D-Day Invasion, Normandy-Paris Tour
D-Day Invasion, Normandy-Paris Tour. 8-day guided tour by bus
During this exciting tour your expert guides will make the Normandy and Paris experience come alive as you travel to the historical sites in Normandy and the splendor of the city of Paris.
Featuring a special lecture for the International Military History Institute with historian Antony Beevor, whose books on Stalingrad, The Downfall of Berlin, D-Day, The Battle of the Bulge, Paris (with Artemis Cooper), Crete, The Spanish Civil War are translated into many languages and sold in millions of copies.
The participants in this tour will on the tour’s last day in Paris have the privilege of meeting Antony Beevor in person and hear him tell about the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. Antony will answer questions and all tour participants will get a signed copy of his book, D-Day.
On this exciting tour your expert guides will make the Normandy and Paris experience come alive as you travel to historical WWII sites and explore the splendor of this great capital city. D-Day was one of the largest military operations ever undertaken (Read also "The meaning of D-day"). The combined Allied operation in northern France was a grand attempt to invade Europe and bring the Nazi regime to an end. Here on the beaches of Normandy the outcome of World War II hung in the balance and with it the future of the entire world. During your tour of Normandy you will visit the locations of decisive engagements and your guides will describe the action that took place there.
The tour will present a broad interpretation of the importance of the Normandy invasion and its place in world history. You will be introduced to the main personalities who played critical roles in the Battle of Normandy: the generals, admirals, staff officers, politicians, civilians, soldiers and sailors. You will visit all the famous places you may know from historical books and movies. In Paris you will be taken to the city’s celebrated landmarks. During the tour, you will dine in good French restaurants, providing you with an excellent introduction to French cooking. Listed below are some of the highlights of the Normandy-Paris Tour.
You will see and experience the following:
The Invasion Beaches of Normandy
- Utah Beach
- Omaha Beach
- Gold Beach
- Juno Beach
- Sword Beach
Other Visits in Normandy
- You will also see the Bayeux Tapestry Museum, which depicts the invasion of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. The Bayeux Tapestry is a unique historical record; a 70 m long piece of cloth that is almost 1000 years old. Its vivid embroidered illustrations tell the story of the Norman invasion
- You will also have the opportunity to visit a local Normandy distillery and taste the world-famous brandy Calvados, made from apples
- The French Military Museum
- The Eiffel Tower and Trocadéro
- Sight-seeing tour of Paris by boat on the Seine River
- Notre Dame
- Sacré Coeur de Montmartre
- Place de la Concorde
- Champs Elysées
- Arc de Triomphe
Museums and Battle Sites
- Rommel’s headquarters in La Roche Guyon
- Military cemeteries: La Cambe (German); Colleville-sur-Mer (American); Bayeux War Cemetery (British)
- Pegasus Bridge and the Pegasus Bridge Memorial Museum
- Sainte-Mère-Église and the Airborne Sainte-Mère-Église Museum
- The Pointe du Hoc battlefield
- The artificial Harbor at Arromanche
- Mémorial de la Paix in Caen
- The Museums at Utah and Omaha Beach
- The Normandy museum in Bayeux
- Dead Man’s Corner and Museum (uniform of Captain Winters, Band of Brothers)
- The Juno Beach Memorial
- The Grand Bunker
- Glider and US Paratrooper landing sites (101st and 82nd airborne)
- German V-1 Flying Bomb launch site
- General Bernard Montgomery’s Headquarters
- Juno Beach Information Center
- Brecourt Manor Assault. E-Company, 506th, 101st airborne monument. E-Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
"After having traveled with the International Military Institute six times I can only give the company my best recommendations. There is control with everything and everything functions perfectly. The guides are knowledgeable and let their knowledge pass on to the travelers. You know more, when you return home."
"As someone interested in history (especially WWII) it has always been my dream to see and experience key places that have to do with the war. To stand at Omaha Beach where the Allies went ashore in 1944. To stand at Zeppelinfeld in Nuremberg, where the Nuremberg Rally took place. Cultours is definitely a tour operator out of the ordinary. If you want to feel the presence of history, Cultours will in no way disappoint."
”A memorable trip. Enjoyable and I learned a lot. Great companionship. Thanks so much.”
"With an old friend from school I participated in a journey to Normandy in the spring of 2012. The theme was the 1944 invasion in Normandy, France. It was a great experience, a good bus, competent and engaged guide. The hotels and the food were good. Everything came together perfectly. I can only say, that I would travel with Cultours again. I got my money's worth."
"… the most enjoyable, informative and detailed tour I have ever been on. The historians/guides, Torsten Granov and Daniel Martinez, were both extremely knowledgeable about the area and history of both Normandy and Paris. A visitor with little knowledge of the D-Day invasion would gain a wealth of information taking this tour."
Our expert guides & Pricing
Historian and TV personality
Daniel Martinez is a noted Pacific War and WWII historian. He is a well-known television personality. He hosted 36 episodes of Unsolved History for Discovery Channel. Daniel has also appeared in numerous documentaries for the History Channel, National Geographic, the Military Channel, CBS, NBC, ABC, CSPAN and PBS. Recently, he led our tour retracing the footsteps of John F. Kennedy up to his assassination in 1963. His background in battlefield interpretation is acknowledged internationally. He has led tours to the fields of Gettysburg, Antietam, Little Big Horn, Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, Saipan, Tinian and Midway Island. He has written or contributed to several books and writes for leading publications on military history.
Historian and Director of International Military History Institute
Torsten Granov has written several books and has lectured widely about WWII and Nazi Germany in Denmark, Norway and France. His book D-Day – the prelude, the drama, the aftermath is available in English. He is an expert on WWII and the Invasion of Normandy – D-day. He has visited a great number of WWI and WWII battlefields as an expert guide on military history tours.
- Single rooms USD $700 extra
- Quality hotels (French style).
- All rooms with private bath or shower.
- Breakfast all 7 days, good 3 course dinner all 7 nights (lunches on your own)
- Entrance fees to all museums and sites
- Two expert historians as tour guides giving lectures during the trip
- Lecture with world famous historian and writer Antony Beevor
- Your personal signed copy of Antony Beevor’s book D-Day
- Educational materials, maps, etc.
- Private first class air-conditioned motor coach
- Extra night in Paris hotel: $150 per person sharing a twin room, including breakfast. Single room $ 250
Above: Map of the D-Day landing areas
The tour day by day
(Optional) You can arrive in Paris at our centrally located hotel one day early. We can arrange pick up at Charles de Gaulle Airport or at the Gare du Nord if arriving from London with Eurostar high speed train.
Arrival at the hotel at 2pm. You will be given your rooms, and after an introductory briefing we will go to the French Military Museum. After seeing the museum we will visit the Eiffel Tower. In the evening there will be a welcome dinner at a typical French restaurant.
Departure from Paris in the morning. On our way through the French countryside we will visit Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s headquarters at La Roche Guyon, a spectacular chateau located near the River Seine.
Rommel was away in Germany when the invasion was launched and this certainly contributed to the Allies’ success. We will then
proceed east towards the invasion area. First stop Pegasus Bridge, where the first airborne troops landed on D-Day. We will see the memorial and then visit Café Gondrée (Pegasus Bridge) for refreshments. Afterwards we will go to Caen to see one of the largest museums in Normandy, the Mémorial de la Paix. The museum gives a good introduction to the invasion and the subsequent days of the battle. We will then proceed to our Bayeux hotel where we will spend four nights. We will have dinner in a good restaurant in Bayeux.
We begin our tour in the morning. The first stop is the German cemetery at La Cambe, the resting place of around 25,000 Germans. One of the most famous is Michael Wittmann, a German tank commander, who destroyed more than 100 enemy tanks. We then go to a private farm, which is the location of a V-1 launch site. We have the owner’s permission to
visit the site. It is very well preserved and you will hear the story of the German V-weapons and an explanation of why the launch site was built here. We then visit some of the most famous locations related to the invasion, including Sainte-Mère-Église, the village where the 82nd Airborne Division landed. Nearby are the fields where the 101st Airborne Division was dropped. In Sainte-Mère-Église, a house caught fire on the night before D-Day, arousing the interest and attention of the Germans. Suddenly parachutists began dropping all over the town and the Germans realized that the invasion had begun. There were heavy casualties, but the famous Pvt. John Steel, who landed on the church tower, survived and today a café has been named after him.
Where the burning house stood is today the Airborne Museum with a Waco glider and a C-47 Paratrooper plane and many other items and pictures related to the airborne landings. We will have lunch in Sainte-Mère-Église before we go to Utah Beach to see the landing beach and the museum. On our way we will pass the village of Ste. Marie du Mont, the drop zone of the 101st Airborne, and visit the monument at Brécourt Manor. We will
take a walk on Utah Beach before going to the small museum at Dead Man’s Corner. Captain Winters, 506th Easy Company (Band of Brothers), 101st Airborne, has donated his uniform and some of his equipment to the museum and it can be seen there. Here we will also visit the new interesting D-Day Experience Museum with its high-tech flight-simulator. At the end of the day we return to Bayeux. It is a small Norman town from the Viking age, and home to the renowned Bayeux Tapestry. The tapestry was commissioned more than 900 years ago by Bishop Odo of Bayeux Cathedral, who was the half-brother of William the Conqueror. The tapestry is still in Bayeux and
you will have the opportunity to see this unique piece of cloth, measuring more than 70 yards long and 1 yard wide, and embroidered with
scenes from William Duke of Normandy’s invasion of England in 1066. In 1944 Bayeux was the first town in France to be liberated by the Allies. This saved the town from destruction and almost no fighting took place there. In the center of town where we will be staying, you will discover narrow streets, shops, restaurants, cafés and historical houses. Bayeux is the best accommodation choice for visiting all the landing beaches. Stretching more than 50 miles from east to west, the landing beaches require some driving to visit. Staying in centrally located Bayeux reduces the amount of time we need to spend on transport.
We begin the day at Pointe du Hoc, an important fortified German battery. Rangers led by Col. Rudder took the position on the morning of
June 6th. The ground has not been leveled and the ruins of the German bunkers still stand in their original location. This is one of the
best places to get an idea of the scale of the bombardments on D-Day and the preceding days. From Pointe du Hoc we go to Vierville, one of the villages behind Omaha Beach. We will see the remains of the artificial harbor, Mulberry A, which was destroyed by a storm on June 19th, 1944. The remains in the sea can only be seen at very low tide. We will drive along Omaha Beach and will stop and take a walk on one of the most famous battlefields of WWII.
We then visit the Omaha Beach Museum and proceed to the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, just behind Omaha Beach. More
than 9000 Americans rest here in a breathtaking setting with green lawns dotted with white crosses overlooking the sea. No one who visits this place is unaffected. We will also visit the Omaha Beach Visitor Center and Museum, and take a short walk to look
at the remains of one of the German strongholds, WN 62, where perhaps the first Germans saw the invasion fleet. We then continue along Omaha Beach and reach Gold Beach, where British forces came ashore. We will visit the German artillery battery at Longues-sur-Mer, the only place today with the original guns in position.
They were damaged on June 6th 1944 and are still to be found on the site. We then visit the museum of the second artificial harbor, Mulberry B, which survived the storm on June 19th and was active as an important harbor until November 1944.
There are many remains left in the sea and the breakwater can be seen almost intact at low tide. Back in Bayeux (before dinner) we visit a Calvados producer. Calvados is the famous apple brandy produced only in Normandy. We will hear about its production and taste a few samples of calvados.
We visit the castle behind Gold Beach where Montgomery had his headquarters just
after the invasion. The building is private but we can see it from the outside. We then go to Juno Beach and the Canadian Memorial.
We will see the exhibits and follow the coast to Sword Beach, where we visit a German observation tower, now a fine museum. Our bus
will take us back to Bayeux, to the museum for the Normandy Battles and the Bayeux War Cemetery, where British and Canadian dead are buried.
In the evening we will have another good French dinner in Bayeux.
We will leave for Paris in the morning, arriving in the city around noon. Here we will begin at the La Fayette Escadrille Memorial Cemestery, the last resting place of American pilots from WW1. We will take a boat trip on the Seine River. The boat
landing is within walking distance of Notre Dame, which we will visit. It is also close to the police headquarters, where the police fought
the Germans just before Paris was liberated. We will also see the Deportation Memorial, directly behind Notre Dame. We then continue to our hotel and there will be some free time before dinner.
We begin with a sightseeing tour of Paris. It will take us to Sacré Coeur, Place de la Concorde, Champs-Elysées and many other well-known sights. We will also see the German Headquarters during the occupation of
France. You will hear many stories about France and Paris in particular during the German occupation. You will have the afternoon at your disposal in Paris. In the evening we will have a farewell dinner at a good French restaurant.
Check out of the hotel before 11am. (Optional) Extra night(s) at the hotel in Paris.
Please advise when you purchase the tour package whether you wish to extend your stay in Paris (either before or after the tour).
Sign up for the tour
6-day extension September 9th – September 14th
American battlefields and sites in Belgium, Germany Luxembourg & Northern France
Waterloo, Hurtgenwald Battlefields, Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne, Easy Company Battlefields, Luxembourg National Military Museum, American Military Cemetery with Gen. Patton’s grave, Verdun Battlefields, Verdun Memorial Museum, Sgt. York Trail, Meuse-Argonne, American Military Cemetery, First World War, Reims, General Eisenhower's Headquarter.
Participants in the Normandy-Day tour signing up for this extension will have a free room and dinner in the evening on the 8th of September.
Photo above: Artificial harbor, Port Winston, Arromanche today.
Above two rare color-videos from the time around June 6 1944. They are also featured in Torsten Granovs book on D-Day that is available from Apple and Amazon here (iPad and Kindle editions. Only the iPad edition has video).