Thank you for booking a Normandy and Mont Saint Michel Photo Excursion with Aperture Tours. The Normandy region of France is rich in history and culture and hold exquisite natural beauty. At 30,000km² (11,500 mi²), the region is the same size as Belgium or half of West Virginia, and with limited time, we're going to have to be selective. Below is a list of places we can stop off along the way. For a single day trip, you can expect two stops (or one and visiting the island of Mont Saint Michel itself). On an overnight journey, in addition to night shooting of Mont Saint Michel, you can add one or two stops on the return, depending on your schedule.
Honfleur is a port city along the Normandy Coast. It's on the estuary where the Seine river meets the English Channel. The Vieux-Bassin (old harbor), lined with 16th- to 18th-century townhouses, has been a subject for artists including Claude Monet and native son Eugène Boudin. Nearby is 15th-century St. Catherine's Church, a vaulted timber structure erected by shipbuilders.
Home to the Rouen Cathedral, which hosts the tallest church spire in France. This gothic church is a wealth of art and architectural details. The dukes of Normandy were traditionally crowned here, and it is here that rumours have it, Jeanne d'Arc was burned at the stake.
Abbaye de Jumièges
The remains of the Benedictine monastery date back to the 7th Century. What remains today is a bewitching shell of a huge abbey nestled in the bend of the river Seine. The abbey once protected kings but has borne the brunt of the long years spent watching over the region.
Bayeux is a town on the Aure River, 10kms from the Channel coast. Its medieval centre contains cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and the towering, Norman-Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Apart from its charming centre, it also hosts the British and Commonwealth War Memorial and the The Reporters Memorial, one of personal note, as it remembers those journalists and photographers who have been killed while doing their job of reporting the trut
Arromanches-les-Bains and Longues-sur-Mer
The epicentre of the Normandy landings, Arromanches-les-Bains is firmly connected to the D-Day beaches. Remains of the floating "Mulberry harbour" are still left in the sea. This artificial port allowed the disembarkation of 9,000 tons of material per day. Nearby are the turrets of Longues-sur-Mer battery where mangled or abandoned cannons remain to this day.
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
The American Cemetery, located at Omaha beach is an emotionally moving place. Seemingly endless rows of crosses and the star of David fill the hills atop the Omaha Beach, the principle landing ground for the American division landing on the Normandy beaches. There is no greater peace memorial than that of a war cemetery.
Abbey of Mont Saint Michel
If you prefer to explore the Abbey its self, then we will need to cut out a stop along the way to make sure we can enter before it closes. The medieval streets twist and turn up the side of this mountain island to the crowning Abbey. Inside you can see the impressive architecture and feel a close connection to this still active Abbey.
Overnight at Mont Saint Michel
If you are opting for the two-day options and staying overnight in Mont Saint Michel, we can enjoy not only the illuminated skyline at dusk but also the favourable early morning light on the east side of the island in the morning. We will profit from more time on the island, reduce travel strain by breaking the 800kms round trip into two days, and stop off at an additional spot or two, time permitting on the return to Paris. If you only booked one day, and would like to extend your workshop to two days, you may book this here.
And of course, every option includes magnificent vantage points of Mont Saint Michel.
There is no need to set in concrete plans now, we can adjust them as we are on the route. If there is something in Normandy that you would like to discover that we didn't mention, just let us know, and we will be more than happy to explore it together.