We just completed a fabulous full day private tour of the D Day Omaha and Utah beaches with Overlord Tours, and Christian was our guide. Christian possessed an amazing depth of knowledge and communicated the history with energy and passion. We appreciated the link he made between the 1066 Battle of Hastings depicted in the Bayeux Tapestries and D Day. Christian had special inside stories that he shared with us from his extensive research. He answered all our questions and interacted with us with kindness and enthusiasm. We had a wonderful, unforgettable day!
Thanks for posting. There are people who say you don't really need to hire a guide for the D Day sites, but I am not one of them.
*In 2011, my wife and I spent the better part of two full days in Normandy.. We started in Paris, drove to Rouen for a couple of nights. Then on to Normandy.
We stayed at Hotel La Rosiere in Tracy-sur-Mer for two nights.
On the first afternoon we drove to Bayeux to see the famous Bayeux Tapestry (Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux, 13 rue de Nesmond) and Musee Memorial Bataille Normandie, Bd. Fabian Ware.
On day two, beginning at 9:30 AM:
Arromanches: D-Day Landing Museum, Place du 6-Juin
Longue-sur-Mer: Gun Battery (west from Arromanches)
Normandy American Cemetery (Colleville-sur-Mer) and Omaha Beach
Caen: Abbaye aux Hommes, Esplanade Jean-Marie-Louvel built by William the Conqueror over 900 years ago.
We had lunch in Ste. Mere Eglise, in our car, facing the church with the parachute hanging from the steeple, made famous in the movie "D-Day: The Sixth of June". We ate ham and cheese baguettes purchased from a nearby local patisserie/bakery. We happened to be on Omaha Beach at 11 AM on Nov. 11 (11/11/11 at 11 AM!)
On the third day, we drove to Mont St. michel.
It was easy to do. *
I just traveled to Normandy with a friend for a 2 day guided tour of Omaha and Utah Beaches and the American Cemetery, as well as many of the surrounding villages. We used Mathias Leclere and were delighted with Mathias. He was well prepared for our tour and was a wealth of WWII knowledge and history. My late uncle landed on Omaha Beach on D Day and Mathias had researched my uncle's company and showed us where his Division landed and where they fought as they went inland. Mathias took us to many places the average tourist would not be aware of and we learned and saw more in our two days with him than we would have for an entire week of touring on our own. Mathias is very personable and after out first hour with him we felt we were with an old friend. My friend and I agreed that Mathias could teach a college level course on WWII history, especially on D Day. We also noticed that many of the other tour guides would come up to Mathias and shake his hand out of respect and admiration. He is definitely one of the "Deans" of the tour guides and we would not hesitate to recommend Mathias Leclere!
In 2014 we did a DIY tour of the D Day sites. We returned to Normandy a couple of weeks ago and we did a full day tour with Overlord. Our guide, Yannick, was passionate about the subject matter and made history come alive for us. It was much more comprehensive than seeing things and reading plaques. I highly recommend taking a tour if you can. Our tour was not private. There were 9 people.
About five years ago, I hired a private van tour for just my family- husband, 5 yr old daughter and myself. We were in Paris and took a day trip to Normandy D Day sites. I can’t find who we went through but the company I booked was probably a Rick Steves recommended one. First and foremost, I am sure that the driver probably saved our lives because there is no way my husband or I could have navigated the extremely narrow and twisting roads with countless speeding large motor coaches on the road. We live in Chicago and have experienced it all. And keep in mind that you will be going from site to site, visiting numerous areas and you will have to find parking etc., I say it’s best to leave the driving to someone else and enjoy it.