Tuesday, June 3, 2014

5 Places to Visit in Normandy

France is surely a European vacation favorite. But there is much more to France than Paris. It is one of  our top five group travel destinations - with endless possibilities for entertainment and activities, the wealth of culture, art and history. This year marks a milestone for France as Normandy recognizes the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Planning on visiting Normandy this year? Here are our top five places to visit in Normandy.

This little village has now returned to its quiet simplicity but directly D-Day it became the site of one of the most vital ports to the Allied forces. In three days the British created an artificial harbor at Arromanches that, within the span of 10 months, was used to land over 2.5 million soldiers, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tons of supplies. The city is also home to a brand new and very powerful 360 degree video exhibition, titled Aarromanches 360.

A flashy and chic city by the sea, it truly is the playground for the rich and famous. Sometimes referred to as the Monaco of Normandy or the Hamptons of Paris, it is packed with designer boutiques and grand hotels. With its sage beach, majestic casno, horse races and famous festivals. It is sure to draw many Americans looking to escape the bustle of Paris, in style!

This beautiful city was mostly destroyed during WWII but thankfully retained the abbeys founded by William the Conqueror and his wide. Its lively atmosphere makes it the ideal place to experience genuine Norman nightlife and shopping, plus ot has many charming squares, gardens, cafes and restaurants. It is also home to the Memorial de Caen, which attracts almost 400,000 visitors every year and is consdiered one of the most important museums in France outside of Paris. This  first class museum has exhibitions that cover not only WWII, but also human rights debates, the Cold War, terrorism and more.

The lovely little town is home to the house and gardens where Claude Monet lived and worked on some of his most famous series. Here you can stroll through the beautiful gardens depicted in many of his works or saunter around the famous pond that inspired Monet's water lily paintings. Impressionism is one of the most appreciated artistic movements in history so it is sure to appeal to the masses.

The architecture and wandering streets of Bayeux are dotted with wine shops, restaurants, historic haunts and a towering cathedral. It is also the home of the famous Bayeux Tapestry, which is a hand embroidered linen story panel depicting the Norman invasion of England in the 11th century. The city is also an ideal location to explore both Utah and Omaha beaches. The turmoil of D-Day has been washed away but the memories remain through stunning museums and monuments.

This is just a sample as to what is waiting for your group to explore. Start planning your group vacation to France with Celtic Tours World Vacations

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