Tulip Festival * Calvados & Cheese tasting * Bayeux Tapestry * Honfleur * 2 Driver Tour
Normandy, a land of picturesque half-timbered houses, lush green pastures and apple orchards. A land of rich culinary tradition based on its fine local products: butter, cream, world famous cheeses, cider and Calvados. This spring break has something for everyone, and includes a visit to the Tulip Festival in the gardens of the historic Château de Vendeuvre. We also explore some of Normandys more recent history, visiting the D-Day Museum and Pegasus Bridge, two important sites of World War II.
Travel Insurance £36.50 pp
Day 1 - Monday
One of our taxis will collect you from home and bring you to the coach to join your driver and fellow passengers. We make the short journey to Newhaven for the DFDS ferry crossing. It takes around four hours to reach Dieppe, during which time you can enjoy the onboard facilities including a restaurant, bar and shop. Later this afternoon we drive across the Pont de Normandie, spanning the River Seine, to our Hotel near Lisieux.D
Day 2 - Tuesday
A short drive from our hotel is the stunning CHÂTEAU DU BREUIL. Built in the 16th and 17th centuries, it houses one of the most prestigious Calvados distilleries, established in 1954. An expert guide will introduce us to the distillation process and we will visit the aging cellars in the Orangery with rows of oak barrels and powerful aromas. There will be the opportunity to taste the 15-year-old Calvados and Pommeau du Normandie. Next we make a lunchtime stop in the archetypal Norman village of BEUVRON-EN-AUGE. Situated on the Cider Route, it is a real gem, with a central square and timber-framed covered market hall, and is classified as one of 'Les Plus Beaux Villages de France'. This afternoon we visit the CHÂTEAU DE VENDEUVRE which hosts an annual Tulip Festival. The house contains a miniature furniture collection and other exotic treasures. Outside, thousands of tulips decorate the formal garden, and there are water gardens, sculptures hedges and a shell grotto to explore.B, D
Day 3 - Wednesday
We visit Bayeux to explore beautifully conserved timber-framed buildings, narrow cobbled streets and Bayeux Cathedral, a remarkable example of Norman architecture. We will see the famous BAYEUX TAPESTRY with an audio-guide which tells the epic story of William, Duke of Normandy, who became King of England in 1066 after the Battle of Hastings. We continue to the seaside town of ARROMANCHES, with time for lunch and an included visit to the D-DAY MUSEUM which overlooks the spot where one of the famous Mulberry Harbours was constructed. We will also visit the Arromanches 360 Theatre, built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of D-Day. We round off the day at PEGASUS BRIDGE, where we will visit the Museum and take a stroll across the Bridge, site of the famous glider attack in 1944.B, D
Day 4 - Thursday
First stop today will be at GRAINDORGE, one of Normandy's best-known cheese dairies. Three generations of cheese makers have succeeded one another to produce Livarot and Pont l'Eveque cheeses. We will learn about the different stages of production, and taste several different cheeses with bread and cider. Later we return to the historic city of LISIEUX, where you can explore, find lunch and visit the Bishop's Palace Garden adjoining the old Episcopal Palace and the Cathedral. We will also take you to the BASILICA SAINT-THERESE. Looming over the City like a sentinel, the sheer size of the Basilica is a sight to behold. Often compared to the Sacré-Coeur in Paris, it is the second largest pilgrimage site in France after Lourdes.B, D
Day 5 - Friday
We make our way to HONFLEUR. This pretty fishing port on the Seine estuary has long attracted artists whose works can be seen in the museums and galleries. Explore the old dock in the heart of the town, surrounded by its distinctive, narrow, timber framed and slate clad houses. Next we head to ÉTRETAT. The town is famous for its caves, carved out of the white cliffs. The old town, which was a favourite haunt of artists like Claude Monet, is full of charm and became fashionable at the end of the 19th century when Parisians came and built extravagant villas. After time to explore and find lunch we will drive to Dieppe to take the late afternoon ferry home.B
THE HOTEL MERCURE LISIEUX
The Mercure Lisieux is a 3-star hotel with 69 bedrooms situated on the outskirts of the city in a pleasant semi-rural/commercial area in the heart of Normandy. The rooms are equipped with minibar, tea/coffee making facilities, radio, television, free Wi-Fi, telephone and hair dryer. Rooms on the top floor have mansard style sloping ceilings and a roof light instead of a standard window. The Hotel has a lift. Dinner will be a three-course buffet with tea/coffee included. A hot & cold buffet breakfast is served each morning.
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