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Impressionist Normandy: Honfleur to Giverny

Cyclomundo offers guided and self-guided cycling trips in Normandy Self-guided trip: Starts any day except Saturday or Sunday from April through October 2017
6 nights/7 days
Daily mileage: From 29 km (18 miles) to 69 km (43 miles, long option)
Trip starts from Honfleur and ends in Vernon
Accommodation in guesthouses and 2- and 3-star properties (Option A) or in 3- and 4-star properties (Option A+)
Level: 2 (easy)
From 850 euros per person sharing a double room

Impressionist Normandy: Honfleur to Giverny — 6 nights/7 days

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The beautiful harbor of Honfleur is the starting point of this cycling trip
 
Your itinerary will take you by the beautiful abbey of the Bec Hellouin
 
  Countless artists have found inspiration in France’s landscapes, though perhaps none so much as Impressionist painters in Normandy. From the pastoral Seine River Valley to the Alabaster Coast, scenes depicting Normandy hang in museums all over the world, inspiring visitors to see the region for themselves. When you experience Normandy from the seat of a bicycle, it will feel like you’re riding through a painting — and you’ll be able to stop and find your own inspiration at your whim.

The tour begins in Honfleur, once a base for great artists like Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet, and Eugene Boudin. After discovering beaches and turn-of-the-century resorts, you’ll ride through a lesser-known Normandy where rivers run slowly, half-timbered buildings rest in tiny clusters, and farmers toil down the road from imposing castles. With stays at privately run, comfortable lodgings and meals of fresh, local produce, you may want to set up residence in Normandy yourself!

We offer a wide selection of bike trips in Normandy. Some focus more on WWII Sites, others on the famous Mont-Saint-Michel and Its Bay.
 
Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Honfleur

Less than three hours away from Paris lies Honfleur, a picturesque port on France’s “Norman Riviera”. Arriving in Honfleur feels like floating into a Eugene Boudin painting; for travelers without a sailboat, we will transfer you to your hotel in Honfleur from the nearby train station in Lisieux. Feel your pulse slow down as you adjust to the quiet charm of Honfleur, aided by the gentle rocking of the boats in the old harbor. Wander along the sea wall or stroll along the Seine, stopping to rest in cute little parks along the way. Visit the Eugene Boudin Museum on rue Haute to see if your impressions of Honfleur match those of the artist. Follow the old world streets back to your hotel, where you’ll receive your bikes and route instructions.
Day 2: Honfleur — Brionne (54 km/33 miles, 474 meters/1,555 ft of climbing)

Say goodbye to the coast and ride along the Seine to the Risle River. It’s easy to imagine painters setting up their canvasses along the banks — keep an eye out for fishermen to complete the scene! We highly recommend a lunch break in beautiful Pont-Audemer, known as “Normandy Venice” thanks to the charming canals that run through the medieval town center. After lunch, feel free to head off course to explore pretty villages like Montfort-sur-Risle. Follow the map to finish the day in the charming historical town of Brionne.
Day 3: Brionne — Rouen (61 km/38 miles, 540 meters/1,772 ft of climbing)

An early start will allow you a relaxing visit of Le Bec-Hellouin, a town that's on the list of France's most beautiful villages. If time allows, check out the storybook-worthy town center and the ruins of an old abbey. Cycling north through woodlands, you will eventually ride down to the Seine River at the village of La Bouille. From there you will cross the river on one of the barges — a free shuttle service run by the local council — the best way to cross the river traffic-free! The ride along the river all the way to Rouen center is a real treat. An early arrival will allow you to explore Rouen’s cobblestone streets, each one seemingly lined with historical and architectural landmarks. Your hotel conveniently lies near Rouen’s Old Market Square, giving you quick access to the site where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. Rouen’s Notre-Dame Cathedral also enjoys must-see status.
Day 4: Rouen — Pont-de-l’Arche (Short Option: 40 km/25 miles, 362 meters/1,188 ft of climbing; Long Option: 69 km/43 miles, 626 meters/2,054 ft of climbing)

We purposely planned today’s ride short to give you more time to explore Rouen. You will start with a hill to leave Rouen and the Seine Valley riding northeast. You will soon find quiet country roads through farmland and wooden areas — with their bucolic picture-perfect scenes — before heading south to the town of Pont-de-l'Arche on the Seine River.

A longer ride (69 km/43 miles) with significantly more climbs will take you further inland along beautiful rivers and through quiet farmland.
Day 5: Pont-de-l’Arche — Vernon (57 km/35 miles, 341 meters/1,120 ft of climbing)

Today’s route crosses the Seine a few times to keep you on traffic-free routes throughout the river valley. Cycle alongside stunning white cliffs until you reach Les Andelys, a breathtaking town nestled into a bend in the river. This pretty town is home to large, beautiful churches and the tale of a saint whose prayers turned spring water into wine. It’s also the site of the Chateau Gaillard, Richard the Lionheart’s 12th Century stronghold on the hill. Stop for a visit or lunch (with wine!), then pedal onward to Gaillon, where the hauntingly beautiful Chateau de Gaillon sits in disrepair. Ride further upstream to Vernon, your final stop for the day; if time allows, swing by the Chateau Bizy, a miniature Versailles complete with a baroque water garden.
Day 6: Vernon — Giverny — Vernon (29 km/18 miles, 335 meters/1,100 ft of climbing)

The highlight of your day — perhaps even of the entire tour — will be a visit to Claude Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny. It’s only a quick ride away on back roads, allowing you plenty of time to tour the artist’s residence and have lunch in the village. If you’re not ready to conclude your tour after lunch, feel free to enjoy a quick loop we’ve devised. Cycle up chalk cliffs to La Roche-Guyon, another of France’s most beautiful villages and home to a hillside chateau. Look for some of the historic mills that once inspired Monet and other painters, for many have been preserved as restaurants and inns. If you’re so inclined, visit some of the prehistoric sites in the region — its history goes further back than you can imagine!
Day 7: Departure

Depart at your leisure following breakfast. The train station is a 10-minute walk from your hotel.
Booking & Pricing
From 850 euros per person sharing a double room

Two options are available for this trip:

Option A: 2 nights in 3-star properties, 1 night in a 2-star property, 3 nights in guesthouses

  • 850 euros per person in April and October. Single supplement is 295 euros
  • 895 euros per person in May, June and September. Single supplement 315 euros
  • 925 euros per person in July and August. Single supplement is 330 euros

Option A+: 1 night in a 4-star property, 5 nights in 3-star properties

  • 1,090 euros per person in April and October. Single supplement is 440 euros
  • 1,150 euros per person in May, June and September. Single supplement is 470 euros
  • 1,185 euros per person in July and August. Single supplement: 480 euros

These prices include:

  • 6 nights' accommodation as described above
  • Daily breakfast
  • 1 dinner (drinks are not included)
  • Meeting with our local representative
  • Luggage transfers
  • Marked maps and/or cue sheets and route notes
  • Pre-loaded GPS unit (subject to availability)
  • Tourist information
  • Assistance if necessary (you will be provided with our local rep’s mobile number)
  • All tax and service charges

These prices do not include:

  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance
  • Bicycle rentals. Hybrid bikes are available at the rate of 110 euros per bike. This price includes the 20-
    euro drop-off fee for the bike’s return to Honfleur.

For further information or reservations:
Please book online or contact us at your earliest convenience as this trip is subject to hotel availability.
Our e-mail address: info@cyclomundo.com
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