A renowned center of Impressionism, Normandy showcases charming towns and fine cuisine and is remembered for its major military efforts. During a one-week stay in idyllic Honfleur, trace the many themes of this fascinating region.

Starting at: $4,090 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The charming old port of Normandy's Honfleur  The iconic Mont St. Michel, off the coast of Normandy.  Credit: nagelstock.com/Alamy  The famous lily pads and green bridge at Giverny used as inspiration for Monet (2018 departures)  Monet's gardens at Giverny   Old traditional sreet in Rouen (2018 departures)   Section of the famous Bayeux Tapestry  Calvados coastline  Memorial sculpture, Omaha Beach  Sherman tank along the Normandy coastline  Normandy's Pointe du Hoc. Credit: Hemis/Alamy  Cemetery near Omaha Beach

Normandy

A One-Week Stay in France

9 days from $4,090

A renowned center of Impressionism, Normandy showcases charming towns and fine cuisine and is remembered for its major military efforts. During a one-week stay in idyllic Honfleur, trace the many themes of this fascinating region.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

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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SOLO TRAVELERS

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

Save $250 per person off our 2019 departures when you book by August 31, 2018! 

Overview

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. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

Normandy is renowned as a center of Impressionism and for its charming towns and fine cuisine. It’s also remembered for major military efforts, from the Norman Conquest to the D-Day invasion of World War II. Join us for a one-week stay in Honfleur to trace the many themes of this fascinating region. You’ll stay at the Mercure Honfleur Hotel, located in the historic district.

2018 Highlights Include

  • Cradle of Impressionism: During a walking tour of Honfleur, see why artists flocked to this charming seaside town. In Giverny, explore the beloved home, studio, and gardens of Claude Monet and visit the Musée des Impressionisms. And in Rouen, see the cathedral often painted by Monet, plus other important sites.
  • Battle of Normandy: Spend a solemn day along the beaches where World War II’s Operation Overlord took place. Stirring sites include Omaha Beach, the museum at Arromanches, Pointe du Hoc, the U.S. Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, and the Peace Memorial in Caen. You’ll also stop in Bayeux to view the historic tapestry depicting the Norman conquest of 1066.
  • Mont St. Michel: Discover this breathtaking tidal island with its iconic abbey and historic church (founded in 709), which is one of the most remarkable sites in France and a World Heritage site.

2019 Highlights Include

  • Battle of Normandy: Reflect upon the bravery of Allied soldiers who fought in the epic D-Day battle 75 years ago. Spend two full days exploring sites whose names will be forever etched in history: Omaha and Utah beaches, Pointe du Hoc, and Sainte-Mère-Église. At Arromanches, see the remains of a British mulberry harbor peeking through the water. Visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Caen Memorial Museum.
  • Artistic Legacy: View the embroidered story of William the Conqueror’s victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The Bayeux Tapestry, a length of linen nearly 230 feet long, offers historians insight into the battle as well as the weapons, clothing, food, and other details of daily life in that age. Surround yourself with the same views that inspired Monet and other great Impressionist painters. At Honfleur’s Old Harbor, admire the sun reflecting off the water and the colorful townhouses built here centuries ago
  • Mont St. Michel: Discover this breathtaking tidal island with its iconic abbey and historic church (founded in 709), which is one of the most remarkable sites in France and a World Heritage site.

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.

2018 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

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

Day 2 — Paris and Honfleur

After arrival at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, drive through the French countryside to your hotel. Upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll receive a welcome kit with maps and general information about Honfleur and the province of Normandy. There’s time to unpack and relax before joining fellow Smithsonian Travelers for an orientation walk of the neighborhood surrounding the hotel. Meet new friends this evening with a Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception and dinner at a local restaurant. Bienvenue and Bon Appetit! (R,D) 

Day 3 — Honfleur

A full buffet breakfast is included each morning at the hotel. Start discovering Normandy with a drive into the countryside and a local estate farm where you’ll sample Norman cheeses and renowned locally produced cider. After lunch, visit the wooden church of St. Catherine and other town highlights. Later in the afternoon, meet your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for an introductory presentation then get together with fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys travelers corner. (B,L)

Day 4 — Mont St. Michel

One of the most iconic sights on the Atlantic coast of France is the tidal island of Mont St. Michel. Well known, the world over, the abbey’s spire can be seen for miles around. In the 1300’s, the island was fortified to protect it from opposing armies. At one point in history, the island was a local prison. Lunch featuring regional specialties will be served. Return to Honfleur where the balance of the day is free of planned activities. (B,L)

Day 5 — Giverny and Rouen

Start the day with a drive to Giverny, the home, studio and gardens of renowned impressionist artist Claude Monet. It is here that he was inspired to create his Water Lily series of paintings. Continue to visit the Impressionist Museum that is devoted to the movement in painting that influenced a generation of American artists. Attend an engaging lecture that will showcase the “cradle of Impressionism” and the life of Monet who lived at Giverny for 43 years prior to his death. Lunch is served in the gardens of the museum at La Terra Café. Drive to Rouen, the provincial capital of Normandy to see the landmark Gros Horloge a large astrological clock. Visit the Cathedral that Monet made famous and hear the legendary story of Jean d’Arc. (B,L)

Day 6 — Normandy Beaches

Take a reminiscent journey back in time to Omaha Beach and its memorial. It’s the place where the U.S. invasion forces hit the beaches on June 6, 1944 facing strong German resistance and a great loss of life. Drive along the Norman coast that was the theater of Operation Overlord, the most intrepid military venture of WWII. Lunch will be served at La Marine in Arromanches. On the drive to the war museum, a talk on D-Day will be given. Tour the museum at Arromanches, the poignant Normandy American Cemetery, the Memorial at Colleville-sur-Mer and the German gun positions at Pointe du Hoc. Dinner this evening will be served at La Grenouille in Honfleur (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Bayeux and Caen

Travel to Bayeux to see the legendary Bayeux Tapestry, a masterpiece that depicts the glory of the Battle of Hastings in 1066. See Notre Dame Cathedral one of the finest examples of Norman Gothic architecture in the world. After a delightful lunch featuring Norman specialties and a sampling of Calvados at Les Vergers de Ducy, continue to visit the Peace Memorial at Caen that focuses on 20th-century history including World War II, the D-Day Landings, and the Cold War through an array of exhibits, photos and video. After returning to the hotel, attend a fascinating presentation by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. (B,L)

Day 8 — Honfleur

The day is at leisure so that you can follow your own path. This evening, gather with Smithsonian friends for a special farewell reception and dinner at a select popular restaurant. (B,R,D)

Day 9 — Depart for the U.S.

Get an early start and transfer to the Charles de Gaulle Airport for return flights to the U.S. (B)

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

2019 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. on the overnight trans-Atlantic flight to Paris, France.

Day 2 — Paris / Honfleur

After arrival at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, drive through the French countryside to the Mercure Honfleur Hotel. A rest stop will be made en route. Upon arrival at the hotel, you’ll receive a Welcome Kit with maps and general information about Honfleur and the province of Normandy. The Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available this afternoon and throughout the program for suggestions regarding tours, restaurants and independent activities.

There’s time to unpack and relax before joining fellow travelers for an orientation walk of the neighborhood surrounding the hotel. Meet new friends this evening at a Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception. The Smithsonian Journeys Expert will offer a short talk and afterward, enjoy a welcome dinner at a popular bistro or brasserie. Bienvenue and Bon Appetite! (R,D)

Day 3 — Norman Countryside / Honfleur

A full buffet breakfast is included each morning at the hotel. Start discovering Normandy with a drive into the countryside and a local estate farm where you’ll sample Norman cheeses and renowned locally produced cider. After lunch, visit the wooden church of St. Catherine and other town highlights of Honfleur.

Later in the afternoon, meet your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for an introductory presentation then get together with fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B,L)

Day 4 — Mont St. Michel

One of the most iconic sights on the Atlantic coast of France is the tidal island of Mont St. Michel. Well known, the world over, the abbey’s spire can be seen for miles around. In the 1300’s, the island was fortified to protect it from opposing armies, and at one point in history, the island was a local prison. Lunch featuring local specialties will be at leisure.

Return to Honfleur where the balance of the day is free of planned activities. (B)

Day 5 – Caen Memorial / Utah Beach / Ste. Mere Eglise

Travel to visit the Peace Memorial at Caen that showcases 20th century history including World War II, the D-Day Landings, and the Cold War through a collection of exhibits, photos, and video.

After a delightful lunch featuring Norman specialties and a sampling of Calvados at Les Vergers de Ducy, continue to see Utah Beach, the Utah Beach Landing Museum and the town of Ste. Mere Eglise before returning to Honfleur. (B,L)

Day 6 — Honfleur

Enjoy a day that is free of planned activities. This evening a local speaker will talk about the role of the French resistance in the lead-up to the D-Day landings.

Gather with fellow travelers this evening for dinner at a popular Honfleur restaurant. (B,D)

Day 7 — The Normandy Coast

Begin the day with a talk by a local expert on the fascinating history of Normandy. Afterward, embark on an emotional and fascinating journey to the sites that were so pivotal to the success of the Allied armies on D-Day, including Arromanches and the Omaha Beach Memorial. Motor along the Calvados coastline, which provided the theater for Operation Overlord, history’s most complex and most important military initiative.

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 will be served at a local restaurant in Arromanches. (B,L)

Day 8 — Bayeux

Travel to Bayeux to see the Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the finest examples of Norman Gothic architecture in the world. Continue to see the 200-foot long Bayeux Tapestry, a masterpiece that depicts the glory of William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings fought in 1066.

This evening, gather with friends for a special farewell reception and dinner at a select popular restaurant. (B,R,D)

Day 9 — Depart for the U.S.

Get an early start and transfer to Paris and Charles de Gaulle Airport for return flights to the U.S. (B)

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