Our tour ends in Normandy at Caen, last resting place of William the Conqueror. His 11th century Château de Caen is one of the largest mediaeval complexes in Europe. Fish and seafood from the nearby Channel port fleets, sweet crêpes and salt-marsh lamb from the surrounds of neighbouring World Heritage Site, Mont St Michel are among Caen’s gastronomic favourites. Will they all be on the menu for our everpopular final night’s Gala Dinner?
We cycle out of Rennes early Sunday morning and again head north – this time towards the Normandy D-Day Landing beaches. On the way we have an interesting 12% climb from the bottom to the top of the Barrage de Vezins (see pictures).
View the route on Ride with GPS
Our last 30 miles take us past “Omaha”, “Gold” and “Juno” beaches, past many monuments, a few tanks, pontoon bridges, the Arromanches caissons and a few interesting buildings.
We finish in the coastal town of Courseulles adjacent to the Juno Museum which pays tribute to the Canadian troops who fell in June 1944. It is then a short drive into the north side of Caen.
A quick story to put the last 30 miles into context. On the Monday morning at the hotel we chatted to two 91-year old war veterans proudly displaying their many medals having been just 17 when they first landed on the Normandy beaches.
Alongside its beauty, the impact of war on the region cannot be avoided. Our journey will allow for some moments of reflection 100 years on from WW1, and as we pass by the 1944 D-Day landing beaches – Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.