Beaches of Normandy

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Normandy, France

Beaches of Normandy Reviews

red_mapleleaf red_mapl…
1 reviews
Peace and Beauty Mar 07, 2011
I would like to say that the beaches of Normandy are a must see. I will tell you about how I saw them. I backpacked across Europe and finally made it to France. When I was in France, I had an idea of going to Normandy to see all the beach landings during WWII. My first night in the hostel I was staying at, I met some amazing people and asked them if they wanted to join me on a tour to Normandy. It didn’t take much convincing and I gathered a fellow Canadian, German, Australian and a girl from Tasmania. I rented a car from Versailles. The car rental from Versailles was a lot cheaper than renting it from Paris. The five of us piled in and set off to Omaha Beach. We arrived as the sun was setting and set up a tent and a camp fire right on the beach. The view overlooking the beach is very moving. The American Cemetery in Colleville -sur-Mer, is situated on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach contains the graves of nearly 10,000 American military dead. After Omaha Beach, we drove to Utah Beach, the first town liberated in France, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Carentan, Pointe du Hoc, Bayeux, Juno Beach and the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery.

Pointed du Hoc is an amazing cliff top view west of Omaha. This strong point on the Atlantic Wall is another must see. It has a museum and a memorial dedicated to the battle during D-Day. Many of the original fortifications have been left in place. The site is speckled with bomb craters and has an incredible view of the coast.

The Beny-sur-Mer was my favourite cemetery we visited. It was the most tranquil. When you walk through the 2,049 headstones enclosed by pines and maples, you feel at peace. The cemetery is very beautiful and a must see if you are Canadian. What I really like about the war cemeteries is that there is a book you get to sign. The book asks you where you are from, date visited and to leave a comment. It is amazing how many people sign it and where they are from.

Unfortunately we ran out of time at this point. If you plan to visit any D-Day sites, I recommend that you do some research and plan where you would like to go and visit. We spent 2days there and it was not nearly enough time. I plan on going back and spending at least a week there.
Omaha Beach
bunker on Omaha Beach
Colleville -sur-Mer American Cemet…
Colleville -sur-Mer American Cemet…
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mistere mistere
56 reviews
Seeing the sands of time Jun 23, 2011
I went to see the beaches of Normandy around the year 2000 and went around the time they were celebrating an anniversary of D-Day. This meant there were a lot of enthusiasts about in old military vehicles! This was good though as you got to see someone driving a Sherman tank and amphibious vehicles around the beach!

Apart from the celebration of the anniversary, there was a lot to see along the beaches. There were still gun emplacements at Longues-Sur-Mer with the rusty remnants of the continental defences. At Arromanches, you can see the remains of the makeshift dock the allies made and also the history behind it. There is also Pointe Du Hoc where American rangers captured a naval gun emplacement. There still remains huge craters where allied planes bombarded it!

There are some more sombre sights to see to imagine the sheer scale of the battles that raged on these beaches. La Cambe cemetery is a German cemetery near the beaches and Colleville-Sur-Mer holds an American cemetery. By visiting these places you see the loss of life caused from the biggest seaborne invasion in history!

I'd recommend seeing the beaches to anyone, as it is a reminder of one of the biggest military operations in history. The sheer enormity and scale of it can only be seen by visiting these beaches.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
jhenthorne jhenthor…
3 reviews
Normandy Coast of France Jun 19, 2011
Just got back from spending a week on the Normandy coast of France. Started in Calais and worked all the way down to St. Malo. I was there to photograph the coast so weather always plays a role for me.

The tides on the Normandy coast are very significant - 10m in cases, along with some very long days this time of year - sunrise 5:45am and sunset after 10pm. Also, I might note that the weather can change drastically very quickly on this coast with storms blowing in off the English Channel.

My top picks as for cities were Honfleur, St. Malo and Port-en-Bessin. The people on the coast were gracious hosts and it was a very enjoyable trip.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Rae324 Rae324
5 reviews
wonderful historical area Jun 06, 2009
The beaches are definately worth seeing. The bunkers and surrounding land really bring to life what our history's soldiers had to go through. Its also a pretty drive as well. When I was there for the anni. of D-Day they had hospitals and camps set up to also show a living history. Memorials and plaques are everywhere to further your knowledge of the war.
hooahwife93 hooahwif…
1 reviews
Jun 30, 2007
The Normandy region has lots of memorials of WWII. Most are free. The most expensive thing there is the gas. The people there are very friendly to the Americans. It is a very emotional trip. So much blood was spilled there. It is amazing and everyone that can go...should! I'll add photos later!

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Normandy Map
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photo by: anupa_rk