A land to discover !
The Bessin region invites you to discover, from William the Conqueror to the D-Day landing beaches of the Second World War, a thousand years of history.
A location made famous by the D Day landings
Walk around and explore a countryside of great diversity : groves, forest, wetalnds, cliffs and beaches.
Come and eat the regional dishes which use cider, apple juice, calvados, cream, butter and camembert cheese and succumb to deliciously cooked fish, a wide selection of shellfish and crabs.
- The beaches of Omaha and Utah
- The Pointe du Hoc : a heavily defended and strategic defence position for the Germans, taken by men under the command of Colonel RUDDER by scaling the cliffs on 6 June 1944.
- The American Military Cemetery at Colleville sur Mer : above Omaha Beach, the cemetery contains 9386 graves as well as a list of 1557 names of soldiers whose remains have not been discovered. This cemetery is the largest American graveyard in Normandy. From the balcony which offers a panoramic view of the shore, you can descend to and access the beach.
- The German Military Cemetery at La Cambe is the largest German graveyard in Normandy. 21400 German soldiers are interred here. The focal point is the funerial mound, a tomb containing the remains of 296 unknown soldiers. It is six meters high surmounted by a large granite cross.
- The British Military Cemetery in Bayeux provides a chronological account of the battle.
- The Musee de la bataille de Normandie in Bayeux provides a chronological account of the battle.
- The Musee de debarquement at Arromanches is located right beside the beach where the articial port (Mulberry Harbour) was built to bring vehicles and supplies ashore. The conservation of admiralty film of 'Port Winston' enables you to follow the progress of that operation.
- Arromanches 360° (a 360° circular screen cinema) where you can see an exceptional film about the 'the price of liberty', which, through its projection on to nine screens, plunges you into the heart of the action.
- The Musee des Rangers commemorates the achievements of the Company of Rangers who made the successful assault on the Pointe du Hoc.
- The Caen Peace Memorial is this is a unique war museum dedicated to the pursuit of peace. It provides thematic links to conflicts predating 1918 and to those which have taken place subsequently.
- Longues Battery. This battery is located in the sector coded 'Gold' and still displays gun emplacements as originally designated at the time of the war.
A day to savour the heritage of the area
- The Bayeux Tapestry : The tapestry of Queen Mathilde depicts the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066. A masterpiece in the art of storytelling.
- Bayeux : A medieval town where you can let yourself be enveloped in the charms of its quaint streets and attractive courtyards. Look out for the lace museum (Musee de la dentelle), the Musee Baron Gerard (a collection of fine art, lace, porcelain and furniture), guided visits of the town offered from 1 July until 31 August, the medieval market and a visit to the Cathedral Notre Dame.
- Villedieu Les Poêles : if you are planning on visiting the Mont St Michel, stop off at this 'copper city' (a direct translation of the town's name means God's Town of the Frying Pan!) Here you will discover a foundry for bells, a museum about clockmaking, Norman furniture and the zoo of Champrepus.
- Le Molay-litry :is an ancient coal mining town. You can visit the mining museum and the Moulin de Marcy, a restored flour mill and farm.
- Cite de la mer (City of the Sea) at Cherbourg : A world class museum complex devoted to the undersea world and includes an aquarium. You can visit the submarine 'Redoubtable' which is the largest nuclear powered submarine open to visitors in the world.
- The archaeology museum at Vieux la Romaine.
- The Parc Regional des Marais (Regional Park of the Wetlands) of the Cotentin and Bessin : Walks where you can discover all sorts of birds and stroll along the canals. There is a guided visit at the nature reserve at the bridge at Douves.
- Also numerous castles and fortified farmsteads.
Leisure activities at Grandcamp-Maisy
A trip to Grancamp-Maisy
- Sailing School : phone +(33) 2 31 22 14 35
- Tennis courts : 2 indoor tennis courts and 2 outside courts, phone +(33) 2 31 22 62 39
- Land Sailing/Sand yachting : beginner or improver, EOLIA, phone +(33) 2 31 22 26 21
- Golf : 27 holes at Port en Bessin-Huppin
- Petanque (Boules) : association of Grandcamp
- Swimming : The beaches at Grandcamp Maisy have been awarded the pavillon bleu europeen, which is a quality hallmark.
- Angling : You can try your hand at enticing bass, collect winkles, mussels, cockles and spider crabs.
- Touring on foot or on horseback : Many paths run up and down the seashore and criss-cross the countryside of which there is the GR 223 (Cotentin tour from Avranches to Barfleur) and a bridleway.
And what about something to eat ?
- La grancopaise : a former fishing sail boat. The old rigging has been classified as an historic monument. Visits on request.
- Oyster beds : Visits and tastings of the oysters of Normandy. Normandy is the most important region for production in the whole of France. The baie de vey is the most important oyster production area in Normandie.
- A trip on the Colonel Rudder : a journey by sea from one to six hours. You will discover in particular, the cliffs of the Pointe du Hoc or the bird sanctuary on the islands of St Marcouf.
- La Flambardiere : from tree to finished object, Patrick BROGGI will show you his creations : music boxes, mirrors, games made of woods from the locality (apple, pear, oak...) at Ste Honorine des Pertes.
- Pottery studio : at Treviere, Herve COFFIGNIAL works in a colour palette of blue tones which compliments the richness of the stoneware.
- Les parapluies H2O (umbrellas) : Martine and Claude COLLARD offer the opportunity to have a look at their secret methods of production, from the cut of the fabric to its completion.
- La Ferme de la Sapinniere : Michel and Philippe LEGALOIS are the producers - for cider, calvados, pommeau (like an apple fortified wine), apple juice, made in accordance with the farming traditions of the Bessin at St Laurent sur Mer.
- The dairy co-operative at Isigny sur Mer : Discover how cream, butter, cheese and dried milk are produced.
- Normandie Caramel : Discover the famous caramels of Isigny sur Mer with 40 different flavours.
Or if you need information ?
- Fruit and vegetable market: Every Tuesday and Sunday mornings in high season and every Tuesday and Saturday in low season.
- Marché fruits et légumes : Tous les mardis et dimanches matin en saison, et tous les mardis et samedis hors saison.
- There is a mini-market at Grandcamp-Maisy or a supermarket at Isigny sur Mer.
- Restaurants : There are many restaurants, among which :
- Le Tivoli : restaurant
- La Trinquette : gourmet restaurant
- Le bar de la plage : mussels
- La Flambée : gourmet restaurant
- The Tourist Office at Grandcamp-Maisy, tel : +(33) 2 31 22 62 44.
- The Tourist Office in Bayeux, tel : +(33) 2 31 51 28 28.
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