Sun., May 28th – Mont St Michel & Environs
Hotel in Honfleur: Ibis Styles Centre Historique
- Drive to Mont St Michel, an island/abbey on the English Chanel on the edge of Normandy and tour its monument abbey, one of the most important places of medieval pilgrimage, built by Benedictine monks in the 10th century. A symbol of French national identity because of its heroic resistance to English attacks during the Hundred Years’ War, it has been listed as a historic monument since 1874.
- On the drive through the beautiful countryside, we will stop for a tasting at a local cookie factory and end the day in the famous fishing port of Honfleur.
- Lunch: We will enjoy lunch on our own in Mont St Michel.
- Dinner: We will enjoy dinner on our own at one of the many restaurants near the hotel.
Mon., May 29th – A Day in Normandy
- Drive along the landing beaches of Normandy, where the Allies, (Britain, the U.S, Canada and Free France), coordinated the large-scale invasion of German-occupied France in the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944 under the code name Operation Overlord.
- Photo stop at Omaha beach, the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion. Taking the ten mile-long stretch was necessary to link the British landings to the east at Gold with the American landing to the west at Utah and was the responsibility of United States Army troops, with sea transport, mine sweeping, and a naval bombardment force provided predominantly by the United States Navy and Coast Guard.
- Visit the American WWII Cemetery and Memorial, built on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944 as the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery contains the graves of 9,387 U.S military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations.
- We will also visit the Arromanches (Port Museum), a very moving place where you get a strong sense of the huge effort involved in the Allied invasion to liberate France and the rest of Western Europe. Troops deliberately did not land at Arromanches on D-Day itself, to leave the coast here clear for a portable harbour (nicknamed Mulberry Harbour) being tugged over from southern England to be put in place. The Arromanches Mulberry Harbour became known as Port Winston, after British wartime leader Winston Churchill. A staggering 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles and 4 million tons of supplies arrived via Port Winston during the Normandy Campaign.
- Return to the village of Honfleur for a walking tour and tastings of local culinary favorites, Calvados (locally-made apple brandy), cider, caramels, and butter cookies.
- Additionally, learn about their famous sea salt, taste local cheese and see a demonstration of an Opinel, a wooden-handled knife that has become emblematic of French culture – Pablo Picasso reportedly used one of the company's knives as a sculpting tool. Originally sold as a “working man’s knife", it has been locally made by the Opinel family since 1890.
- Lunch: We will enjoy lunch on our own in Honfleur
- Dinner: We will enjoy dinner on our own in Honfleur.
Tues., May 30th – Monet’s Giverny
- Enjoy morning shopping in Honfleur then depart for Giverny, the home and gardens of Claude Monet, the painter who founded the Impressionist school. Living in Giverny for 43 years, his house and garden, the village of Giverny and its surroundings, became his subject matter.