Normandy Cycling Tour


£2,625.00 per person*

($3,333.75 USD or $5,197.50 AUD)

£250.00 deposit

£495.00 single room supplement

Tour dates

4th Aug to 10th Aug 2024

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“A quick note to say thank you to you and your guides for putting together such a well organised and enjoyable tour. We loved the different hotels and wonderful dinners, and made many new friends — we're already planning a reunion trip!”

-- Charles, Cape Town, South Africa

Normandy Cycling Tour cycling tour highlights

  • Riding along tiny lanes past timbered farmhouses
  • The traces of history from the Norman Conquest to the WWII liberation
  • The evocative Bayeux Tapestry, the astonishing Mont Saint-Michel
  • Sandy beaches and rugged cliff views
  • Sampling cider and cheese at traditional makers
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Join us for this cycling tour. All you have to do is pedal

Join this cycling tour


Dol de Bretagne or Avranches train station


Bayeux Train Station

Collection is from Dol de Bretagne or Avranches rail station. Departures are from Bayeux station. 

Cycling level

5 out of 10

Relaxed to Moderate

View Gallery

Normandy, home of William the Conqueror, has always had strong connections with the English-speaking world; from 1066 when the Duke of Normandy laid claim to the English crown, until June 1944 and Operation Overlord when combined American, Canadian and British Commonwealth forces launched the biggest seaborn invasion ever seen to liberate France from Nazi occupation.

The land itself is rich and fertile, the valley sides containing the lush green pastures are home to the distinctive black-and-white cows which produce the milk used to produce such cheeses as Livarot, Pont l’Eveque and of course Camembert; interspersed with these are the apple orchards from whence come the famous cider and calvados apple brandy. On the coast, fishing boats land the seafood which is a big part of the local cuisine and can be experienced during our Normandy cycling tour.

There is history in abundance, from the gothic cathedral of Bayeux and the renowned Bayeux tapestry to the ‘merveille’ or miracle which is the astonishing island monastery of le Mont St-Michel; in between are countless romanesque and gothic churches and the medieval timbered farmhouses so typical of the region. More recent history is revealed in the museums and exhibitions of the D-Day beaches, the austere world war two cemeteries, and the remains of landing stages and gun emplacements.

Those to whom natural beauty is more important will not be disappointed with the many different landscapes – sweeping sea views, marshes criss-crossed with canals, and countryside patchworked with fields, woods and orchards.

The Normandy cycling tour will guide you the unmissable sites and all the magic of this very special part of France.

To view a map of the Normandy cycling tour route click here

Day 1

After collection from Dol De Bretagne or Avranches train station. After settling in at the hotel we match everybody with their bikes and make all necessary adjustments for the perfect fit. Our afternoon ride takes us to visit “Le Merveille”, the astonishing abbey on Le Mont St-Michel. The main existing structure dates from the 13th century but parts date back to the 6th and 7th centuries. After returning to the hotel, a short minibus ride takes us to a superb restaurant overlooking the bay and le Mont.

Day 2

Our first day of the cycling tour takes us around the bay to the town of Avranches, where General Patton broke through German defences after the D-Day landings. The sea is never far away and throughout the whole day we are treated to panoramas of le Mont St-Michel from different angles.

After lunch in Avranches we continue around the coast, climbing up over the stunning Champeaux cliffs before descending into the town of Granville with its well preserved ancient quarter and 15th century ramparts, to find our hotel and another delicious supper to reward us for today’s riding.

Total distance: 68km/42m.

Day 3

Following the coast with views to the Channel Islands on our left, we come to the town of Coutances. The cathedral here is one of the most important examples of Norman architecture – completed in 1274 it has remained basically unaltered since. The town also has a noted botanical garden.

After lunch in Coutances the ride continues along quiet lanes through tiny Norman villages and hamlets nestled amongst fields and apple orchards. The charming timbered houses we pass sometimes date back to the 14th century. We arrive at our château-hotel in the village of Hébécrevon where we can relax in the extensive grounds before dinner. 

Total distance: 69km/43m.

Day 4

The first section of today’s ride is a dedicated cycle track along the river Vire, so is completely traffic free (and flat !) The countryside is typical Norman bocage, fields and meadows divided by woodland, hedgerows and tiny lanes.

Soon the landscape changes into the marshland of the Marais Cotentin, home to Herons, Egrets and a myriad of other waterbirds. We arrive in Carentan for lunch, perhaps by the magnificent 13th century Gothic church.

After lunch the cycling tour route takes us through the heart of the battlefields of the US invasion forces, to ‘Dead Man’s Corner’ in the village of St-Côme-du-Mont where a fascinating museum recounts the story of one of the pivotal battles of the D-Day campaign. We loop back to Carentan to stay there for the night.

Total distance: 55km/34m

Day 5

Today we make the short ride to the Utah D-Day beaches in the ‘American Sector’. First on the itinerary is Utah beach where we visit the D-Day museum. The landings on Utah beach were relatively casualty free, unlike the bloody battle that took across the bay on Omaha beach. Leading the invasion forces was Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr; amongst the soldiers were author JD Salinger and future US Senator Philip Hart.

We come back to Carentan for coffee, then continue inland. On the way we visit Isigny, noted for its fabulous dairy products – it is the only French village to have an appelation controllée for its butter, cream and cheese. On the way to our final destination of Bayeux, we visit a cider and calvados producer, and sample the delicious products.  In Bayeux, where we will be spending the next two nights, we will have time to take in the wealth of history in the town – the splendid Cathedral dating from 1077, the celebrated Tapestry depicting the Norman Conquest of England, and Lace and Embroidery workshops.

Total distance: 59km/37m

Day 6

Those who wish can opt for a shorter ride today and spend more time in Bayeux. The full day’s route takes us out to Omaha Beach. Omaha beach was the site of the fiercest fighting in June 1944, and our route takes us past reminders of the sacrifices made for the liberation. The American Cemetery, with lines upon lines of identical crosses (with Star of David stones interspersed) is a moving experience.

We carry along the coast at Longue-sur-Mer where we can visit the German gun emplacements which have been preserved. Next is Gold beach, where the British forces came ashore, and Arromanches with the remains of the ‘mulberry’ temporary landing stages still visible in the harbour.

Alternative routes are to Juno beach, - the ‘Canadian’ beach, scene of fighting as heavy as Omaha – if this is of particular interest.

Finally we complete the week with a short ride back to Bayeux, where we should have time for more sightseeing before dinner in the old town to round off an unforgettable week on our Normandy cycling tour.

Total distance: 56km / 35m.

Day 7

After breakfast, you might like a last stroll around the medieval streets before making onward journeys.

Not all cycle vacations are the same. Compare what is included in a French Cycling Holidays bike tour:

  • Flexible collection from local airport or train station
  • Quality Trek bicycles
  • Quality helmets (if required)
  • Water bottles (to take home as souvenirs)
  • Detailed riding instructions and colour route maps
  • Charming 3* and 4* auberges, inns and hotels
  • Buffet style breakfasts with croissants, pastries, meats, cheeses and cereals
  • Gourmet dinners for all 6 nights of your holiday
  • Fine wine (or soft drink alternative) with all evening meals and coffee to follow
  • 2 experienced guides with each tour
  • Delivery of your luggage to your hotel room each day
  • Entry fees to attractions and historical sites
  • Morning onward transfers
  • An unforgettable experience!

We try to include as much as we can within the price, while keeping things as flexible as possible. With the explosion of low cost airlines and the easy access to the TGV rail system from the UK, we believe that it is more economical and convenient for customers to arrange their own travel to the region. Links to the airlines and railway companies can be found in frequently asked questions.


We provide the transfers to and from the local airports and the nearest TGV stations, and other locations by arrangement. If you have driven down, we arrange secure parking for your car and return you to it after the tour.


We stay in very comfortable hotels, mostly 3*, occasionally 4*, and very occasionally superior 2* hotels which we choose if they have charm and comfort above their rating. All rooms have en-suite shower or bath facilities.

We select our hotels for their character as well as their facilities, and avoid chains in favour of independent privately run hotels.

Prices are based on two sharing in twin or double rooms. Singles are available on request. Where possible, we choose hotels with swimming pools as there is nothing quite like a dip after a day in the saddle!

It is sometimes necessary to change accommodation for reasons of room availability, minor adjustments to the route or upgrading the hotels. We will always endeavour to use hotels of an equal or higher level of comfort/facilities to those shown – please contact us to check for the most up-to-date information regarding your particular tour.


All evening meals are included, and we carefully select the restaurants for cuisine and ambience, and favour those with a strong regional flavour. 

All meals include a starter, main course and dessert, some will have an additional cheese course. We are happy to arrange for our restaurants to cater for specific dietary requirements and allergies etc.  Fine wine (or soft drink alternative) with all evening meals and coffee to follow.


We do not include lunch, as the costing of these is beyond our control, but where route and weather allow we organise picnics; these feature copious salads, cold meats, cheeses, crusty bread, fruits, etc, and a choice of drinks; we ask for a contribution for the costs of the consumables, which usually works out at 10 or 11 euros per person per picnic. Where route or weather does not allow a picnic, we recommend suitable cafés and bistros.

Bikes & Equipment

We provide lightweight alloy framed Trek ‘hybrid’ touring bicycles with 27 indexed gears, our guides will generally be on hand to fix punctures and minor mechanical problems and carry pump, tubes etc.

For carrying the items you might need during the day (camera, wallet, windbreaker etc.) we fit a capacious handlebar bag which also features a large map pocket. These clip on and off the bike in a flash so that you can always take your valuables with you when off the bike.

The bikes are meticulously maintained and we keep a wide range of sizes; female specific saddles are also available. We do not provide helmets automatically, as we find people prefer their own if they want to wear one, and sizing and fit is quite personal; however we always have helmets available for use. We also carry rain-capes should they be required (but hopefully not!). 

E Bikes

For nearly all of our tours an e-bike - electrically assisted bicycle - is an extra-cost option. These bikes apply a 'multiplier' to the level of input provided by the rider, the level of assistance can be adjusted for the terrain. This can be useful if members of your party have very different levels of bike-fitness and experience, as hills that look daunting suddenly become easy with an e-bike.

Please contact us for details.


Guides and Backup

There will be two guides on every tour; one cycling with the group and one in the minibus which will follow the group. The bus carries all luggage not required for the day's ride and will always be available for anyone at any point during the day. If for instance you want to take a day off the bike, or if a particular day seems a little hard, the bus will take you for as long or as little as you wish it to.

Everybody is provided with detailed route maps for each day, and both guides are easily contactable by mobile phone. The guides are enthusiastic experts on the local area and will be able to sort out any problems or special requests that you might have.

Moulin de Ducey, Ducey

A charming 3* 19th Century Manor House overlooking the bay of le Mont-St-Michel. Its peaceful setting is complemented by comfortable individual rooms and a restaurant specialising in the local salt-meadow lamb and fish and seafood from the Normandy coast.


Hotel Le Grand Large, Granville

A completely renovated 3* 'belle epoque' hotel, the Hotel les Bains is a fine example of the turn-of-the-century heyday of French coastal resorts, when the well-heeled of Paris would flock to the beaches for their summer vacations. There is no restaurant at the hotel, but this is no problem as a short stroll down to the port are plenty of fine restaurants serving fish and seafood fresh off the boats.

grand large

Château de la Roque, Hébécrevon

This 17th Century Chateau is found at the end of a long poplar-lined drive, and features individually furnished rooms with exposed beams and canopied beds. The grounds have lakes with ducks and swans. The evening meal is taken by the fire in the baronial dining hall.

chateau roque

Le Grand Hard Domaine de Détente, Carentan

A truly bike friendly hotel, this family owned hotel and restaurant is ideally placed to explore both Utah Beach and the D Day Landing Beaches. Le Grand is set amongst the trees  lending itself to the tranquil setting.  The restaurant excels in its regional and local cuisne.

Chateau de Sully, Bayeux

Five minutes from the centre of Bayeux, you will find this 18th century château with a Michelin-starred restaurant on site offering regional cuisine, elegant interiors and three acres of greenery. The bedrooms are divided between the château and the manor. Tucked away in the park are a 16th century dovecote, a chapel and the swimming pool. A fitness suite, sauna, bubbling bath, tennis court and billiard table are also available for guests to enjoy.


It is sometimes necessary to change accommodation for reasons of room availability, minor adjustments to the route or upgrading the hotels. We will always endeavour to use hotels of an equal or higher level of comfort/facilities to those shown – please contact us to check for the most up-to-date information regarding your particular tour.

Below we answer all the most common questions that you might ask before choosing a French Cycling Holidays cycling tour. If you have any further questions then please get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.

How fit do I need to be?

Anybody who is reasonably active should be able to take part and enjoy our cycling tours in France.

The tours have different levels of physical exertion — whilst the Loire Valley tours and Bordeaux tour are easy going; the Normandy, Provence Roman Heritage, and Burgundy tours are a little more strenuous, whilst the Provence Lubéron, Dordogne and Languedoc tours require a reasonable level of fitness.

For nearly all of our cycling tours an e-bike - electrically assisted bicycle - is an extra-cost option. These bikes apply a 'multiplier' to the level of input provided by the rider, the level of assistance can be adjusted for the terrain. This can be useful if there are members of your party who have very different levels of bike-fitness and experience, as hills that look daunting suddenly become easy with an e-bike. Contact us via the contact page if you would like more details.   

The Sports tours are aimed at enthusiast cyclists who might want to bring their own road bikes. However, the rides are not races and there is no time limit - and there is always the minibus if things get too tough!

We would nevertheless recommend that anyone who has not taken any regular exercise for some time consult their doctor before considering any activity-based holiday. Bear in mind that a little regular riding before coming on a cycling vacation will always be a benefit to the experience.

How do I get to the cycling tours in France?

We pick up and drop off from the nearest TGV/railway stations to the start of each tour. (We may be able to drop at a nearer airport or station by arrangement if more convenient for you and logistically possible). This gives everyone the option of making their way by the most economical or convenient means. The major options are:

Flying from the UK

Ryanair flies into the following airports:

Nimes (for the Provence tours and Languedoc tours; Ryanair also fly out of Beziers and Montpellier for the Languedoc tour); Bergerac (for the Bordeaux tour), Dinard for the Normandy tour, Grenoble for Alpine trips and Pau (for the Classic Cols tour)

Ryanair operates out of Liverpool, London Stansted and London Luton Airports amongst others.

Easyjet flies into Montpellier (for the Provence tours) and out of Bordeaux (for the Bordeaux tour); it flys into Geneva and Lyon for Alpine tours and also out of Nice for the Alpine Raid.

British Airways prices can be reasonable if booked in advance — BA fly into Bordeaux for train transfers to Bergerac (Bordeaux tour), and Marseilles (Provence tours).

If we do not pick up from the airport itself, we will advise on rail connections from the airport to our pick-up points.

Rail for visitors from outside Europe / those already in France

The TGV can be an exceptionally quick way of reaching many French destinations from the UK and from Paris for those flying from overseas or UK regions.

The Eurostar SNCF (French National Railways) TGV websites may be useful. As a guide, London St Pancras to Avignon via TGV takes approximately 6½ hours; Tours takes 4 hours. From Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, the point of arrival for most intercontinental flights, Tours is 1½ hours by TGV, Avignon (for Provence) just over 3 hours.

Brive-la-Gaillarde is 4 hours from Paris by rail for the Dordogne tour. We are more than happy to advise on rail options — please contact us. Internet sales from the French SNCF site ( sites are possible but are in French; the approved agency for the US and Canada is RailEurope ; however we are happy to advise and help with the French website.


This may be a good choice if your French Cycling Holiday is part of a longer stay. We may be able to arrange parking for your car at or near our first hotel, and return you to your car at the end of the trip. (Note - this service may not be available on certain long-distance tours - please check with us). The major ferry and crossing companies from the UK are Eurotunnel, P&O, Brittany Ferries, LD Lines, Speedferries and SeaFrance.

If it is more convenient for you to hire a car Europcar in our experience has the best rates for rentals where the drop-off is at a different location to the pickup.

However you choose to travel, we are very happy to help you sort out your itinerary.

What kind of pedals do you use?

Pedals are obviously fairly important on a cycling tour! We stock the following kinds:

Flat – i.e. no special cleats or grips, these pedals can be used with any kind of footwear. If you do not regularly use special pedals or cycling shoes, we recommend standard trainers/sneakers to wear while riding.

SPD/flat – we also have pedals with one side flat and one side an SPD cleat. This is the standard Shimano SPD compatible system; two bolts and the small cleat pictured on the shoe with the yellow sole. These cleats are ideal for cycling tours as the cleat is usually recessed into the bottom of the shoe. 

SPD/flat style pedals

Flats with cages – we have a small number of flat pedals with cages & straps – again if you are not used to this, we wouldn’t recommend starting a tour with them!

Other – we do NOT stock any other pedal systems. If you use any other kind of pedal, you are very welcome to bring your own and our guides can fit them to your bike for the week. However, we would advise against racing-style pedals such as the Look Keo, Shimano SPD-SL or similar, as these tend to have a large, protruding cleat on the sole of the shoe which makes walking around visits or lunch stops (or even nipping into a public toilet!) quite uncomfortable and dangerous. Sports tours are a little different as there are much longer days and less off-the-bike walking – a choice is ultimately up to you though!

Can I use my own bike?

We are happy for anyone to bring their own bikes. However, the budget airlines charge around £50 each way and packing and carriage can be a hassle. Our Trek bikes are of a high standard, and our customers usually express pleasant surprise at the quality of the machines, so it might be a better option to bring your saddle and/or pedals which we will be very happy to fit. In any case there will always be a backup bike should you have a mechanical problem. Please feel free to call us for advice on bike transportation.

What should I wear?

The main thing that people who are not regular distance cyclists worry about is a sore behind. This is not as is popularly thought due to too-hard saddles, but friction between skin and garments. This is why professional cyclists wear skin-tight lycra shorts with padded inserts. Many people feel a bit self-conscious in this sort of gear and your local cycle shop will have a range of padded undershorts which can be worn under normal clothing, or regularly styled shorts with sewn-in padded liners. Otherwise, lightweight comfortable clothing (tee-shirts, shorts, trainers) is ideal, with something warmer like a fleece just in case. As we will be dining well, you might like to take something presentable (but not formal — no-one on a French Cycling Holiday stands on ceremony!) for the evening meal.

How many people on each cycling tour?

As well as being an active holiday, sampling the best that France has to offer, we believe that our trips should be an opportunity to meet people and make new friends. Our groups are limited to a maximum of 16, which is the largest number that we can give a personal service to, and a minimum of 6 people, which we feel is the number needed to achieve a group spirit. If we cannot achieve this number, we may cancel the tour giving a minimum of five weeks notice.

What weather are we likely to encounter?

We time our tours so that the weather should be ideal for cycling for each tour. For that reason we have our Provence and Languedoc tours in the late spring and early autumn, rather than in high summer when it can be too hot to cycle comfortably after 10 a.m. The Loire Valley, Dordogne, Bordeaux and Burgundy tours are more temperate, which is why we concentrate these tours in July and August. We cannot guarantee the weather, but it would be very unlucky to have more than one wet day on any of the tours.

Are there any age limits?

There is no specific upper age limit — the only constraint is a reasonable level of fitness. Children between 10 and 16 are welcome as part of family groups. We do not recommend these tours for children under 10.

Do I need travel insurance?

We require all participants to have travel insurance with full medical cover. It is part of the conditions of our tours that participant should provide evidence of suitable cover. If you have any questions about the cover required please contact us for advice.

What financial protection is in place for my booking?

In accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992” customers of French Cycling Holidays Limited will be indemnified in respect of their net ascertained financial loss sustained arising from the cancellation or curtailment of the declared trip travel arrangements arising solely from the event of the financial failure of French Cycling Holidays Limited.

This insurance has been arranged by Towergate Chapman Stevens through Hiscox Insurance Company Limited.

"What a fantastic mix of scenery, history, culture and cuisine, with enough cycling to work of those wonderful dinners. Thanks to Alan and Marie for making it work so smoothly.”

James and Martha, Illinois, USA


“Another wonderful tour — which one do we do next?”

Maureen, Brisbane QLD Australia


“Absolutely first rate — top marks all round!”

Tony and Christine, Winchester, England