La mer — the sea. It’s as essential to France as its vineyards and mountains. France’s history is bound to its northern coasts; Norman knights departed for Britain during medieval times, and much later, Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy with the goal of liberating France and Europe from Nazi tyranny. Walk these shores and you walk through history – through castles and pirate ports, in the shadows of abandoned World War II fortifications, Normandy landmarks that reflect France’s resilience in the face of strife.
But your trip to Normandy and Brittany won’t just be time for solemn reflection. This stretch of coastline offers much more than a journey into the past. There’s beauty and delight to be found in abundance here – after all, this is France! Feasting on local oysters pulled fresh from the water, dining on warm crepes in a walled seaport, sipping on local apple brandy in a sun-dappled orchard are all pleasures that await you.
French coastal life is as idyllic as you might think, and your Normandy and Brittany itinerary will be full of experiences that will open your eyes to this often overlooked part of the country. It’s here that the French art, food and culture we all know and love all take on a decidedly nautical flavor. You’ll explore seaside towns where sturdy wooden fishing boats bob alongside sleek modern yachts and spend your evenings in modern spa hotels and classic chateaus. Even on a short outing to the Norman countryside, you’re never far from the ocean. And no trip to the region is complete without a visit to one of the world’s most spectacular structures — Mont-St.-Michel, the massive cathedral that rises right out of the sea. Walking to the ancient monastery across the beach at low tide is an experience that you’ll never forget.
A Classic Journeys Normandy and Brittany tour truly merges the passions that have inspired generations of people to visit France — the opportunity to explore that country’s rich history, and the chance to indulge in some of France’s best food and hospitality.