Belgium & Normandy Adventure
4 nights in Bayeux, 4 nights in Brussels
This meticulously crafted 9-day tour offers an immersive experience into the rich tapestry of European history, culture, and gastronomy. From the solemn shores of Normandy, where pivotal moments of World War II unfolded, to Belgium’s architectural splendors and culinary delights, this adventure promises a blend of education, reflection, and indulgence.
Your journey begins in the picturesque region of Normandy, France. Here, you’ll delve into the profound historical significance of the D-Day beaches, where the echoes of the past provide a moving backdrop to the serene beauty of the French countryside. The iconic Mont-Saint-Michel awaits with its awe-inspiring abbey, a testament to medieval architecture and perseverance. As you wander through the cobbled streets of Bayeux and the lush landscapes of the Cider and Camembert Route, you’ll be enveloped in Normandy’s rich flavors and rustic charm.
The adventure then takes you to the heart of Europe – Belgium. In Brussels, the capital city, you’ll explore grand squares, royal palaces, and quaint medieval streets. The journey continues through the enchanting towns of Bruges and Ghent, each boasting a unique blend of historical grandeur and contemporary culture. Finally, you’ll discover a world of sparkling diamonds, baroque art, and fashion in Antwerp.
This tour is more than a vacation; it’s a journey through time and culture. It’s an invitation to explore, learn, and create memories that will linger long after you’ve returned home. Join us on this Belgium and Normandy adventure, where every day is a new chapter in a rich European story.
Day 1: Arrival in Normandy
Welcome to France! Your journey begins with a private transfer from Paris Airport to the train station, where you’ll board a train to Caen. Upon arrival in Caen, a transfer will take you to the charming town of Bayeux, where you’ll check into your hotel. Bayeux, steeped in history, offers a serene start to your adventure. Spend your evening exploring its quaint streets, perhaps visiting the Bayeux Cathedral, and enjoying a relaxing dinner at a local bistro. Overnight in Bayeux sets the tone for a trip filled with historical exploration and cultural immersion.
Day 2: D-Day Beaches Exploration
Embark on a poignant journey through history with a day trip to Utah and Omaha, the D-Day Beaches. Your expert guide will lead you through key WWII sites, starting with the Sainte-Mère-l’Église Museum, honoring American airborne units. At Utah Beach, visit the museum showcasing the B26 aircraft and learn about the first American troops’ landing. Pointe du Hoc, a significant battle site, reveals bomb craters and remnants of the conflict. Omaha Beach tells a more somber story of the failed bombardments and heavy US casualties. The day concludes at the American Cemetery in Colleville, a solemn tribute to the 9,386 soldiers resting there. This tour offers a deep dive into the pivotal moments of WWII, providing context and understanding of the monumental events that unfolded along these shores. Overnight in Bayeux.
Day 3: Mont St Michel Discovery
Today’s adventure takes you to the enchanting Mont-Saint-Michel, a medieval architectural marvel perched on a rocky islet. Your guided tour of the Abbey delves into its history, from its 8th-century origins to its completion centuries later. The guide will highlight the Abbey’s stunning architectural features and the legend of Archangel Michael. After exploring the Abbey, enjoy some free time in the bustling town, perhaps grabbing lunch and wandering its narrow streets. The causeway connecting Mont-Saint-Michel to the mainland offers spectacular views, perfect for photography enthusiasts. This day promises a blend of history, architecture, and breathtaking scenery. Overnight in Bayeux.
Day 4: Cider and Camembert Route
Experience the essence of Normandy on the Cider and Camembert Route. Starting from La Chenevière, your tour showcases the picturesque Pays d’Auge region. Visit Beuvron-en-Auge, a village celebrated for its beauty, and stroll its cobbled streets lined with half-timbered houses. The journey includes stops at renowned cider farms, where you’ll learn about cider-making and enjoy tastings. A visit to a local Camembert producer offers insight into the cheese-making process and a chance to savor this famous delicacy. The tour also takes you through charming villages like Cambremer, Bonnebosq, and Beaufour-Druval, each offering unique character and history. This day is a delightful exploration of Norman culture, landscape, and gastronomy. Overnight in Bayeux.
Day 5: Journey to Brussels via Honfleur and Deauville
Your day begins with a scenic drive to Honfleur, a picturesque port town known for its old harbor and maritime history. Explore the Vieux Bassin, admire the slate-covered houses, and visit the Sainte-Catherine church. Next, head to Deauville, the glamorous seaside resort famed for its beach, boardwalk, and luxury amenities. After soaking in the contrasting charms of Honfleur and Deauville, continue to Paris and board a train to Brussels. This journey offers a blend of quaint maritime charm and elegant seaside luxury, providing a diverse experience as you transition from rural France to the urban vibrancy of Brussels. Overnight in Brussels.
Day 6: Brussels City Exploration
Discover the heart of Belgium in Brussels, starting with a 3-hour guided tour. Wander through the historic city center, marveling at the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning architecture. Explore medieval streets, estaminets (traditional cafes), chocolate shops, and waffle stalls. Greet the famous Manneken-Pis statue and admire the Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries. Visit the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, and explore the royal area, including the Royal Park and Palace. The tour also includes the Musical Instruments Museum, the Magritte Museum, and the Palace of Fine Arts. Conclude in the Sablon area, known for its antiques and chocolate shops. This day offers a comprehensive introduction to Brussels’ rich history, culture, and culinary delights. Overnight in Brussels.
Day 7: Bruges and Ghent Day Trip
Embark on a train journey to Bruges, the ‘Venice of the North.’ Meet your guide for a tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its medieval city center, bell tower, and picturesque canals. Explore the Beguinage, Quai of the Rosaries, Castle Square, and the ancient Market Place. Enjoy free time for lunch and independent exploration. In the afternoon, head to Ghent for a walking tour of its historical center. Visit landmarks like the three towers, Saint-Michael’s Bridge, and Saint Baafs Cathedral. Discover Ghent’s medieval heart, including the old port, guild houses, and Gravensteen. Conclude your day with leisure time in Ghent, perhaps relaxing by the Graslei canal or exploring the cobblestone streets of Patershol. Overnight in Brussels.
Day 8: Antwerp Adventure
Travel by train to Antwerp, starting with a walking tour of its historical center. Discover Antwerp’s status as a diamond hub, its impressive architecture, and its baroque influence. Visit landmarks like “Het Steen” fortress, Grote Markt, and the Cathedral of Our Lady. Explore Pie Alley and Green Square, and conclude with a visit to the “Boerentoren” and nearby shopping streets. Antwerp combines a rich history with a vibrant contemporary culture, offering a unique blend of old and new. Enjoy free time to explore the city’s culinary and shopping delights. In the afternoon, return to Brussels by train. Overnight in Brussels.
Day 9: Departure from Brussels
Conclude your Belgium and Normandy adventure with a transfer to Brussels Airport. Reflect on the rich history, stunning architecture, and diverse cultures experienced throughout your journey.