- From 1 Day to 6+ Days
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Day 1: Bayeux, Caen, and William the Conqueror
- This tour is centered around the life and history of William the Conqueror, including a visit to the world-famous Bayeux Tapestry. The Tapestry narrates the story of the significant English invasion of 1066, providing a visual account of this fascinating period. If time allows, we will also have a look at the Bayeux cathedral, the preserved traces of the era of William the Conqueror in the Château de Caen, and the Abbey of Sainte-Trinité.
- This port is one of the prettiest of the northern French coast. Serving as an important strategic post in the Hundred Years’ War, this picturesque location has quite a story. We’ll talk about its relationship with explorers, its associated with Impressionist painters (such as Courbet and Monet) and discuss life in Honfleur today. Our tour will include the port and the celebrated wooden church in the town center. If time allows, we may also visit some of the other historic towns in the area, such as Deauville.
- Join an expert to experience the tastes of this rich region, from camembert cheese to cider and calvados (apple brandy).
- How many days would you like the tour to be?
- Do you have specific goals for your trip?
- Which sites and venues would you like to prioritize? Do you want to just pass by or explore inside as well?
- Do you have any mobility concerns?
- Who are you traveling with? What are their ages and interests?
Alexander got a First in modern history at Oxford and retains an abiding passion for the subject. He has lived and worked – mainly in publishing – in France for over twenty years, first in Paris and now in Normandy, where he is carrying out an eco-friendly restoration on his old fisherman’s cottage in Port-en-Bessin. This small fishing port, noted for its scallops, is situated on the coast just 10 km north of the medieval splendors of Bayeux, and is tucked into the cliffs which separate the sites of the American and British D-Day landing beaches. His knowledge of the Normandy landings is enhanced by the fact that his father was a member of the British commando unit which liberated his adopted town in June ’44, and indeed Alexander has recently published a book on this very subject. His love for the region also led him to study to qualify as an official regional guide, and sharing his enthusiasm for Normandy and its long history has become something of a vocation.
William studied history and art history at Bristol University and did his MA at the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual arts at the University of East Anglia Norwich, specializing in Westminster Abbey. He taught history to university entrance for ten years before marrying and settling in France where he set up his own tour guide business based in Caen, Normandy. In 1991 he became a nationally accredited Guide-conférencier des Monuments Historiques et des Sites, and a Guide-Interprète régional. Since 1994 he has written nine guide books for Pitkin Guides and the French publisher Pro Libris, all on the theme of D-Day and the battle of Normandy: these are sold in English and in French throughout the region and in every museum related to 1944. He has given lectures on Silver Seas cruises and the Silver Cloud II. Off season he teaches English to engineers and lawyers at the University of Caen - and writes. Since 2002 he has been the President of the Franco-British Association in Caen, the city where he intends to age gracefully.
A native of Australia, Geoffrey has been guiding in Normandy for over 17 years. He specializes in the D-Day landing beaches and Mont Saint Michel; however, he knows the whole region inside out and enjoys sharing this beautiful part of the country and its history to visitors of France.