The focus of this Honfleur shore trip
is the events which took place in June
1944 at the D-Day Landing Beaches. Included are visits to the Arromanches 360 experience, the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach and Pointe
Please note: It is possible to substitute Juno Beach where the Canadians landed if you prefer.
After meeting your driver at the Honfleur pier you depart for Arromanches, where your local Normandy expert joins you. Located near the town of Bayeux is the entire 75 mile stretch of beaches where the allies landed on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The beaches were given code names by the allies in preparation for the attack. From west to east are Utah and Omaha (where the Americans landed), Juno (where the Canadians landed), Gold and Sword (where the British landed). During the drive you will pass these beaches which can be viewed from the bluffs above.
Your first stop is Arromanches. The town of Arromanches was chosen by Winston Churchill as the location of a harbor to be built for the invasion. To build it, 300 foot long cement blocks were floated across the English Channel and sunk in place. Named Port Winston, this harbor and breakwater was over 7 miles long, and allowed the arrival of over 50,000 vehicles and 500,000 troops in just 6 days time. Today you can see the remains of the harbor from the beach, or get a better view from the bluffs above.
While you are here you visit the Arromanches 360 which is located on the Arromanches clifftops dominating the remnants of one of the two artificial Mulberry harbors set up by the Allies. The reception area has been fully redesigned: maps, a chronology and the outcome of the Battle of Normandy are now presented here. Several British military artifacts from the Caen Mémorial collection are also on display. But the highlight is a short film presented on multiple screens to immerse the visitor to feel as though they were there on D-Day.
Next you drive to Port en Bessin where you have free time to enjoy lunch in a restaurant. You are in Normandy so consider mussels or anything made with local cheese or apples.
After lunch you drive to Colleville sur Mer and stop at the American Cemetery which is located just above Omaha Beach. This large park like cemetery was donated to the Americans by the French, and contains over 9000 white marble crosses and Star of David grave markers with the name and home state of each soldier who died on the beaches below while fighting the Germans. A centerpiece of the cemetery is a memorial to those who lost there lives, and to the 1577 missing or unidentified soldiers. Look for this quote from a posted sign near the entrance:
"Visitor, Look how many of them there were. Look how young they were.
They died for your freedom. Hold back your tears and keep silent."
Your final stop is at Pointe du Hoc which sits about 200 feet above the sea on high cliffs. The Germans posted long range guns on this naturally protected site to knock out approaching ships. The Allies knew they must overtake and secure the area so that the other landings could be successful. Well before dawn on June 6th 1944 about 200 U.S. rangers scaled the cliffs as German forces fired down upon them. After great losses suffered reaching the top and securing the area, it was discovered that the large guns once here had been moved to the north near Calais. Today it is a great place to end a tour of D-Day sights since it has been left in its condition from that day. You can walk amid bomb craters pocking the white cliffs, go through semi-ruined German bunkers and twisted barbwire fences. Most of us cannot fully imagine the events of that day, but this sight can give you a glimpse into the massive destruction of the war.
At the end of the day you return to the pier in Honfleur.Mobility
: NO wheelchairs
If you cannot find what you are looking for, our Honfleur shore excursions
can also be customized to fit your needs. If you have a larger group, we can offer you a private Honfleur tour
using a mid-size bus or full size coach. Please contact us
with any questions or to receive a customized quote.