Major General
Graham Hollands









Normandy & Brittany

Description of Highlights


D-Day & the Battle of Normandy tour
Private tour & tasting at Normandy dairy
Visit & tasting at cider cellar & distillery
Bayeux Cathedral & Tapestry
Mont St. Michel Abbey
The bay of Mont St.Michel
Château & town of Fougères
Château & town of Vitré
Outdoor markets
Hands-on Cooking Dinner in Château
Salt marshes

D-Day & the Battle of Normandy with Major General Graham Hollands.
Major General Hollands will provide us with a full day in-depth tour. His military service, local knowledge and interest in military history offers a memorable opportunity for him to bring to life the events of a pivotal campaign of World War II. more on Major General Hollands

1.5-hour visit & tasting at Fromagerie Graindorge in Livarot, specializing in Camembert de Normandie AOC (made exclusively from hand-ladled, raw cow's milk from the Normande cattle breed), as well as Neufchâtel AOC (heart-shaped cousin of Camembert), Pont l'Evêque AOC (the oldest cheese in the Pays d'Auge region), and Livarot AOC . Tour the facility with an audio-guide in English to learn the method of cheese-making; conclude with a tasting of all four cheese with bread and a glass of cider ...more on Camembert.

1-hour visit and tasting at Domaine Dupont, producers of world renowned ciders & Calvados (brandy made from apples) where we will enjoy a tour of the facility and a tasting of their product. Visit the orchards to hear about the process from blooming to the harvest, followed by a visit to the cellar & distillery to discover how cider, apple juice & Calvados are created. The production line includes traditional effervescent cider (5% alcohol), pure apple juice (no alcohol), Calvados liquor aged in oak for several years (42% alcohol), L'Aperitif Normand, a blend of Calvados with fresh cider, and aged 18 months in oak (17% alcohol).

Bayeux Cathedral & Tapestry Behold the beautiful and authentic 224 foot-long embroidered tapestry which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England as well as the events of the invasion itself ~ the famous Battle of Hastings in 1066. Visit the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux, where William forced Harold Godwinson to take the oath, the breaking of which led to the subsequent Norman conquest of England. The present cathedral was consecrated on July 14th, 1077 in the presence of William the Conqueror ~ the Duke of Normandy and King of England.

2-hour VIP private guided visit of the famous Mont-St-Michel Abbey
Mont St. Michel is one of the most remarkable sights on the coast of Brittany. Rising proudly from the bright waters of the bay, it straddles the border between the French regions of Brittany and lower Normandy. Learn the fascinating history of the abbey as we stroll through the phenomenal structure; visit areas that the public is not allowed access to, such as the ancient crypt. more on the Mont St. Michel Abbey.
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Bay of Mont St-Michel The coastline here flattens out into a wide expanse of sand from which, almost magically, Mont-St-Michel rises. Windmills and low thatched houses line the coast as far as Cancale. Anchored in the bay are oak stakes, known as bouchots, can be seen all along the bay. ...more on mussels from the Bay of Mont St-Michel

Medieval cobbled town of Dinan on the banks of the River Rance in the département of Côtes d'Armor. One of Brittany's most quaint medieval town centers ~ the heart of the old town, the Place des Merciers, is lined with medieval timber-framed houses and cobbled streets. The oldest tower in the town's 13th-century walls commands a splendid panorama of the harbor of the Rance valley. ...more on Dinan

Fortified port town St-Malo. This harbor beach resort has impressive ramparts that encirle the city. We'll walk to the old town center from the Tour de Solidor at Corniche Aleth ~ the coastal walking path situatued above the tower leads around this small point and provides a breathtaking view of the walled city, as well as the crashing waves, the city of Dinard, the open sea, and the Île du Petit-Bé and Île du Grand- Bé.

Wander through the old town of Fougères & visit the Château of Fougères. The imposing castle is a masterpiece of medieval military architecture, was built between the 12th and 15th centuries, and its ramparts, set with 13 towers, enclose an area of 5 acres. The old town of Fougères, at the foot of the castle, is filled with old timber-framed houses, particularly in Place du Marchix and Rue de Lusignan.
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Private guided visit of the Château of Vitré.  The castle, perched on a rocky outcrop, is one of the great fortresses that defended the marches of Brittany. The fortified town of Vitré is unusually well-preserved, with a wealth of picturesque houses ~ around the Église Notre Dame, the finest medieval and Renaissance houses in Vitré can be seen.

Participate in one of France's long-held traditions: Outdoor food markets. Have the pleasure of visiting an outdoor food market, and discover a tremendous array of delicious fare, including abundant fish and seafood, cheese, patés, salads, and meats.

Hands-On Cooking Dinner in Château residence. Enjoy a private dinner party with chef Karen Gros in your 19th-century castle residence. Shop at the morning market in a quaint untouristy village nearby, and prepare a 3-course dish made with local, seasonal products. Includes: 2 glasses champagne & half bottle wine per person, mineral water, and coffee.
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2-hour private visit "Fleur de sel, the pleasure of taste" of the Celtic Atlantic sea salt marshes guided by a salt worker, or paludier. Learn about the traditional craft of salt a salt worker, learn how salt from Guérande is produced and harvested, and discover the gastronomic virtues of salt during a tasting of savory and sweet treats. Déjeuner at a crêperie in one of the quaint ancient salt villages.
... more on the salt marshes.


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