Tips for Caen mini-bus and coach tourism

Useful tips for Caen bus groups with ‘what to see’ and ‘what to do’ items and  ‘bus- friendly’ or must see tourist sites in Caen. Check our list of attractions before planning your bus tour with a stop or departure in Caen. Let us know if your favourite attraction or ‘bus-stop’ is not there and you think we should add it to our list of Caen highlights.

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What to see and visit in the province of Lower Normandy?

Touring Cider Houses  & Calvados: as said, the region is also known for its Calvados. The basis of this product is an apple, which then is made into a cider, to after a subsequent process to finish as Calvados. These simple shown steps ultimately lead to the Calvados, the best kind of Calvados is naturally produced in the place itself, Calvados. Through drinking Calvados the appetite is also often generated. The inhabitants of Normandy themselves call the brandy "Trou Normand" and is often given between the courses. If you find it more enjoyable to move yourself by car, we recommend the "Route de Cidre 'on, this is about 40 km long.

The Corniche 

The Corniche credit: Steve Parker CC BY 2.0

Cuisine in Calvados

If your group consist of gourmet tourists the department of Calvados will not be unknown. Its very refined cuisine and its dairy products such as cheese and the base of the Calvados, namely apples, know Calvados. The area is also nicknamed 'The heart of Normandy'. It features many forested hills, grasslands where the cows live and of course especially orchards with apples. A contradiction to this tranquil oasis is the beaches and seaside resorts, which are located in Calvados as well. Obviously, this combination makes it even more attractive, there is something for everyone.

Calvados has also historically a lot to offer, such as the Battle of Normandy. Many things that remind you of this battle you will find in the city and one museum. Caen is the capital city of Calvados and equally the capital of the region.

Série pour Mon casse-croûte

Série pour Mon casse-croûte credit: Gaëtan Zarforoushan CC BY 2.0

Business tourism

Virtually every city in the region of Lower Normandy has its own tourist office, so also Caen. Much of the business tourism is regulated from a tourist office. The central tourist office is the most central of the region and they can perfectly assist you in finding the right place for your event (congress). The largest congress centre ‘Le Centre de Congrès de Caen’ has 18 different meeting rooms for rent and is situated right in the city. Make sure to organize a Cider and Calvados tour once the business program is completed.

 luxury-minicoachs-with Les Voitures Henri Pavard

Luxury minicoach from Les Voitures Henri Pavard

 Fishing Villages and the Mont Saint Michelle in Manche

La Manche has a reputation as a lovely region with the interior typical Normandy grasslands, with many fences and rivers. Also La Manche has just as Calvados a coastal area. Partly because of the Cotentin (peninsula) may in particular the nature lovers get their heart here. Coutance, Cherbourg-Octeville, Avranches and Saint-Lô are the districts of Manche. Saint-Lô is also the capital of Manche. There also Manche is partly located on the coast; there is also here a selection of fresh seafood available. The charming fishing villages characterize it. Besides the beautiful beaches there are also rugged cliffs. These stretch out from Cherbourg to Mont-Saint-Michel. Many tourists also go to Cap de la Hague because of its historical character. Another example of such a town is Granville; a historic wall surrounds the haute ville area. It is one of the largest ports in which can be seen obvious differences in the height of the water level of ebb and flood. A crossing is from Granville to Jersey by ferry is also a possibility.

Le chateau de Bagnoles de l'Orne

Le chateau de Bagnoles de l'Orne credit: jmt-29 CC BY 2.0

Nature and Gastronomical Tourism in Orne

The history of this region goes way back. It was Louis XIV who had ordered the making of lace. Many of these works can be found in the present museums out there. The capital is Alencon. Orne is not really a tourist attraction, despite the fact that it is a very suitable environment for people who like horse riding or making a brisk walk. In short, it's more a city that has much to offer in terms of nature. The name has thanks to the River Orne. Who also can very indulge in this place are the mountaineers, Orne is known for its steep cliffs. For those who prefer a brisk walk should head for the La Suisse Normande. It is a rather unknown place, but has a scenic route along the Orne. The start of this walk is in Putanges-Pont-Ecripin and the terminal is Thury-Harcourt. During the walk you will pass beautiful picturesque villages, a castle and beautiful forest. Bagnoles de l'Orne and Tesse la Madeleine form a popular seaside resort. The special features are the hot springs and its great location at the beginning of a ravine. A visit here will not soon be forgotten.

As in many other regions of Lower Normandy in Orne are many delicacies available. The fine cuisine makes extensive use of local products, such as sour cream, the Camembert cheese as regards the dairy. Not to be forgotten are the other common ingredients such as apples, pears and cider.

Cider seller in the harbour in Honfleur 

Cider seller in the harbour in Honfleur credit: Yves Remedios CC BY 2.0

Culinary products of high quality and Lower Normandy are inseparable. We mention three products where the region is famous for: Calvados, fish and cheese. That there is present a multitude of fresh fish, you will not be surprised. Lower Normandy has 500 kilometres of coastline. The most popular is the seafood, which is better known under the name of 'fruits de mer'. The four most famous cheeses in Normandy: Neufchâtel, Pont-l'Évêque, Livarot and the generally more famous type cheese, Camembert. If you want to see yourself how the process of making cheese is put together, we warmly recommend a visit to the Fromagerie Graindorge (Village Fromager). Of course there is the possibility to attend tastings.

By Air

Lower Normandy has two major airports, to wit Caen-Capriquet, also known as Caen la Mer Airport or Aéroport de Caen la Mer (CFR). The second major airport is called Deauville - Saint-Gatien Airport (DOL). The airports both are in the region of Calvados. Of the 2 mentioned airports, Caen-Carpiquet is the principal. This airport is located just west of the city of Caen at a distance of about 3,72 miles (6 km). Of course it is possible to take a taxi or to rent a car to your final destination.

Flag of Lower Normandy

Flag of Lower Normandy credit: Zorlot GFDL

Cycling

Do you want to discover the center of Caen on your own initiative and you are sporty inclined, then there is the possibility to rent a bike at the organization V'eol. V'eol has 40 stations and over 350 bikes around and in the center of Caen. For a reservation, please send an text message including the text "VEOL 'to +33 (6) 07453225. Afterwards you will receive a code, with which you can pick up your bike at every station.

 Tourdenormandie

Tourdenormandie credit: elyob CC BY-SA 2.0

Another organization where you can rent bikes is Loc Vélo. The organization hires out bikes in all shapes and sizes. From Tandem to racing bike, from child's bicycle to electric bicycle, Loc Vélo has it all. In addition, they also have child seats and accessories like helmets, bag and baskets available. Loc Vélo is located on rue de Strasbourg.

The tourist train

Travelling through Caen at your convenience? Step on board of the tourist train. The tourist train is a completely different way of movement within Caen. With the tourist train you pass the main attractions of Caen in about 45 minutes, such as: the St Peter's church, the castle, the market, the Abbey Abbaye-aux-Dames and the Abbey Abbaye-aux-Hommes. The starting point of the train is at the St Peter's Basilica. St Peter's Church is located opposite the tourist office of Caen at the St Peter's Square. You have the option for an English or French speaking tour.

A European Honeymoon

A European Honeymoon credit: John Carkeet CC BY 2.0

 A musical stroll

You think there is nothing in a regular city tour? His aforementioned city tours not attractive enough, then a musical walk through Caen may be something for you. Sitting in a train you get a guided musical tour along this pleasant town. During this tour you will come across all cultural heritage that the city of Caen is rich. This is all to the rhythm of Amavada and the music of Erik Satie, a Normandy composer. During this tour you will be surprised by a group of men and women whom will perform a play. This tour is a must it is a true spectacle. It is prudent to reserve in good time, because there is only a limited number of places available. The train leaves from the tourist office on Place Saint Pierre.

 Inner Harbour-Caen, France

 Inner Harbour-Caen, France credit: David Merrett CC BY 2.0

 If you would like to rent a bus for a tour in Caen, we recommend you the following sights: 

Tour  William de Conqueror

  • William de Conqueror; You will probably know William the Conqueror, who has settled in Caen. He has left behind some very wonderful buildings, such as a castle and a women’s and men's abbey. In case you would like to know more of Caen, it is advisable to follow the 'William Conqueror route'. This route leads you through the castle, along the Abbaye-aux-Hommes, the Abbaye-aux-Ladies and back to the castle. Both are located at 100 Rue de l'Ancienne Mairie. Make sure to get a tour guide on the bus who is able to tell you some juicy stories about William!

Abbaye-aux-Hommes

  • You can find this abbey in the Rue de L'Ancienne Mairie. William the Conqueror built this abbey in 1066 to restore friendship with the Vatican, who has sharply rejected his marriage with the princess of Flanders (a distant cousin). The construction started in Romanesque style, but during the 13th century it was decided to build further in the Gothic style. The tomb of the Duke King is also located here.

Castle of William the Conqueror

Castle of William the Conqueror credit: Nitot GFDL

Abbaye-aux-ladies

  • On the Place Reine Mathilda is located the women's abbey, which was built by Queen Mathilda between the years 1060 and 1080. This church that among other things is also known as the Holy Trinity, is seen as a counterpart to the men's abbey. The Abbaye-aux-dames is built in the 11th century, but in the 12th century it was rebuilt again. It is a prime example for the Romanesque art.

Churches Tour

  • Remains of the Roman church Saint-Georges and the former ducal stays can be found next to the main constructions. Additionally it has a magnificent panoramic view over the entire city. Who visits Caen, will definitely drop by a church, especially since several can be found in the Romanesque or Gothic flamboyant style, with beautiful names. We will mention some that are worth visiting: Église du Vieux Saint-Sauveur, situated on Rue Pemagnie, Église Notre-Dame-de-Froide-Rue, this church is located in the Rue Arcisse and the Église Saint-Michel the Vaucelles, which is situated on Rue de Vaucelles.

Vaisseau central de la basilique Saint-Sauveur de Rennes (France)  

Vaisseau central de la basilique Saint-Sauveur de Rennes (France) credit: EdouardHue CC BY-SA 3.0

Le Memorial de Caen

  • Le Memorial de Caen; besides the religious buildings there are also numerous historical buildings and museums, which are certainly worth a visit. There are half-timbered houses and museums, among other works on display of famous painters, such as Monet and Boudin.  Be sure to visit the Memorial Museum of the 2nd World War at the Esplanada Général Eisenhouwer. The last mentioned museum is entirely dedicated to the Battle of Normandy and an international artistic centre of peace. There is decorated a hall on D-Day, where through an impressive display simultaneously with the landing can make, both through the eyes of the Allies as through the eyes of the Germand side.

MEMORIAL DE CAEN

MEMORIAL DE CAEN credit: Philippe Berdalle CC BY-ND 2.0

Botanical garden and park  

  • Are you a bit exhausted from strolling through the city? Maybe overwhelmed of the D-day hall? Caen has ten parks and gardens, so there is plenty of room to relax and enjoy the beautiful urban nature. There is also the opportunity to enjoy a round of golf on one of the three golf courses in the area. The botanical garden, which is located in the heart of the city, owes its originality to Gallart de la Ducquerie, professor at the Faculty of Medicine in Caen. In 1689 this professor bought a garden and filled it with rare plants. Today one finds over 2.000 plant species and one can enjoy the peace and relaxation. What is also breathtakingly beautiful, the huge rose garden park Colline aux Oiseaux on the Avenue de Lamiral Mountbatten, beside the Caen Memorial Museum. This park also has several playgrounds and even a zoo. Thus it is also for children a very attractive excursion.

Jardin des Plantes de Caen.

Jardin des Plantes de Caen. credit: Karldupart CC BY-SA 3.0

Market  

  • What you really should not miss is the Sunday market in Caen. This market is the largest of the whole region, where more than 450 stalls are located. On average the market attracts about 30.000, who come flock to the harbour between the Tour Leroy and the Quai Vendeuvre. You can smell, test, experience and buy the specialties of Normandy here. Buy seafood like mussels and get yourself a variety of the local cheeses or if not just one of the famous butters.

 

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