NORMANDY CIDER TOUR OF FRANCE

Six days, Five nights | one DEPARTURE A YEAR
• May 6-11,2019

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The rich tapestry of life comes together on this tour that spotlights cider, scenery and history. Welcome to the majestic landscape, half-timbered houses and unique culture of Normandy, France, where we’ll indulge in this famous cider-producing region. No need to be a cider expert to take this tour. We’ll start with the basics of cider, its history and importance in the region. Then explore other enjoyable beverages made with luscious apples, such as “the finest destination of the apple,” Calvados (apple brandy).  In between is Pommeau, a gentle marriage between Calvados and freshly pressed tannin-rich apple juice, which delivers power and sweetness all at once. A good example of the cider producers we’ll visit is the family-owned Domaine Dupont.  As you can see, many pleasures and delights lie ahead for the travelers on this tour.


Why Normandy?

Normandy, with its fertile soil and temperate climate, has a proud tradition of cider dating to the 13th century, when the apple press was invented and at first was the drink of farmers. After a mini-ice age adversely affected the wine growing regions of Western Europe, nobles got in the game and started producing cider. Flash forward to the 1880s when a natural outbreak of vine predators set back the wine industry and boosted the popularity of cider. When wine recovered, politics and laws intended to suppress cider arose, but cider continued to hang on in some form especially in Normandy. Thanks to the diligence, persistence and pride of cider producers in this region, you will be able to enjoy their efforts fresh at the source today.

This tour, however, will introduce you to more than cider. In addition to famous wine, you may be surprised to know that France has a blossoming craft beer scene, too. We’ll have opportunities to enjoy some of these beers along the way.

We will also dedicate an entire day to explore the WWII history of Normandy, and the D-Day 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord, where Allies launched the major offensive that changed the history of the planet. We’ll take a guided tour of some of the famous locations such as Omaha and Utah Beach, Sainte Mère Eglise (the first village liberated by the U.S.)  and the Normandy American Cemetery & Memorial near Colleville-sur-Mer. It will be a fascinating, riveting and emotional day as we pay tribute to the men and women, who fought and died freeing the world of Nazi tyranny.

A visit and overnight within eyesight of Mont Saint-Michel will be one of the centerpieces of this tour. It’s ever-changing light and endless photo opportunities is good reason to see it in the evening and morning. You’ve seen the striking images of this medieval monastery set on a small rocky island connected by a causeway off the coast of France, now you will get to see it with your own eyes. As we approach, it reveals itself in the distance like an impossible castle on the horizon. You will never forget the first time you see it from miles away. It looks like a giant and is so out of scale to the landscape that your logic tells you it cannot be real.

We’ll also visit the scenic and famous enchanting fishing village of Honfleur. It’s so cute, you’ll just want to break out a palette, look across the harbor and start painting, or find a romantic sidewalk cafe, enjoy some cider, wine or beer and people watch.

We’ll overnight in three locations: Honfleur, Mont Saint-Michel and Caen. The tour will begin Tubize, Belgium, (near Brussels) and end in Caen France, where you will be able to catch a train to Paris or the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Alternately, you could begin the tour in Honfleur if your plans call to already be in France prior to the tour.

“...cider takes us back to an earlier, simpler time. It reconnects us with the land and the cycle of the seasons...that’s why cider’s popularity is booming around the globe.”
— --Pete Brown & Bill Bradshaw, authors of World’s Best Ciders.

TOURS INCLUDE

  • Five nights accommodations in nice, friendly, centrally-located hotels often in the old town section of the city.

  • All breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners with gratuities.

  • Ground transportation via private luxury coach with professional driver. Leave the driving to us!

  • Professional and courteous BBM! guide services.

  • All tours and admissions.

  • An instant group of interesting and fun, cider and beer-loving friends you haven’t met yet.

  • Guaranteed tour price the moment you submit your deposit.

  • Plenty of unstructured free time to relax, shop and explore on your own.

  • Custom BBM! name badges.

  • Souvenir BBM! luggage tags.

  • One souvenir BBM! soft-sided cooler per household.

  • Flexibility in the event you need to transfer or cancel your tour.

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NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare

  • Airport transfers.

  • Some meals, cider, beer and drinks on your own.

  • Free-time sightseeing. Our guides are available to provide suggestions.

  • Fine Print: You are responsible for the costs of your free-time sightseeing. Be sure to read our Terms & Conditions

  • Agreement for important details.

  • Gratuities, at your discretion, for cider producers tour guides and coach drivers.


TOUR COST

Deadline to sign up is one month before departure.
$1995/per person + Air, $475 single supplement*

* Prices based on double room occupancy.  If you are a solo traveler and would like to have a private room all to yourself there is a single supplement fee of $475 in addition to the base price of $1995 per person. We can also work with you to pair you with other single travelers to avoid the single supplement. Better yet, recruit a friend to come, too! Unless, of course, like Rick Steves says, you prefer to “snore alone.”

We require a minimum number of travelers for a tour to be confirmed to go, so it’s important to sign up ASAP, as opposed to waiting until the deadline. Also, tours can fill suddenly, so signing up early guarantees your place and avoids disappointment.

PLEASE SHARE BBM! TOURS WITH YOUR CIDER ENTHUSIAST
FRIENDS AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO JOIN THE FUN!