Normandy is a region rich in history and traditions, deeply linked to the famous landing that saw it protagonist of World War II. Along its coast you can visit museums, beaches and military cemeteries that remind you of the event, but Normandy also has wonderful countryside landscapes.
The region has developed several themed tourist itineraries that allow you to dive in the past and revive the places of war. One of the most fascinating bike routes is the one called “D-Day: The Clash”. This is a 68km long ring and an easy ride from Grandcamp Le Maisy to Bayeux.
After just 40 km from Grandcamp Le Maisy we immediately descend into history, we are catapulted, more precisely, on June 6, 1944, when American troops managed to conquer the German bunkers on the top of the cliff at Pointe du Hoc. Some of these bunkers can be visited still today.
Continuing to ride along the coast, you meet the town of St. Laurent sur Mer. Here is Omaha Beach, the real landing point of the allies and the place where unfortunately they recorded more losses. Today there is a memorial to the beach and a museum was also built a short distance away.
Only 3 km from the beach, in Colleville, there is the American cemetery: 9,387 white crosses and a “missing people wall” over which are carved more than 1,500 names.
Take the bike back and move another 10 km to Port En Bessin. Here we can stop at the local museum that collects all objects found at sea that were common to soldiers. Approximately 9 km later, we arrive at the farthest town of the ring: Bayeux, a delightful medieval village. From here you go back to Grandcamp Le Maisy but passing through the countryside.
Shortly before Le Cambe’s arrival, there is the cemetery of the German soldiers, more spartan than the American one but equally impressive: it collects the bodies of 21,300 soldiers.
The entire route runs on secondary roads and does not have difficult climbs. You need to get dressed in layers, because the weather can also vary very quickly, but the points for refreshment and rest are not lacking.