BAYEUX – BESSIN – D-DAY BEACHES
This little corner of Calvados was liberated in the few hours that followed the allied landings – the largest military operation of all times – on 6th June 1944. The area suffered little damage from the fights that occurred during the Battle of Normandy. Today it is a popular weekend and holiday destination that perfectly combines culture, heritage, dynamism and modernity. Follow the guide!
The small medieval town of Bayeux, capital of Bessin, stands proudly, inland from the D-Day Beaches. There is no need to introduce the famous Bayeux Tapestry, medieval masterpiece, embroidered in honour of William the Conqueror and now registered by UNESCO.
But have you had the pleasure of strolling through the cobbled streets of the Episcopal city? Have you seen the half-timbered houses, mansions, welcoming shops and workshops? From the heart of the city’s conservation area, the towers of Notre-Dame Cathedral – consecrated in 1077 in the presence of the duke-king – proudly overlook the surrounding countryside and coastline.
The neighbouring countryside is typical of Normandy; it consists of woodland, fields and hedgerows, and is one of the leading areas for dairy products. Fortified farmhouses, manors, chateaus and abbeys are ubiquitous and appear gracefully before the inquisitive rambler.
The coastline, alternating long beaches (ideal for water sports) and high cliffs, is laden with the Landings’ history: from the artificial harbour to the petroleum harbour and the German battery of Longues-sur-Mer.
The fishing village of Port-en-Bessin has retained its authenticity and charm, and is popular for its lively ambiance.
Perched on a cliff, the Vauban tower watches over the fishing boats, as they go out to sea and return, their holds loaded with fish and scallop.
On the opposite cliff, lies the 36 hole golf course, offering breathtaking scenery.
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