Discover Normandy, one of the most beautiful regions of France, as you’ve never seen it before. This year marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when Allied troops invaded Normandy and triggered the beginning of the end of WWII. Mark this occasion with two full days spent visiting the beaches, memorials, and landmarks of this historic day, accompanied by an expert guide. This skillfully tailored program also includes other highlights of the region, including the historic port town of Honfleur, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mont-Saint-Michel and Claude Monet’s beautiful home in Giverny.
Your itinerary has been specially planned by travel specialists to include incomparable cultural experiences, behind-the-scenes excursions and preferred access to popular attractions. An exclusive educational agenda, the hallmark of AHI’s Alumni Campus Abroad programs, features fascinating educational lectures by expert speakers and will enhance your appreciation of the people and the culture.
This trip combines the security, ease, an value of group travel with opportunities for independent exploration. Enjoy the camaraderie of traveling with a group of like-minded people and during your free time, feel the thrill of making your own discoveries.
- Spend seven nights in Normandy, one of France’s most historic regions.
– Experience two full days of exploration highlighting the 70th anniversary of D-Day, including visits to D-Day landing beaches, the American Military Cemetery, and the Peace Memorial at Caen.
– Explore the charming, quaint port town of Honfleur.
– Visit the majestic Mont-Saint-Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
– Travel to Giverny and learn about the impressionist art on a visit to Monet’s garden-rings home and studio.
– Savor a special tasting of Calvados, Normandy’s signature cider brandy.
Depart for Paris, France
DAY 2 – Honfleur
Upon arrival, transfer to Honfleur and check in to the Mecure Honfleur Hotel.
This evening, join your fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception at the hotel followed by a Welcome Dinner at a resturant in Honfleur.
DAY 3 – Honfleur
Enjoy an included breakfast each morning throughout your trip.
Excursion: Historic Honfleur Get to know your home base of Honfleur as you stroll the narrow streets in its classic French town center, nestled against a striking 17th-century harbor. Soak in the scene that has inspired artists, writer and musicians for centuries as you visit the Old Port, the wooden Church of Sainte-Catherine and other historic landmarks.
Local Flavor: A lunch of local specialties is served at a restaurant in Honfleur.
Independent Exploration: The afternoon is yours to explore Honfleur or to relax at your leisure.
Educational Focus: D-Day and the Battle of Normandy The region’s proud and colorful history was profoundly influenced the development of France, Great Britain and Western civilization. Discuss the fascinating journey that was so pivotal in the Allied effort.
Day 4 – Normandy Beaches and Landmarks
Excursion: D-Day and the Battle of Normandy Take an emotional journey to Omaha Beach and its memorial, where the largest concentration of U.S. troops landed on June , 1944 in the face of heavy German resistance. Continue along the Calvados coastline, the theater for Operation Overlord, history’s most complex and important military venture. See the U.S. Militar Cemetery at St. Laurent-sur-Mer and the German gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc.
Local Flavor: During this excursion, enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant. Dinner is served at a restaurant in Honfleur’s scenic harbor.
Day 5 – Honfleur
Excursion: A Classic French Market Explore the colorful markets of Honfleur and shop for regional specialties such as world-renowned cheeses Camembert, Livarot and Pont-l’Eveque.
Local Flavor: Enjoy a delicious lunch at a restaurant.
Educational Focus: The French Resistance Discuss the origins and leaders of the resistance, the role of the French in the lead-up to D-Day and the eroic efforts of its service members for their country.
Day 6 – Normandy Beaches and Landmarks
Excursion: D-Day and the Battle of Normandy Journey to Caen, where the Peace Memorial honors the heroes of the Battle for Caen. This year marks the 25th anniversary of this important museum. Continue to Utah Beach and the commune of Satine-Mere-Eglise. Stop at the German cemetery at La Cambe, a start contrast to the American cemetery.
Local Flavor: Enjoy lunch at the Caen Peace Mmeorial. Dinner is served at a restaurant on the harbor in Honfleur.
Day 7 – Mont-Saint-Michel
Excursion: Le Mont-Saint-Michel The sight of Mont-Saint-Michel’s dramatic, sky-scraping turrets towering over the flast white sands that surround the granite island leave little doner why this UNESCO World Heritage site is considered a Wonder of the Western World. Mont-Saint-Michel’s first church was built in the eighteenth century and as buildings were added, the island also served as a monsstary, fortress and prison.
Local Flavor: Lunch is served at a local restautant.
Independent Exploration: The rest of the day is yours to explore at your leisure.
Day 8 – Giverny/Honfleur
Excursion: Claude Monet at Giverny Visit Monet’s house in Giverny, located at the top of the gardens featured so prominently in his paintings. Admire their tranquil beauty, then visit the studio where he painted his famous “Water Lily” series. Continue to the Terra Museum of American Art, dedicated to the history of impressionism and hoe this movement influenced a “colony” of American artists.
Educational Focus: The Birthplace of Impressionism Learn why Normandy is considered the “cradle” of impressionism.
Local Flavor: Lunch is served at La Terra Cafe among the gardens of the museum. On ethe way back to Honfleur, stop for a tasting of Calvados, Normandy’s famous brandy.
This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception and a Graduation Ceremony followed by a Farewell Dinner.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flights to your gateway cities.
On June 6, 1944, despite mounting challenges, a heroic formation of Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of Normandy coastline. They were there to fight Nazi Germany, and by the end of that day, the Allies had gained a foothold in France. As the soldiers began their march across Europe with one clear mission — to defeat Hitler — the invasion proved to be the beginning of the end of World War II. Walk through history on this exclusive journey through Normandy, featuring two full days of exploration that highlight the Allies’ important victory.
Follow our #TravelingBulldogs on Twitter or Foursquare to see the sites on a daily basis as if you were with them.