Thoughts of Normandy bring to mind rustic villages and country lanes, apple orchards and little dairy farms and good diners followed by fiery tots of Calvados, the worlds finest apple brandy.
Yet Normandy also means D-Day, June 6th, 1944 - that fateful day when 150,000 British, Commonwealth and American troops appeared from the sea at dawn and waded ashore directly into a torrent of German gunfire. So began the onslaught that ended the Second World Wat. The scene is so peaceful now, it seems almost impossible. Except that is for the memorials and museums along the lenght of the Landing Beaches, togehter with massive German defences, some almost intact. Most poignant of all are the neat military cemeteries.
This is rewarding cycling country. There's a lot to see as well as a lot to think about, and the wide airy beaches under big skies are beautiful and inspiring. In parts there are small resorts - especially on the Riva Beila, near Caen - where children play and families gather mussels. In other parts the coast remains quite undeveloped. The whold distance is divided into five different landing beaches each with its own character. All are easily accessible by bike. The terrain varies from flat coast roads that run for miles beside the shore, to more challenging sections in the undulating green hinterland behing Omaha and Gold beaches, which in places rises steeply from the seafront.
Please contact the event organisers for more information