|When||May-June-Sept-Oct – always on request|
|Best period||Late May and June|
|Participants||Minimum 2, maximum 4|
|Lodging||St Maclou or Grand Camp Maisy|
|Main trip||Pick up bike in Amsterdam – ride to Normandy, 5-6 days local rides, return|
|Distance covered||Normandy only, some 130 miles per day|
|When starting in Holland – add 1000 miles|
|Total distance some 2200 miles|
|Our Pricing *)||Depending on number of participants and version of tour, anywhere from 1800 – 3500 Euros per Participant|
|See the ‘Pricing’ chapter for details|
*) ALL prices are subject to change, based on final configuration, availability, exchange rates and custom features. All prices including VAT.
The first of our BASIC tours comes in a few varieties, BECAUSE we are fully flexible and all our tours are customizable to a great extent. With the Normandy Tours you can choose to – use your own bike – rent a bike in The Netherlands (cheaper, ride through Holland and Belgium, more miles) – rent a bike in France (expensive, but less miles) And there is more…. to make life easier we can carry your luggage by car (especially recommended on the start in The Netherlands), we can arrange your lodging in Holland, and even add some extra days with ‘things to see and do’.
Tentative itinerary of a Normandy D-Day Tour
Friday – Arrive in Amsterdam
Saturday - pick up bike and ride to St. Maclou
Sunday - Riding Instructions – tour Deauville, Honfleur, Fécamp
Monday - D-Day 1 – tour Pegasus Bridge, Caen, Sword, Juno , Gold beach
Tuesday - rest day or ride Cherbourg and Eastern coast, Utah Beaches
Wednesday - D-Day 2 tour Beaches (Arromanches, Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc)
Thursday - Long ride to Mont Saint Michel, Bretagne
Friday - St. Mère Eglise, (Airborne museum), West coast, St. Lô
Saturday - Return bikes (Belgium/Holland ride)
Sunday - Return trip home
Possible trip scenario – but NOTHING IS SET IN STONE !
Because renting a motorbike is much more expensive in France for some reason, we use the ‘Dutch option’ as our standard offering at this time. Any other reasonable option is possible, however, at additional cost.
Ideally you arrive in Amsterdam on Friday. We can arrange to meet you there already, we can book a hotel for you, arrange transfer or tell you how to get there. We may even pick up the rental bikes if you arrive early enough.
Saturday we start early. We pick up the bikes (if we not already did so) and have to get our luggage on them, if you did not opt for the ‘service vehicle option’. That is me, hooking a trailer and my bike up to the company van, loading your luggage in it and accompany you to Normandy on four wheels! Personally I like to RIDE with you, but it means that
a) you must not have too much luggage (must be stored on a strange bike)
b) we must have bikes with storage available (can be an issue at times).
It is a good day’s ride to Normandy from Amsterdam. We plan a few stops and traffic can be pretty dense on the first part of the route. Saturday afternoon/evening we reach our destination at St. Maclou and settle in. This is also a good time to get some sleep after the initial voyage.
On Sunday morning I will provide you with information and instructions about riding in Europe, and in France in particular. And I will brief you about the routes I have planned. That is also the time we can change plans if needed.
After that we start on our first (short) ride out to the coast and visit the idyllic towns of Deauville and Honfleur (which is a nice place to lunch and has turned into a biker’s meeting town on Sunday’s). If you happen to be an aviation enthusiast, we can have coffee at the regional Deauville Airport.
On the subsequent days I will show you most of Normandy. The D-Day Beaches and Monuments and famous places are of course the primary target of the trip. But Normandy is a very nice region (‘departement’) with beautiful places, hidden little roads and villages and great views as well. So we will be criss-crossing the entire area.
Depending on how tired we all are, or not, as may be the case, we will also make a few longer trips. Venturing out towards Brittany (Bretagne), visiting the Mont Saint Michel, France’s #1 tourist venue with the famous cathedral on the peninsula.
We will also ride the western coast roads, see Cherbourg, St Lô and other towns and cities. Normandy consists mainly of small country roads where we will have to ride leisurely. The main roads are pretty straight and boring, and the toll road is a means of getting fast from east to west if need be. We try to void those as much as we can.
The TOUR can be booked by 2 people on one bike (own or rented) and up to 4 people on 4 bikes, and any combination in between. You can choose to ride from Holland (and see large parts of Holland and Belgium in the process), ride WITH or without luggage, or rent a bike in France (most likely Paris). There are Pro’s and Con’s to each option, which we will discuss with you in our preliminary contacts.
There are optional extra’s in terms of equipment, services, and even vacation times and targets. Most importantly, we offer the option of a day’s TRAINING by a qualified Dutch Riding School, preparing you for the VERY different European traffic, rules and infrastructure. The training will focus on what you NEED, rather then be a standard program. It will include ‘slow techniques’ which are rather important on many of our tours. We can also provide you with - additional lodging (for instance airport hotels) – extra sightseeing events and -days – help by planning further trips – rental of mobile phone – rental of GPS – PURCHASE of GPS equipment – weblog for your trip reports – bike-to-bike communications ………….. and more.
This tour will take you to some famous places and (weather permitting) over all of the most important Alpine Passes in France.