Settle into the Old Harbor of Honfleur, a favorite haunt of the impressionists, and spend a week immersed in the art, cuisine, history, and traditions of Normandy. Retrace the events of D-Day on Omaha Beach, admire the remarkable Bayeux Tapestry, and explore the fortified abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel.

Starting at: $5,090 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The charming old port of Normandy's Honfleur
 The historic Mont St. Michel off the coast of Normandy
 Arromanches
 Memorial sculpture, Omaha Beach
 Sherman tank along the Normandy coastline
 German gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc. Credit: Atout France/R-Cast
 Section of the famous Bayeux Tapestry

Normandy: A One-Week Stay in France

During the 80th Anniversary Year of D-Day

9 days from $5,090

Settle into the Old Harbor of Honfleur, a favorite haunt of the impressionists, and spend a week immersed in the art, cuisine, history, and traditions of Normandy. Retrace the events of D-Day on Omaha Beach, admire the remarkable Bayeux Tapestry, and explore the fortified abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

​ Much has been written and filmed about the Normandy invasion and D-Day. It is impossible to appreciate the complexity and scope of this critical military endeavor without seeing firsthand the immensity of the invasion beaches and understanding the complexity of engineering, logistics, creativity and disinformation that allowed it to be successful. One does not leave the American Cemetery without being humbled by the sacrifice of so many. 

- Morton C.

The unique itinerary of the Normandy trip allowed us to stay in one place while taking day excursions to sites we would never have ventured to on our own. Our Smithsonian Journeys Expert was able to answer every question about the history of each small village we drove through on our way to a destination, including its role in WWII. He truly brought history to life for us. What a pleasure!

- Barbara G.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person when you book by April 5, 2024!

No single supplement for solo travelers! (Limited availability. Book early to ensure your place.)

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" drop down. 

Overview

Make yourself at home in the Old Harbor of Honfleur, once a favorite haunt of artists Gustav Courbet and Eugène Boudin, and spend a week immersed in the rich history and culture of Normandy. Retrace the events of World War II from Le Havre and Caen to the D-Day landing sites, and spend a day exploring the World Heritage site of Mont-Saint-Michel. Examine the embroidered illustrations of the Bayeux Tapestry and see the cliffs of Étretat, immortalized by Claude Monet. Sample regional delicacies from Calvados to cheese. In 2024, join us to commemorate the 80th anniversary year of D-Day at poignant sites from Omaha Beach to the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.

Highlights Include

  • Impressionism: During a walking tour of Honfleur, see why artists like Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet and native son Eugène Boudin were in awe of this charming seaside town. 
  • Battle of Normandy: Spend two inspiring days along the beaches where World War II’s Operation Overlord took place. Visit compelling historic sites including Omaha Beach, Arromanches, Pointe du Hoc, and the American Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. You’ll also tour the Peace Memorial in Caen, and at Bayeux, you'll see the remarkable medieval tapestry depicting the Norman conquest of 1066.
  • Mont St. Michel: Discover this breathtaking tidal island with its iconic abbey and historic church, one of the most memorable sites in France and a World Heritage site.
  • Cultural Traditions: Savor traditional culinary products such as Calvados, a local apple brandy, and visit a nearby estate farm to sample Norman cheeses. At the Château du Bec, attend a presentation on local cooking traditions by Chef Régine, a local chef, who will proceed with the preparation of your lunch. 

​ Much has been written and filmed about the Normandy invasion and D-Day. It is impossible to appreciate the complexity and scope of this critical military endeavor without seeing firsthand the immensity of the invasion beaches and understanding the complexity of engineering, logistics, creativity and disinformation that allowed it to be successful. One does not leave the American Cemetery without being humbled by the sacrifice of so many. 

- Morton C.

The unique itinerary of the Normandy trip allowed us to stay in one place while taking day excursions to sites we would never have ventured to on our own. Our Smithsonian Journeys Expert was able to answer every question about the history of each small village we drove through on our way to a destination, including its role in WWII. He truly brought history to life for us. What a pleasure!

- Barbara G.

2024 Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. for Paris / Honfleur

Depart the U.S. on your transatlantic flight to Paris, France.

Arrive at Charles de Gaulle International Airport. After clearing brief immigration and customs formalities, you’ll be met by your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director and assisted with transfer to the Hotel Mercure in the Norman seaside town of  Honfleur. The approximate transfer time is three hours including a rest stop enroute. Upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll receive a Welcome Package with information about Honfleur and the province of Normandy. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available this afternoon and throughout the program for suggestions regarding restaurants and independent activities.

This evening, meet fellow travelers for a welcome reception and introductions with your Smithsonian Journeys Expert then depart for a welcome dinner at a popular bistro nearby. (R,D)

Day 3 — Honfleur

A full breakfast will be served each day during your stay at the hotel. Later this morning, depart for a tour of the historic fishing port of Honfleur including a visit to the famous wooden church of St. Catherine crafted by local shipbuilders in the  second half of the 15th century. Other town highlights include the Vieux Bassin or old harbor. It’s here the Seine River meets the English Channel. In 1608, French explorer Samuel de Champlain departed from Honfleur on an expedition to the New World and founded the French colony that became Quebec City.   

After an independent lunch, follow your own path and explore independently. Join fellow travelers and Smithsonian Journeys Expert this evening for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. Dine out this evening with fellow travelers at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 4 — Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel has justly been called a Marvel of the Western World. Visit the granite island that is home to the glorious Abbey Church, begun in the eighth century. Over the next 1,000 years, buildings were added, rebuilt and adapted. Serving over time as a fortress, a monastery and a prison, Mont-Saint-Michel continues to lure sacred and secular pilgrims from all corners of the globe. Enjoy an independent lunch and then set-out to explore on your own. Return to Honfleur where the evening is free of planned activities. (B) 

Day 5 — Caen / Utah Beach / Sainte Mére Eglise

Depart Honfleur on a poignant journey to the legendary beaches of Normandy and its World War II museums and memorials. Visit the Caen Memorial Museum, an award-winning museum that emphasizes peace while exploring the history of World War II and other 20th-century conflicts through vintage film footage, photographs, and artifacts. Lunch will be served at Les Vergers de Ducy, an estate and farm where you’ll enjoy a typical Norman lunch and sample its famous Calvados. After lunch, continue to Utah Beach and Sainte Mère Eglise. Visit and tour the Utah Beach Landing Museum then return to the hotel where the evening is free and you can try one of the local restaurants independently. (B,L) 

Day 6 — Chateau du Bec

After breakfast, depart on an excursion to the Château du Bec, crossing the famous Pont de Normandie, a bridge opened in 1995 that spans the Seine River. It is the last bridge before the river spills into the Atlantic. The bridge is a proud reflection of superb French civil engineering. Château du Bec is a beautiful 10th-century privately owned chateau surrounded by lovely parkland. Here, you will be welcomed by the owners and Chef Régine and learn about Normandy’s culinary traditions. Chef Régine will proceed to prepare a delicious lunch for you featuring traditional dishes she has re-created from the recipe books of Claude Monet who lived nearby at Giverny. After this special lunch, return your hotel in Honfleur. Join fellow travelers in late afternoon and your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. Afterward, stay for a talk by a local speaker about the heroic men and women of the French Resistance during WWII. Later, dine independently. (B,L)

Day 7 — Arromanches / Omaha Beach / Pointe du Hoc

Normandy boasts a remarkable and vivid past, one that has profoundly influenced the history of the post-war world. During your coach journey, a local expert will provide a preamble to today’s excursion and the places that were so pivotal to the Allied invasion known as Operation Overlord. Begin exploring at Arromanches and the Omaha Beach Memorial. Continue along the Calvados coastline, which provided the theater of operations for the invasion. Your day includes a visit to the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer as well as the German defensive emplacements at Pointe du Hoc. After lunch at a local restaurant, return to Honfleur where dinner is at your leisure. (B,L) 

Day 8 — Bayeux

Travel this morning on an excursion to the town of BayeuxSpend time viewing the famed 200-foot long Bayeux Tapestry, that depicts the events surrounding William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings. You will also see the Nôtre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of Norman Gothic architecture. Enjoy lunch with fellow travelers then spend time exploring on your own. This evening, gather for a farewell reception at the hotel and dinner out at a local restaurant. (B,L,R,D)

Day 9 — Depart for the U.S.

After an early breakfast, transfer by motorcoach to Paris and Charles de Gaulle International Airport for return flights to the U.S. (B)

Please note: The progression of this itinerary and inclusions may change due to operational considerations. The May 24-June 1, June 7-15 & October 18-26, 2024 programs will be accommodated at the Hotel Mercure Deauville Centre in Deauville, France and follow the same itinerary with only minor changes to the scheduling due to the new location.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2025 Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. for Paris / Honfleur

Depart the U.S. on your transatlantic flight to Paris, France.

Arrive at Charles de Gaulle International Airport. After clearing brief immigration and customs formalities, you’ll be met by your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director and assisted with transfer to the Hotel Mercure in the Norman seaside town of  Honfleur. The approximate transfer time is three hours including a rest stop enroute. Upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll receive a Welcome Package with information about Honfleur and the province of Normandy. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available this afternoon and throughout the program for suggestions regarding restaurants and independent activities.

This evening, meet fellow travelers for a welcome reception and introductions with your Smithsonian Journeys Expert then depart for a welcome dinner at a popular bistro nearby. (R,D)

Day 3 — Honfleur

A full breakfast will be served each day during your stay at the hotel. Later this morning, depart for a tour of the historic fishing port of Honfleur including a visit to the famous wooden church of St. Catherine crafted by local shipbuilders in the  second half of the 15th century. Other town highlights include the Vieux Bassin or old harbor. It’s here the Seine River meets the English Channel. In 1608, French explorer Samuel de Champlain departed from Honfleur on an expedition to the New World and founded the French colony that became Quebec City.   

After an independent lunch, follow your own path and explore independently. Join fellow travelers and Smithsonian Journeys Expert this evening for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. Dine out this evening with fellow travelers at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 4 – Normandy Beachheads / WWII Memorials

Depart the hotel this morning for the drive to the sites of the D-Day Normandy Invasion of WWII. Normandy boasts a proud and colorful history, one that has profoundly influenced the histories of France, Great Britain and the U.S. During the drive, a local expert will talk about this intrepid invasion that was the beginning of the end of Axis domination of Europe.

This is an emotional journey to the sites that were so pivotal to the ultimate success of the Allied effort, including Arromanches and the Omaha Beach Memorial. Continue along the Calvados coastline, which provided the theater for Operation Overlord, history’s most complex and most important military venture. The day includes a visit to the U.S. Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer as well as the German defensive emplacement at Pointe du Hoc.

Lunch is served in a local restaurant in Arromanches. After returning to Honfleur you’ll dine independently this evening. (B,L)

Day 5 -L’Etretat / Chateau du Bec / Le Havre

Depart Honfleur to L’Etretat, crossing the famous Pont de Normandie bridge opened in 1995 which spans the Seine River, the last bridge before the river spills into the Atlantic Ocean. The bridge is a perfect reflection of French civil engineering expertise. L’Etretat, is a coastal resort on the north coast of France. It’s known for the striking rock formations carved from its white cliffs, including the Porte d'Aval arch and L'Aiguille (the Needle), a pillar rising up from the sea. Claude Monet and other Impressionists famously painted the arches and cliffs in the nineteenth century. Next, continue to Chateau du Bec, a beautiful 10th century privately owned castle.  Surrounded by a lush wooded park. Meet one of the owners and visit their home and grounds. Following your tour, you will be treated to lunch featuring local specialties in this unforgettable setting. Continue to Le Harve situated on the English Channel, and severely bombed during the Second World War. This afternoon, visit the Musée Malraux of Modern Art or MUMA. The museum is a restful showcase for Impressionist paintings, many of them donations and legacies from major private art collections. Dinner, this evening will be at leisure. (B,L)

Day 6 — Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel has justly been called a Marvel of the Western World. Visit the granite island that is home to the glorious Abbey Church, begun in the eighth century. Over the next 1,000 years, buildings were added, rebuilt and adapted. Serving over time as a fortress, a monastery and a prison, Mont-Saint-Michel continues to lure sacred and secular pilgrims from all corners of the globe. Enjoy an independent lunch and then set-out to explore on your own. After returning to the hotel, join fellow travelers and Smithsonian Journeys Expert this evening for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. Dinner will be at leisure. (B) 

Day 7 — Caen / Bayeux

This morning, depart the hotel and travel to visit the Peace Memorial at Caen, an award-winning museum dedicated to peace. During your visit, learn about 20th century history including World War II, D-Day Landings and the Cold War through an array of exhibits, photos, film and video footage.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant where you will enjoy Norman specialties and sample the region’s world-famous Calvados.  Your excursion continues on to the town of Bayeux. Spend time viewing the famed 200-foot long Bayeux Tapestry, that depicts the events surrounding William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings. You’ll also see the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of Norman Gothic architecture. Enjoy lunch with fellow travelers then spend time exploring on your own. This evening, a local speaker will talk about the origins and leaders of the resistance, the role of the French underground in the lead up to D-Day and the heroic efforts of the men and women who fought to liberate their country. (B,L)

Day 8 – Honfleur

Today is free of planned activities, so let your interests be your guide and set-out to explore on your own. This evening, join new friends and fellow travelers at a farewell reception followed by dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 9 — Depart for the U.S.

After an early breakfast, transfer by motorcoach to Paris and Charles de Gaulle International Airport for return flights to the U.S. (B)

Please note: The progression of this itinerary and inclusions may change due to operational considerations.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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