during the Second World War. It was the largest military operation in history, which marked the beginning of the Battle of Normandy and would lead to the end of the Second World War. More than 150,000 soldiers from America, Britain, Canada and many other nations landed by sea and air on a number of beaches along the Normandy coastline (Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Juno Beach, etc.) and at the steep cliffs at Pointe du Hoc. Do not miss on your Normandy trip from Paris.

Normandy, Caen, Castle, France, Daytrip

Normandy Caen Castle is amazingly beautiful.

However, Normandy has much more to offer than just the coastline itself. The regional capital Rouen is a lively center with rich historical and artistic associations. Joan of Arc met her fiery fate here, while the intricate, asymmetrical façade of the gothic Notre Dame cathedral was a favorite subject of Claude Monet. The Impressionist painter also made much of a scene closer to home, his exquisite garden at Giverny.

Monet, Garden, France, Normandy, Giverny

Monet’s Garden – Giverny, France

Here you can still see the graceful willows and serene water-lilies which filled his enormous late canvasses, among the world’s best-loved works of art.

Normandy, Cliffs, Daytour, France

Cliffs of Etretat, Normandy, France; photo by Jarrod Castaing

If this awakened your wanderlust, and wish to take a day trip to Normandy from Paris, do not hesitate to contact ParisByM! We will strive to share our best tips for your budget, needs and wants, and hereby also share our extended knowledge about the highlights of Normandy, that you always dreamed of exploring… You can directly book a last-minute on ParisByM (hence, very beneficial) package, to a one day tour, with the best air-conditioned guide, with direct departure from Paris.