After half a century, travel to Normandy still carries with it a sentiment of weight and significance. Its white chalked cliffs and famous World War II beaches – including the pivotal Omaha Beach of that fateful D-Day landing – have been forever immortalized in the hearts of many across the world.
But Normandy’s history extends well beyond 1944. In the Middle Ages, Normandy served a great dukedom which, like Burgundy, rivaled that of the kings of France in both power and prestige. The magnificent story of Normandy unfolds in grandeur with characters like Saint Joan of Arc, who was executed in Rouen in 1431, and William the Conqueror whose famous Norman invasion of England in 1066 is forever immortalized in the iconic Bayeux Tapestry.
With their historic parallels and close proximity, it is hardly a surprise then that Normandy shares much in common with its southern England counterpart. From language and architecture to countryside and flora, travelers will find a close resemblance between the two fabled lands.
An unforgettable stop for any traveler in Normandy is the beautiful gardens at Giverny, famed for being the inspiration behind many of painter Claude Monet’s masterpieces, including the iconic water lily series.
Also painted by Monet are the celebrated white cliffs of Etretat in Upper Normandy, some of the best-known and well-visited sights in the region. Nearby, plenty of historical monuments and private chateaux welcome travelers looking for authenticity, elegance, and seclusion during their stay in Normandy.
Of course, no visit to Normandy would be complete without a pilgrimage to the D-Day beaches and museums. With one of Ker & Downey’s experienced military strategists as your guide, you have the opportunity to relive the adventure of June 1944 unlike any other through immersive tours through the Omaha, Juno, and Utah beaches, as well as Aromanches, the chapel of Sainte Mère Eglise – forever immortalized in the film “The Longest Day” – and many other strategic sites.
Allow Ker & Downey to bring the history and influence of Normandy to life with a fully-customized journey exploring the art, sacrifice, and monuments on display in this stunning region of France.