Indulge in Brittany and Normandy culinary traditions, history and lifestyle through our original cultural and gourmet off-the-beaten-paths tour featuring Vannes, Mont-Saint-Michel, Bayeux, D-Day sites, Honfleur and many quaint villages in the Pays d'Auge.
Brittany & Normandy are close to each other, but different. Close by the history as under English domination at the Middle-Age. Different by landscapes, climate, cultural attractions, traditions and of course cuisine. Bordered by the English Channel and the Atlantic, Brittany and Normandy were shot to the sea always, forming generations of sailors, navigators and explorers. These two regions claim the values of their terroir, agricultural wealth, and little ports where the best fish and shellfish arrive each day. Join us to explore Brittany and Normandy millenary history, forming an unparalleled heritage with the remarkable sites that you will visit.
At Lifestyle Vacations France, we are attached to the authenticity of sites visited, as well as to the comfort of luxury small hotels, chateaux and elegant guest houses accommodation. This program has been designed by Corinne A. Preteur who is Lifestyle Vacations' creator, owner and director. Corinne has carefully toured in Brittany and in Normandy to provide the very best of these regions. She knows perfectly each places you will visit. She knows the producers to meet. She knows the best restaurants to enjoy the refined local cuisine.
Brittany & Normandy Heritage program is a 7-day itinerary that includes the round-trip transfer from/to downtown Paris, 4-star charming and luxury guesthouses located nearby the historic city of Josselin in Brittany first, and mid-distance to the Mont-Saint-Michel then. The itinerary includes guided tours to Vannes, Josselin, Rochefort-en-Terre, Mont-Saint-Michel, Bayeux, D-Day sites, and more. In Brittany, you will experience a fabulous market cooking class featuring Vannes historic town. This tour is conducted by Corinne Preteur personally.
Brittany & Normandy Heritage tour includes a 6-night accommodation in two luxury guest houses located nearby Pontivy in Central Morbihan county (Southern Brittany) and in Bayeux.
The White and Blue Brittany guesthouse is a beautifully restored farmhouse offering 4 spacious rooms, with en-suite bathrooms (with shower) and all modern amenities. Rooms decoration pays tribute to the seaside environment and to the countryside traditions. White and Blue Brittany is home to a lovely couple, both cooking and baking addicts. Any time of the year the house smells good the freshly baked biscuits and cakes. Daily breakfasts, and dinners are amazing, and for sure you will enjoy it in a friendly atmosphere. The house has a heated pool and free internet access.
Le Manoir des Tilleuls in Bayeux, Normandy. This luxury guesthouse is a 18th-century entirely renovated manor located in the historic quarter, steps to the cathedral, to the tapestry museum and to the lime trees planted square. Le Manoir des Tilleuls offers 5 beautifully decorated rooms, each with its private en-suite bathrooms. Rooms are spacious and furnished with stylish antiques while providing all modern comfort. Although the house is in town, it overlooks a beautifully designed tree shaded garden where you will appreciate to rest after a long day of visits and excursion. Le Manoir des Tilleuls is certainly our favorite guest house for the delicious and copious home-made breakfast served in the elegant dining rooms.
Brittany and Normandy bordered by the Channel sea and the Atlantic Ocean offers a large variety of fish and seafood but also varieties of fruits and vegetables produced in the coutryside. Farms spread over the whole territory raising cows for dairy produce. Rural areas welcome numerous artisans who keep the traditions precious and alive. You will find cideries, wheat mills, cheese farms… You will have the chance to meet fabulous local producers in Vannes food market.
The Breton and the Norman cuisines are made with tasteful produce, fish and seafood, meat (especially lamb and pork), buckwheat crepes filled with sautéed vegetables or ham and cheese or salmon and whipped cream… but not only. You will be spoiled with its delicacies such as the plums milky cake “far breton", buttered cake “quatre-quarts" and of course the “kouign amann", a crusty cake which is made with bread dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry.
BRITTANY & NORMANDY HERITAGE program includes a market cooking class.
In Vannes, you will experience the food market tour with the Chef on Saturday morning. This is the biggest and most beautiful market in southern Brittany. You will meet Betty and her fabulous heirloom organic vegetables, Freddy the fishmonger who is so proud to present the fruits of his labor : blue lobster, John Dory and Turbot fish, Joachim and Nicolas who grow delicious organic berries, etc. After the food market tour, you will go to Séné oysters farms to enjoy a fabulous picnic while admiring the silver shades on the ocean. Back to the White & Blue farmhouse kitchen in the afternoon, you will wash hands, tight your apron and learn how to prepare and to cook a typical Breton 4-course menu. Tasting dinner accompanied by wine follows the class.
Brittany and Normandy Heritage itinerary includes ten important cultural sites to explore, and to indulge in the history. The main ones are:
Founded by the Romans after their victory over the Veneti in 56BC, Vannes became one of the most important cities of Brittany, and the favorite residences of the Dukes at the end of the Middle-Age. In the 17th century, convents were built giving to Vannes the status of an important religious city. At the same period, as the Parliament of Brittany moved from Rennes, many houses were built especially in the southern part of the walled city. Later in the second half of the 19th century, the railway and the installation of two artillery regiments contributed to the city's growth. Today Vannes boasts a superb and well-preserved architectural heritage that you will discover along a guided walking tour.
Bayeux is a charming little town of 15000 inhabitants located 6 miles (10km) from the D-Day sites. During the world War II, Bayeux was extremely fortunate to avoid most of the destruction and tragedy following D-Day that other Normandy towns such as Caen suffered. By chance, visitors can today enjoy a beautifully preserved town with typical streets, medieval houses, water mills, and cathedral. But the attraction is linked to the middle-ages with the world-famous Unesco-listed tapestry depicting the Norman conquest of England in 1066. This exceptionally ambitious piece of craftsmanship, measuring over 230ft (70m) in length, was most likely ordered by William the Conqueror's half-brother, the warring Bishop Odo of Bayeux.
D-Day sites stretch from Utah Beach to Sword Beach west to east. The fifty-four miles of coast are littered with WWII museums, monuments, cemeteries and battle remains left in tribute to the courage of British, Canadian and American armies that successfully carried out the largest military operation in history: D-Day. On these serene beaches, at the crack dawn on June 6, 1944, the Allies finally gained a foothold in France. From this moment, Nazi Europe was destined to crumble. You will visit Arromanches, Omaha Beach and the WWII Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, the resting place for nearly 10,000 Americans who died on the nearby beaches.
Pays d'Auge is the Normandy stunning countryside which is popular for dairy and cider farms, and for brandy distilleries, without forgetting its authentic half-timbered villages.
Mont-Saint-Michel medieval Unesco site. A magical island topped by a gravity-defying medieval monastery, the Mont-Saint-Michel counts among France's most stunning sights. For centuries one of Europe's major pilgrimage destinations, this holy mount including its breathtaking bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At least a half-day is necessary to visit the Mont Saint-Michel and the abbey.
Honfleur is as historic as artistic. One of the major port at the 17th century, this little seaside town features remarkable architectural heritage still today with its inland harbor lined with slate-covered frontage houses, an impressing former salt storage building "Grenier à Sel", narrow cobble-stone streets with antique and designer shops, art galleries, and very good restaurants. Honfleur is the birth place of Eugene Boudin, 19-year older than Monet, one of the most influencing impressionist master who was the first one to take his easel outside and paint the landscapes live.
Day 1 - Meet Corinne at Pont de Sevres (downtown Paris) in the morning.
4h30 Private transfer by car or van to Josselin in Brittany.
Lunch in a traditional restaurant on the way.
Afternoon visit to the chateau of Josselin. Check-in the White and Blue Brittany guest house. Resting time.
Aperitif and dinner accompanied by wine. Overnight.
Day 2 - After breakfast, transfer to Vannes.
Morning market tour and shopping with Chef Joris. VIP picnic in Séné oysters farms (Gulf of Morbihan).
Afternoon guided waling tour in Vannes historic quarter.
Cooking class at the White and Blue Brittany guest house followed by a 4-course tasting dinner accompanied by aperitif, wine, mineral water, tea of coffee. Overnight.
Day 3 - After breakfast, transfer to Pont Aven, a lovely village whose the post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin contributed to make well known.
Lunch in Pont Aven.
Afternoon visit to Concarneau which is not only the third most important fishing port of France but also a old stone fortified 'town' with a few narrow streets lined by shops, restaurants, and flourished typical houses. Walking tour in the walled town and around the ramparts offering a panoramic view over the area. It will be possible to visit the Fishing Museum to learn all about the fishing industry and an old trawler.
Transfer to the guest house late in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight.
Day 4 - After breakfast, check-out and transfer to the Mont Saint-Michel.
Picnic lunch nearby the Mont Saint-Michel. Fully guided walking tour to the site and abbey.
Late afternoon transfer to Bayeux. Check-in at Le Manoir des Tilleuls guest house. Resting time.
Dinner in a traditional restaurant nearby. Overnight.
Day 5 - After an early breakfast, full-day tour to D-Day sites departing from Bayeux.
You will visit Arromanches (Mulberry operation), Longues-sur-mer (the German battery), the American cemetery of Colleville-sur-mer, Omaha Beach, La Pointe du Hoc, Sainte Mère Eglise, Utah museum, Sainte-Mère Eglise and Utah Beach.
Dinner in a traditional restaurant nearby. Overnight.
Day 6 - After a light breakfast, meet our local tour guide for an expert-led, morning food tour throughout the picturesque Pays d'Auge villages.
Although you will discover outstanding scenery, you will meet genuine producers, visit their farms and enjoy the fruits of their labor, from Camembert cheese to organic ciders, and locally distilled calvados.
Back to Bayeux at the beginning of the afternoon for a walking tour and shopping. Resting time.
Farewell food & wine pairing dinner in a gourmet restaurant. Overnight.
Day 7 - After breakfast, transfer to Honfleur, a very preserved little town on the channel seaside, which is famous for its impresionnist museum and art galleries. Lunch in Honfleur.
Transfer to Paris. End of the tour.
US$ 4,200 per person (DBL occupancy), based on 2 people in the tour
US$ 3,750 per person (DBL occupancy), based on 4 people in the tour
Single occupancy supplement: US$ 350
All taxes & VAT included.
Paris downtown round-trip transfer
7-day transportation by private car or van
7-day fully escorted tour to Brittany and Normandy
6-night charming and elegant guest houses accommodation, daily continental breakfasts included
13 lunches and dinners at the Brittany guest house, and in traditional and Michelin-starred restaurants
Marketplace tour and cooking class celebrating the Brittany and French cuisine
Recipes in English
Normandy countryside food tour, tastings included
Guided cultural excursions (entrance tickets included) as detailed in the itinerary
Not included : airfare to/from your country, airport transfers, drinks in restaurants, personal insurance, and personal expenses.
September 11-17, 2018 (Tuesday-Monday) (2 spots left)
September 20-26, 2019 (Friday-Thursday) (6 spots left)
Tour is confirmed with 2 people, and it's limited to 4 participants. Considering the limited space in the tour and in the guest house, reservation in advance is strongly recommended.