FALAISE CASTLE AND PAYS D'AUGE
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT?
Your tour guide will meet you at the train-station (if you will be travelling to Normandy on the day of the tour) or at your hotel in Bayeux or Caen. The drive from the aforementioned locations to Falaise takes approximately 45'. The tour of the castle, combining history and modern technology is meant to get the visitor immersed in the atmosphere of a typical Norman fortress. The visit of Falaise spans approximately 2h. From Falaise you will enjoy a scenic drive to Livarot. After a quick but well-deserved lunch you will tackle the second leg of the tour with a visit to Graindorge dairy where you will get the opportunity to discover their modern installations and the cheese making process, carefully designed in accordance with the local traditions. Our visit to Pays d'Auge will conclude with a stop at an old cider farm located near Vimoutiers. The tour of the cellars will be accompanied by a tasting session of cider, Pommeau and/or Calvados. From Vimoutiers you will head back to the hotel/train-station.
The first stronghold perched on the rocky outcrop overlooking the town of Falaise was attested late X century. Just a few decades later in 1027/1028 would see the daylight at Falaise the man destined to become one of the most prominent figures in European history: William the Conqueror. The latter, future king of England, as well as his successors and, ultimately, Philip Augustus, king of France, would turn Falaise into one of the most impressive fortresses in the region. In spite of the damage inflicted upon Falaise in 1944, during the last phase of the Battle of Normandy, when roughly two-thirds of the town was destroyed, the castle was restored after the war and may be regarded today as one of the 'historical gems' of the former Duchy of Normandy.
SAMPLE CHEESE AT LIVAROT
Although the Normans are making numerous cheeses nowadays, four of these stand out from the bunch: the Camembert — considered by many the most renowned French cheese — Pont l'Eveque, Livarot and, in Upper Normandy, Neufchatel. The remarkable savoir-faire (fr. know-how) of the artisans as well as the secrets of the cheese-making process are revealed to the visitors at Graindorge Dairy. A great opportunity to sample the best Normandy cheese right in the heart of the countryside where it has been made for over two centuries now.
A SIP OF CIDER, POMMEAU
Although France has the reputation of a winemaking country, Normandy's most famous produce is actually cider. Pays d’Auge holds several AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) - plus other quality labels - for its cider or cider-derived beverages. There is a multitude of places where one can learn about the craftsmanship of cider making but nothing compares to an authentic Pays d'Auge farm. A hands-on experience enabling you to learn from the artisans themselves what it takes to transform the juicy apples they harvest each fall into golden-sparkling cider, all while siping some of the finest Normandy cider, pommeau or Calvados!