The D-Day landing beaches in Normandy – Land of freedom!
Cradle of History, Normandy and more precisely Calvados were the field of action of the Landing of June 6, 1944 led by the Allied forces and which led to the liberation of France during the Second World War. Numerous relics, museums and places of memory recall the sacrifice of these men and women. And this year, 2024, will celebrate the 80th anniversary of D-Day! Welcome to the Land of Liberty!
Where history comes to life!
The D-Day museums from Ouistreham to Arromanches
There are many museums along the Normandy coast that trace the events of the Second World War. In Ouistreham, you can visit the Museum of the Landing n°4 Commando, the only French commando to have landed on June 6th and which was responsible for the liberation of Ouistreham. Also worth a visit is the Grand Bunker, a vestige of the Atlantic Wall, the former central command post of the enemy armies.
In Bénouville (10 min), you will find the Pegasus Bridge Memorial dedicated to the soldiers of the British Airborne Division. They were the first liberators to set foot on Normandy soil. Don’t miss the Caen Memorial which tells the terrible story of the 20th century, from the origins of World War II to the end of the Cold War.
Stop off at Courseulles-sur-Mer at the Juno Beach Centre in this museum which pays tribute to the 45,000 Canadian soldiers. Then, a little further on, the Arromanches 360° circular cinema and the Arromanches Landing Museum will tell you more about the artificial harbour from its conception to its installation on D-Day.
Discover all the D-Day sites on Normandie Tourisme.
The 5 main D-Day beaches in Normandy
The largest amphibious and airborne operation in history took place here in Normandy. The beaches are now known and visited by millions of people every year and their names pay tribute to the nationalities of the soldiers who landed there. 5 main sectors are delimited:
- Sword Beach : this code name is given to the beach located on the communes of Hermanville, Colleville-Montgomery and Ouistreham and corresponds to the French-British sector
- Juno Beach : this Canadian sector extends from Bernières-sur-Mer to Courseulles-sur-Mer, where the3rd Canadian Division landed.
- Gold Beach : this beach saw the landing of the 50th British Division, and the construction of the Mulberry, the artificial harbor. It extends from Asnelles to Ver-sur-Mer.
- Utah Beach and Omaha Beach: this sector is the most extensive of the 5 landing beaches since it is the American sector that begins at Colleville-sur-Mer and continues into the Manche department at Sainte-Marie-du-Mont in Quinéville.
The cemeteries in tribute to our liberators!
Because we all have a duty of remembrance towards these soldiers, many sites have been erected over the last 60 years to pay our respects to them one last time.
The best known is obviously the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, 1h15 from the campsite Les Prairies de la Mer, overlooking Omaha Beach. This site is full of history and is still the most visited today. The white crosses aligned to perfection, the memorial, the garden of the missing and the sea as far as the eye can see make this place unique and full of emotion.
In Ver-sur-Mer, on the British sector, you will find the British Normandy Memorial. Inaugurated in 2021, this memorial pays tribute to the British army and to the Normandy civilians who fell during the battle. In total, more than 22,000 names of soldiers are engraved on the columns of the structure, facing Gold Beach.
There are other very different but equally interesting cemeteries to discover. Ask at the Tourist Office for information.
To be discovered at the campsite