France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   D-Day in Normandy, France
The D-Day landings on June 6, 1944 were the greatest amphibious invasion in world history. Visitors come by the thousands to visit the D-Day invasion sites.

 
 




 

The Normandy landings on D-Day (June 6, 1944), part of the Allied Operation Overlord, saw the largest and most complex amphibious invasion in world history when Allied airborne, naval and army forces invaded the beaches and heights of Normandy to break through Hitler's "Atlantic Wall" and liberate Europe from Nazi tyranny.

This dramatic day lives in the histories of all the nations that took part, and in the hearts of anyone who had a family member who played a part.

It's no surprise that, three-quarters of a century later, visitors still come to see where it happened, and to remember those who fought here.

A Brief History

Planning for Operation Overlord began in 1943, and involved millions of people, thousands of vessels and aircraft. The invasion was expected, and awaited, by the German occupiers of France, who built a series of mighty defenses—the Atlantic Wall—to resist it. Success was certainly not a sure thing for either side. More...

Your Visit

Day-Trip from Paris

It's possible to visit some of the Normandy landing sites on a quick day-trip by train from Paris.

Board a train at Paris's Gare Saint-Lazare departing for Caen around 07:00 am, and you should arrive at the Gare de Caen around 09:00 am. Join a day tour, or pick up a rental car at the Gare de Caen, and you will have close to nine hours to explore the D-Day landing sites before you'll need to board your return train to Paris.

Finish your tour or return your rental car at the Gare de Caen in the late afternoon, board a train around 19:00 (7:00 pm) for Paris St-Lazare, and you should be back in Paris by about 21:00 (9:00 pm).

Overnight in Caen or Bayeux

The Normandy towns of Caen and Bayeux (map) are both good as bases for visiting the D-Day sites. Staying right in Normandy for one or two nights allows you a more leisurely and complete tour of the historic sites and the lovely Normandy countryside and towns.

Stay in Caen if your primary interest is in Juno, Gold and Sword beaches invaded mostly by British and Canadian units. More...

Stay in Bayeux if your interest is in the mostly American forces who landed at Utah and Omaha beaches, the US Army Rangers who scaled Pointe-du-Hoc, and/or the famous Bayeux Tapestry. More...

Transportation

You can easily reach Caen and/or Bayeux by train from Paris, Rouen or Rennes. From either base you will probably want to hire/rent a car or take day tours to visit the beaches and battle sites. There are local buses, and bicycling is possible, but these take much more time and preparation. More...

Ardent bicyclists will enjoy riding through the fertile, verdant countryside, but many of the roads are narrow and the topography, though near sea level just south of the beaches, rises to 50+ meters (164+ feet) a few kilometers inland from the beaches.

Major Sites to Visit

The best-known D-Day sites are the landing beachesUtah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword—but there are other battle sites, villages, towns and war cemeteries worthy of visits. More...


Major D-Day Sites

A Brief D-Day History

Caen

Bayeux

Cherbourg

Le Havre

Normandy Transport

About Normandy

About Brittany

 

Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel by Tom Brosnahan

 

Omaha Beach, Normandy, France

D-Day Memorials, Omaha Beach, Normandy.

 












FTP on Facebook    
Pinterest    Twitter