Get away from it all on this luxurious 5-day trip to Normandy and Brittany. Fly in to Paris, then head to Bayeux on the coast. Check out the tapestry, tour Mont-Saint-Michel, and explore World War II history. At night, relax over fresh seafood dinners paired with chilled white wine at your neighborhood brasserie.

Highlights

  • Explore the fishing villages and beaches of the Atlantic Coast
  • Visit Mont-Saint-Michel, the abbey on an island
  • Immerse yourself in history on the D-Day beaches
  • Tour the 14th-century Dinan Castle
  • Breathe in the fresh Atlantic Ocean air

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Binevenue à Paris! Transfer to Bayeux & City Tour Bayeux
Day 2 Tour of D-Day Sites Bayeux
Day 3 Day Trip to Mont-Saint-Michel & Private Transfer to Saint-Malo Saint-Malo
Day 4 Dinan & Dinard Saint-Malo
Day 5 Au Revoir, France  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Binevenue à Paris! Transfer to Bayeux & City Tour

Water mill in the Old Town
Water mill in the Old Town

Welcome to the City of Lights! Arrive at the airport, then meet chauffeur who will drive from Paris towards the city of Bayeux, a 3-hour (160 miles/ 260 km) drive. 

After checking in to your hotel, meet your guide for a walking tour of the city. One of today's highlights includes a visit to the famous Tapestry Museum, which houses some of the world's finest works. 

As the first town to be liberated after D-Day and one of the only places to have emerged from WWII nearly unscathed, Bayeux retains much of its old architecture. 

Spend the day exploring the city’s narrow streets, which are lined with traditional wooden-framed Norman houses, and admire the gothic cathedral. In the afternoon, visit the Museum of Art and History Baron Gerard to learn about the lace and porcelain that made Bayeux so rich.

Day 2: Tour of D-Day Sites

Celebration of 75 year anniversary of D-Day in Sainte Mere
Celebration of 75 year anniversary of D-Day in Sainte Mere

Today is a full day to discover the powerful legacy of D-Day on Normandy's landscape, as well as its effect on the world. Your local specialist, an expert on the Battle of Normandy and the five landing areas (Utah, Omaha, Gold, Sword, and Juno), will walk you through an emotional day. You'll navigate famous scenes of war, memorialized by the films "The Longest Day" from Darryl Zanuck or "Saving Private Ryan" from Steven Spielberg. 

Pay tribute to the armed forces who fought to end the war on this day as you visit Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery, and D-Day Experience (an interactive 3D movie theater which chronicles the day's events.) At the end of the 8-hour tour, return to Bayeux. 

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Day 3: Day Trip to Mont-Saint-Michel & Private Transfer to Saint-Malo

Mont-Saint-Michel on a cloudy day
Mont-Saint-Michel on a cloudy day

Spend the day exploring Mont-Saint-Michel.  The iconic abbey sits on an island in the middle of a huge bay, where Europe's biggest tides create a natural moat. Mont-Saint-Michel gets its start in 708 CE, when the Archangel St. Michel ordered Aubert, the bishop of Avranches, to build a sanctuary on this location.

In the 10th century, the monastery was replaced by a Benedictine abbey that welcomed pilgrims who came to worship the archangel. Construction on the building continued until the French Revolution in 1791 when the abbey became a prison. It wasn't until 1864 that Mont-Saint-Michel was added to the French List of Historic Monuments and restored for visitors. 

Head across the causeway to the town on foot, or catch a ride with a horse-drawn wagon for a scenic approach. If the tide is out, walk across the sand with a trained guide to the base of the fortifications like the pilgrims used to (the quicksands make it dangerous to cross alone.) Your guide will walk you through the main building, pointing out the history of various rooms and halls. Mont-Saint-Michel is remarkably well-preserved, with huge fireplaces still showing signs of soot from centuries of use. 

After exploring the church and the surrounding gardens, head downhill to the town where you'll find souvenir shops, cafes, and art galleries. You can expect lots of walking today on steep staircases and wet sand, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket for the brisk ocean breeze. 

After your tour, your private chauffeur will transfer you two hours down the coast, to the fortified town of Saint-Malo. For dinner, stay inside the city walls and pick from one of many restaurant options. It's an otherworldly experience to walk through the walled fortifications and narrow cobblestone streets at night, especially if a mist rolls in from the ocean.

Stroll through the town to work up an appetite, then sit down for a meal. If seafood is your thing, you're in luck—there's no shortage of incredible seafood restaurants, from casual neighborhood brasseries to higher-end dining. Follow your nose to open-air cafes (the ones with the striped red and white canopies) for an unforgettable French dinner.

Day 4: Dinan & Dinard

Traditional mussels with cider
Traditional mussels with cider

Start your day by enjoying a relaxing breakfast with a view of the ocean. One of the best ways to discover a region is by exploring its gastronomy, and Brittany's history is woven closely with one particular dish—the crêpe. It's a standard local dish, and hearty enough to fill you up for an entire day. 

After breakfast, meet with your private guide (a Brittany local), and head out to explore two nearby towns: Dinan and Dinard. Your first stop is Dinan, a medieval town with preserved city ramparts and a large tower built for Duke Jean IV. Together with your private guide, you'll explore the city's architecture and history—including the 14th-century keep in Dinan Castle, the Église Saint-Malo de Dinan's stained glass windows, and the views from the Clock Tower—before exploring artisan workshops and old streets. 

From here, continue back north towards the coast. Your destination is Dinard, a town that sits opposite Saint-Malo. It's known for its luxurious beaches and outstanding views of the lush Emerald Coast. Formerly a humble 19th-century fishing port, the city experienced a resurgence thanks to its popularity with artists and French bourgeoise. 

In the afternoon, your guide will recommend the best local brasserie for fresh oysters and a glass of white wine. Spend a couple of hours savoring your meal—after all, what's more French than taking your time over lunch?—before spending the rest of the day browsing boutiques and shops in Dinard. Return to Saint-Malo in the evening. 

Day 5: Au Revoir, France

French Riviera by night
French Riviera by night

After breakfast, take a private car or train transfer to the airport to catch your flight home. A bientôt!


Map

Map of Luxury Getaway to Western France: Normandy & Brittany - 5 Days
Map of Luxury Getaway to Western France: Normandy & Brittany - 5 Days