Enjoy a guided tour of the stunning monastery which is also listed as a World Heritage Site
Make memories with newfound friends
Cycle in the midst of majestic buildings and charming villages
Whether you choose long or short routes, gorgeous sceneries will always be guaranteed

Brittany & Normandy Family Bike Tour

6 days
$3,999 USD

Brittany and Normandy will make an impression on you. From D-Day beaches to bountiful orchards, windswept plateaus and storybook villages. Iconic settings will stir your emotions, while the sheer beauty of your surroundings will spark your family's joie de vivre. Brittany and Normandy are a rare blend of history and natural splendour.

  • Category
    Cultural & Historical
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    6 days
  • Culture Level
  • Skill Level
    2 - Novice
  • Activity Level
    2 - Moderate
  • Elevation
    2 - Moderate
  • Terrain
  • Distance
    46 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    9.3 miles
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Quick Stats

  • Duration
    6 days
  • Main Destination
  • Distance
    46 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    9.3 miles
  • Elevation
    2 - Moderate
  • Terrain

Route Map (click to view larger image)

Itinerary Details

  1. Day 1Arrival

    On the first day of the trip, meet your Backroads Trip Leaders (the folks in Backroads T-shirts) at 11 a.m. at the main entrance of the Saint-Malo train station in Saint-Malo, France. Please arrive dressed in your biking clothes (or have them handy so you can change before the ride) and bring your luggage and a daypack with your rain gear and anything else you may want for today's ride (your luggage will be transported to our first night's accommodations).

    Bienvenue en France! After meeting with the group, you'll shuttle to one of Brittany's charming historic villages for lunch at a favourite restaurant. Then your Backroads Trip Leaders will fit your bike and give a brief talk on biking techniques and safety before you set out on a scenic ride to start the week. Pedal along smoothly-paved roads through the beautiful countryside, passing medieval towns and hamlets and Rothéneuf's breezy headlands, to seaside Hôtel La Villefromoy.

    After settling in you'll have time to relax in your room or walk down to the beach before gathering for a welcome reception featuring Kir Breton (apple cider and cassis), an authentic Brittany aperitif. Then sit down for the first French dinner together at a favourite restaurant.

    SHUTTLE TO LA FRESNAIS: 45 minutes

    Saint-Père Route: 11km/7mi*  (300ft/91m elevation gain)
    Villefromoy Route: 31km/19mi (700ft/213m)

    *with shuttle

    • 6.8 miles
    • 984.3 ft
      984.3 ft
    • Hôtel La Villefromoy, St-Malo
    • Lunch and Dinner
  2. Day 2Exploring Brittany and ferry ride to Dinard

    Head out from the hotel this morning to reach La Rance estuary, where a ferry awaits to bring you (and your bike!) across the waters to Dinard. Spin along the river down to the medieval hamlet of Dinan for a visit and coffee break before reaching the lunch spot.

    After lunch, enjoy an afternoon ride with terrific views. Pedal along rolling hills and the La Rance estuary, peeking into charming fishing villages like Saint-Suliac, classified as one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (The Most Beautiful Villages of France), and passing over the locks that begin the intricate French canal system. Opt for the day's shorter route to allow for extra time exploring the walled seaside city of Saint-Malo.

    Head back to the hotel for some downtime before dinner. Tonight you'll sit down to classic French cuisine and incredible views of the Emerald Coast.

    Dinan Route: 34km /21mi* (1,200ft/365m elevation)
    Vue de la Rance Route: 42km/26mi* (1,600ft/488m elevation)
    Saint-Suliac Route: 58km/36mi* (2,200ft/671m elevation)
    La Rance Loop: 77km/48mi* (2,700ft/823m elevation)
    *with shuttle

    • 21.1 miles
    • 1,197.5 ft
      1,197.5 ft
    • Hôtel La Villefromoy, St-Malo
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  3. Day 3Feast on fresh oysters and visit the majestic Mont-Saint-Michel

    Start the day with a ride to Cancale, the oyster capital of Brittany. Even Louis XIV, the Sun King, used to order his shellfish from here. Explore this beautiful seaside town before you continue your spin along the breathtaking Emerald Coast, stopping for lunch at a charming restaurant in Dol de Bretagne.

    From here shuttle to the island monastery and cathedral Mont-Saint-Michel, a World Heritage site and one of three main pilgrimage destinations in Europe. A guided tour gives you a real sense of the power of these hallowed grounds, which have attracted the faithful throughout Christendom for centuries.

    A shuttle takes the group to Normandy where the magnificent home for the night awaits, Château de Sully.

    Tonight the group will gather for dinner in the hotel's restaurant.
    Cancale Route: 13km/8mi* (91m/300ft elevation)
    Dol de Bretagne Route: 40km/25mi (213m/700ft)

    *with shuttle

    • 8.1 miles
    • 298.6 ft
      298.6 ft
    • Château de Sully
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  4. Day 4A day in history

    Set out on your bike this morning along meandering rural roads to the coastal town of Arromanches, where ruins of artificial ports, constructed to aid in the D-Day invasion, still stand. Feel free to explore—between the D-Day museum, with its fascinating film and exhibits detailing the June 6th operation, the 360-degree cinema and the ruins of the Mulberry harbour, there's plenty to do. Then pedal on to our lunch spot before heading to Juno Beach, where Canadian Troops landed on that historic day in 1944.

    This afternoon, make your way through golden wheat fields and agricultural farmland to the town of Bayeux.

    Take some time this afternoon to stroll through the cobblestone streets of historic Bayeux, the first French town to be liberated by the Allies in the summer of 1944. Walk along the Aure Canal, browse the many boutiques in town or visit the awe inspiring gothic cathedral, rivaled only by Paris' Notre Dame.

    Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many restaurants in town. 

    Arromanches Route: 24km/15mi* (400ft/122m elevation)
    Ver-sur-Mer Route: 34km/21mi* (800ft/244m elevation)
    Fountaine-Henry Route: 48km/30mi* (1,200ft/366m)
    Bayeux Route: 71km/44mi (1,700ft/518m elevation)
    *with shuttle

    • 14.9 miles
    • 1,312.3 ft
      1,312.3 ft
    • Le Lion d'Or, Bayeux
    • Breakfast and Lunch
  5. Day 5A guided tour of Omaha Beach and other World War II sites

    This morning begins with a lovely ride through the Norman countryside and its bocage (rustic woodland) landscape to Pointe du Hoc. Here you have a chance to explore the famous site where Army Rangers scaled 100ft (30m) cliffs to take out German defenses ahead of the D-Day landings. Then you'll head to Omaha Beach.

    After lunch at a nearby restaurant, meet up with a local historian who accompanies the group on a stroll along Omaha Beach. It was here that more than 3,000 American troops were wounded or killed during their valiant attempts to reach shore on June 6, 1944. Standing on the broad quiet beach, frequented by carefree beachcombers and sightseers, it's hard to imagine the grim scene that earned this spot the nickname "Bloody Omaha."

    You'll then follow the guide high above the beach to the American Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, where 9,386 white marble markers stand in perfect rows. A colonnaded memorial displays maps and accounts of the June 6th landings. Inscribed on a wall behind the memorial are the names of 1,557 soldiers whose remains were never recovered.

    Tonight the group will meet again to toast the adventure before a festive farewell dinner at the hotel. 

    Pointe du Hoc Route: 35km/22mi* (800ft/244m elevation)
    Omaha Beach Route: 48km/30mi* (1,000ft/305m elevation)
    American Cemetery Route: 55km/34mi* (1,600ft/488m elevation)
    D-Day Route: 80km/50mi (1,900ft/579m elevation)

    *with shuttle

    • 21.7 miles
    • 800.5 ft
      800.5 ft
    • Le Lion d'Or, Bayeux
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  6. Day 6A final loop ride and departure

    If you're not quite ready to bid your bike adieu, rise this morning to pedal through the original German batteries at Longue-sur-Mer, an impressive display of intact German defenses.

    You'll also have the chance to be transported back in time this morning with a visit to the Bayeux Tapestry, a 203-foot-long  (62m) piece of embroidery that portrays the Norman invasion of England in 1066, led by William the Conqueror. The battle is significant not only for marking the end of the Dark Ages in England, but for ushering in a 300-year stretch during which the rulers and nobility of England spoke French, not English! Stroll the length of the tapestry to admire its impressive detail and color—and to marvel at a piece of history that has survived over nine centuries.

    Later, bid farewell to your Trip Leaders and hop aboard the shuttle to the Caen train station.

    GERMAN BATTERY LOOP: 27km/17mi (700ft/213m)

    • 16.8 miles
    • 698.8 ft
      698.8 ft
    • Breakfast