The city of Caen in Calvados is a good base for seeing many top Normandy sites of interest including Normandy D-Day battlefield sites and the towns of Bayeux and Mont Saint-Michel. Here are a few adventurous day trips in northwestern France to enjoy from Caen.
Widely considered among France’s most important sites and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island commune of Mont Saint-Michel is a must-visit in northwestern France. See all the best spots on a private guided tour that walks along ancient, cobbled alleyways, ramparts, and through the abbey while offering insight into its 1,000-plus years of history.
Normandy D-Day Battlefield Sites
Take a guided tour to Pointe du Hoc and famous D-Day landing beaches such as Arromanches and Omaha, and hear powerful stories of D-Day beaches and battlefields along the Normandy coastline. Some tours visit the Normandy American Cemetery and memorial grounds near Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer.
One of the most important historic artifacts in Europe, the Bayeux Tapestry dates back to the 11th century and shines a light on the events leading up to the Norman invasion of England. Skip transportation and navigation worries and take a guided tour of Bayeux for context to attractions such as Notre-Dame de Bayeux Cathedral, the original home of the tapestry.
The picturesque port town of Honfleur was a favorite of Impressionist painters including Claude Monet, and the harbor still attracts artists and photographers today. Explore winding streets of half-timbered houses, soak up the atmosphere in traditional harborside cafes, and see Honfleur’s charms for yourself. Combine a visit to Honfleur with a tour that also includes Deauville and Trouville.
Capital of the Normandy region, the medieval city of Rouen makes for a prime day trip from Caen. The city is home to top attractions including Rouen Cathedral—a masterpiece of Gothic architecture with the country’s tallest church spire—and the square where Joan of Arc was executed. Monet’s gardens at Giverny are also nearby, and some day trips from Caen take in both sites.