280. D-Day Beaches

What are the D-Day Beaches?

On June 6th 1944, 156,000 Allied soldiers journeyed across the English Channel to begin the process of liberating France and the rest of Europe during World War II. Unable to land at the heavily fortified ports of Calais or Cherbourg, the Allies used five landing beaches in Normandy that were code-named Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword. Thousands of soldiers and civilians died in the ensuing battles and so today a road-trip along the D-Day Beaches involves cemeteries and memorials as well as museums. 

What are the D-Day Beaches like? 

A visit to the beaches brings the experience to life. It's possible to try and imagine the terror for the soldiers and citizens of Normandy alike - the chaos, confusion and carnage of war. It's definitely best to join a tour or have use of a car when you go, as there's a lot to see along the 50 mile stretch of coast that the beaches cover.

Where are the D-Day Beaches?

Normandy, France

When did we go?

March 2023

How did we get there? 

We travelled from Portsmouth to Caen by ferry and then stayed in Bayeux. We also visited Mont Saint-Michel (180), which is about 70 miles away. 

Worth noting:

The Caen Memorial Museum is recommended as the biggest museum, but it was closed for the day when we went. The American Cemetery Museum was very good. 

What was the D-Day Beaches' position on the 2015 edition of the Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel List?

340. They went up 60 places.

Do the D-Day Beaches deserve their place in the 2020 top 500?

Yes, undoubtedly so.

American Cemetery Normandy