Travel

A Heritage Travel Itinerary for France

It wouldn't be a visit to France without private cooking lessons and samples of to-die-for fromage.


Bayeux Cathedral, in France’s Normandy region. / Photo via Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Number of Bostonians with French Heritage: 12,612

Oldways president Sara Baer-Sinnott, who’s curated food-centric French tours like this one since 2005, encourages heritage travelers to visit Normandy because of its unique relationship to both France’s culinary traditions and American history.

Day 1

You’ve been dreaming of your first authentic French meal the entire journey from Boston. And after checking into the boutique hotel La Maison de Lucie in the historical coastal town of Honfleur, you’ll get it at La Tortue, an inviting restaurant in the heart of the city (be sure to spring for the cheese course).

Day 2

Last night’s fromage was just an introduction to one of Normandy’s most enduring (and delicious) exports. A 50-minute scenic drive brings you to the village of Livarot, where you’ll tour E. Graindorge, a third-generation cheese dairy producing some of the region’s best. After enjoying copious samples, drive one hour to the town of Bayeux and check into the Hôtel le Lion d’Or.

Day 3

You’ve sampled the finest French food—now ensure you pass it on to future generations with a private cooking lesson. Susan Herrmann Loomis, author of On Rue Tatin cookbook, teaches the secrets behind traditional Norman dishes at the cozy brasserie La Fringale. Belly full, now’s a good time to take in sights like the Bayeux Cathedral and the 230-foot-long Bayeux Tapestry.

Day 4

Have a World War II hero on your family tree? Today you’ll travel back in time with a pilgrimage to the D-day beaches where American and French troops fought side by side. It’s just 5 miles from your hotel to Longues-sur-Mer, where one of the most intact German batteries remains. Continue on to the Omaha Beach Memorial Museum, which commemorates the spot where the American Navy landed, and the windswept Pointe du Hoc.

Day 5

If you’ve traced your French bloodline to ancient times, you can’t leave without road-tripping to the island of Mont-Saint-Michel: There, you can explore an eighth-century monastery and an abbey dating to the 11th century.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Heritage Travel Journey