One of the gems of Northern France, Normandy is the perfect destination to get a slice of history, culture, and gastronomy that this region is most famous for. The coastline here is a poignant area, where you can get in touch with your inner historian and learn about the beaches where many battles were fought in World War 2.
There’s also Mont-Saint-Michel – one of the most famous monasteries in the world – located just off the coast on its own island.
UNESCO World Heritage sites are dotted throughout the region: in historical cities, ornate villages, and along the coastline, many of which inspired some of France’s most famous impressionist painters. Don’t miss discovering the secrets of the unbeatable gastronomy either.
Here are 15 of the best Normandy tours that we’ve carefully selected to help you get the best out of your trip.
1. Day Trip to Mont-Saint-Michel from Paris
One of Europe’s most recognizable pilgrimage sites, the abbey at Mont-Saint-Michel is a UNESCO World Heritage site which is near the top of most visitors’ itineraries during their visit to Normandy. This tour not only includes your entrance ticket to the fortified city but transportation in a luxury air-conditioned coach from the French capital – Paris.
You’ll have the opportunity to stop in a traditional Norman village, where you can stroll through the narrow, cobbled alleys, before heading to the mouth of the Couesnon river, to get your first view of Mont-Saint-Michel.
Once on the island, you’ll be able to climb the ramparts before heading to the abbey overlooking the rest of the town and the bay. When you’re tired out from all the climbing and descending, you’re comfortably whisked back to the Paris starting point on the same luxury coach that you arrived in.
2. Normandy D-Day Beaches: Day Trip from Paris with Lunch
This poignant and unforgettable day trip is a must for anyone with an interest in the Second World War. This 14-hour tour is an informative and sobering experience that teaches you about the D-Day landings and the advance of the allied forces in France.
It’s an early start; board the luxury air-conditioned coach in Paris and settle back for the journey to Caen, where your first stop is. The Caen memorial museum tells the story of the Battle of Normandy. After you’ve enjoyed the films and exhibits, you can stop here for a tasty lunch.
The next stop is Pointe-du-Hoc, located between Utah and Omaha beaches. This is close to the American cemetery, which you’ll also visit, before heading to Arromanches and Juno Beach. After such a packed day, you’re sure to be exhausted, so settle back into the coach before a 9 pm arrival in Paris.
3. From Paris: WWI Somme Battlefields Full-Day Tour
Not only was a large part of World War 2 fought on French soil, the 1st World War was too. Pay your respects to those who lost their lives in the 1st World War on this full-day trip to the Somme Battlefields.
Get picked up from your hotel by a knowledgeable and considerate guide, who will drive you from Paris by minivan and explain what’s coming up as you travel through the beautiful French countryside. You’ll learn about all the major memorials, cemeteries, and battles of the Somme on this trip while picking up many interesting facts about World War 1 at Péronne’s historical museum.
At the end of the day, your driver will take you back to your hotel in Paris.
4. From Paris: Small Group Day Trip to Rouen and Giverny
This day trip encompasses two of Normandy’s most charming and beautiful towns. On this tour, you’ll travel in comfort in an air-conditioned minivan, as your local guide regales you with tales and information about both historical towns.
You aren’t just left to fend for yourself in the cities; a guided walking tour of Rouen takes you to the Notre Dame Cathedral, while in Giverny, you’ll get tickets allowing you to skip the line and visit the home of the iconic painter, Claude Monet. Admire his water garden: the inspiration behind one of the most recognizable impressionist paintings – the famous Water Lilies.
After a relaxing yet full day, you’ll be dropped back on the doorstep of your accommodation in Paris.
5. Welcome to Rouen: Private Walking Tour with a Local
Here’s one for those who really want to get to know Rouen. This walking tour of the historical city is one with a difference. A local guide with a wealth of knowledge will pick you up from your accommodation and show you secrets from the city that you’d never be able to find on your own.
Experiencing the city through the eyes of a local means that you’ll be able to find the best markets to buy fresh produce or the best restaurants where they cook said produce if you’re too lazy to do it yourself. But the best thing? Because it’s just you and your guide, they’re able to tailor the tour to your interests. Don’t worry if English isn’t your first language, tours are also available in Spanish, French, German, and Russian.
6. Day Trip to Normandy: Sightseeing & Calvados Liquor Tasting
This fantastic day trip doesn’t just allow you to see the sights of Normandy, it will also see you spending time at the Christian Drouin factory, where you’ll try three types of the apple-based drinks Calvados and Cider.
The day starts with pick up from your hotel in Paris, before a two-and-a-half-hour journey through the rolling French countryside, where you’ll stop and taste the local beverages.
Then, it’s on to the jaw-dropping fishing port of Honfleur, its harbor, and 18th-century townhouses which inspired many of the great French impressionists.
The port is also where you’ll enjoy some delicious French cuisine for lunch. After filling up, you’ll continue to the white cliffs and natural arches of Etretat, before ending the tour at the beautiful Fécamp Palace.
After a day which will be sure to have you going home tired but happy, you’ll be dropped off on your doorstep back in Paris.
7. Normandy and Brittany 2-Day Tour from Paris
The perfect tour for those who have a little more time on their trip, this overnight tour of Normandy and Brittany shows you the best that both regions have to offer. Day one will see you picked up at your hotel in Paris in a luxury air-conditioned coach to embark on a walking tour through the charming city of Rouen, before jumping back on the coach to travel to Honfleur for a delicious lunch.
After lunch, you’ll learn more about the region’s war history, stopping off at the D-Day landing beaches and the American cemetery. In the evening, you’ll be whisked to a luxury 3-star hotel in the town of Caen.
Day 2 starts with a buffet breakfast (stock up on croissants) before you head to the town of St. Malo for a tasty lunch, then a trip to the mesmerizing Mont-Saint-Michel. Here, you’ll have free time to explore the abbey before heading back to Paris.
The best part of this trip? Everything mentioned above is included in the price.
8. From Paris: Full-Day Gourmet Tour to Normandy
This incredible tour is a must for foodies. Not only will you visit a cheese factory and sample the delicious food that France is world-famous for, but you’ll also try calvados and cider from a local farm too.
To make sure you’re not just scoffing food but also learning something, there’ll be a wine and spirits expert on hand to tell you all about the alcohol you’re enjoying with your gourmet lunch at the farm.
Before heading back to Paris and being dropped at your hotel at the end of the day, there’s a chance to walk off all those calories in the village of Honfleur and the charming seafront of Deauville.
9. Normandy: Omaha Beach U.S. Cemetery Guided Walking Tour
This poignant one-and-a-half-hour tour will enable you to learn more about and see the final resting place of many American soldiers who sadly lost their lives in the D-Day battles on Normandy’s beaches. There are over 9,000 marble headstones, making it one of the largest cemeteries dedicated to allied soldiers in Normandy.
Your knowledgeable local guide will supply you with the information that you need to know about this huge site of remembrance and peace. This tour is especially recommended to those who are interested in war history.
10. From Paris: Full-Day Small Group Tour to Honfleur
Do you want to see the places that inspired the great French Impressionists? Of course you do. That’s why this private tour of Honfleur, Deauville, and Trouville will be right up your alley. You’ll be whisked in comfort from your accommodation in Paris to the beautiful Normandy coast. Start the day by exploring the cobbled streets of the quaint seaside town of Honfleur, regarded as one of the most picturesque towns in this area, where you’ll enjoy a guided visit of the harbor town.
Next, you’ll head to the Côte Fleurie (the flowery coast) and the fishing towns of Deaville and Trouville, were you’ll also get an informative and interesting guided tour. After a day taking in the sea views and sandy beaches, you’ll be driven back and dropped off on the doorstep of your accommodation in Paris.
11. Paris: Full-Day Étretat & Le Havre with Cooking Class
Head to Étretat in an air-conditioned minibus equipped with Wi-Fi and educational tablets to prepare you for your trip. The highlight of the day is undoubtedly the impressionist-inspired cooking class which takes place in a manor house. The chef in charge has carefully crafted a menu from Monet’s notebooks, which you’ll be able to create and sample; it’s certain to tantalize your taste buds.
After you’ve filled up on delicious food, you’ll head to Le Havre to get to know the UNESCO World Heritage port of the town. Round off your trip with a visit to the Museum of Modern Art before heading back to your hotel in Paris.
12. Normandy Tour of D-Day Landing Beaches & Museum Tickets
A must see for any war or history enthusiast, don’t miss your opportunity to see the famous beaches where the allied forces landed in World War 2. This five and a half tour will show you the key D-Day sites and tell you everything you need to know to understand the complexities of the war, and also to pay your respects to the thousands who lost their lives here.
You’ll be driven to the Mémorial de Caen, Arromanches, and the military cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer by air-conditioned minivan, meaning you’ll be able to reflect on your day in comfort.
13. Normandy D-Day All Day Tour by Minibus from Paris
If you’re a nature lover, you won’t want to miss this private guided tour showing the best that the beautiful Northern French coast has to offer, as well as the historic cities. Get picked up at your accommodation in Paris in a luxurious air-conditioned minivan before embarking on Normandy’s route.
14. Paris: Small Group Tour to Mont St-Michel & Honfleur
Not only does this trip take you to see Mont-Saint-Michael, where the Archangel Michael supposedly made an appearance in the 8th century, it also takes you to the lovely town of Honfleur, one of Normandy’s prettiest towns. This 13-hour tour will see you picked up at your hotel in Paris before a four-hour drive to the iconic monastery, where you’ll skip the line and be able to choose between an audio-guide or a human guide.
Although lunch isn’t included in the trip, you’ll stop off at a traditional French patisserie before shooting off to Honfleur. In this town, you’ll see what inspired the great impressionists and wander around the cobbled streets, before heading back to your hotel in Paris.
15. Private Mont Saint-Michel Family Walking Tour
Perfect if you’re traveling with children, this guided family walking tour will engage you and your kids in a way that really makes the town’s 1,300-year-old history come alive. Your guide will regale you with stories as you walk from the base of Mont-Saint-Michel up to the top of the 83-meter-tall rock, where you’ll be able to explore the monastery.
As well as your guide, your entrance ticket is included. You’ll also have a chance to descend into the dungeons. The kids will love it!