The jewel of 'Pays de Falaise' and birthplace of the Conqueror
The initial stronghold perched on the rocky outcrop overlooking the town of Falaise was attested for the first time in the 10th century. 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 future king of England, 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 jewels of the former Duchy of Normandy.
Cider tasting at an authentic
Cider is probably the most famous of the Normandy produce and Pays d’Auge holds several AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) plus other quality labels for its cider or cider-derived beverages. There are numerous places where one can learn about the craftsmanship of cider making but nothing compares to an authentic Pays d'Auge farm. Learn from the artisans themselves what it takes to transform the juicy apples harvested from their orchards into golden-sparkling cider, all while tasting some of the finest Normandy cider, Pommeau or Calvados!
Sample cheese at a local dairy
Although there are many cheeses the Normans are making today, four of them stand out from the bunch: the Camembert — considered by many the most renowned French cheese — Pont l'Eveque, Neufchatel and Livarot. 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 at the heart of the countryside where it has been made for over two centuries now.
What can you expect?
Your tour guide/driver will pick you up at the train-station (if you will be travelling to Normandy on the day of the tour) or at the hotel/B&B in Bayeux or Caen. The drive from the aforementioned locations to the town of Falaise takes less than an hour. The tour of the castle, combining its history with the means of modern technology (photo), is meant to get the visitor immersed in the atmosphere of a typical Norman fortress of the Middle Ages. The visit of Falaise and its castle will span approximately 2 hours. From Falaise we will head to Livarot. After a quick but well-deserved lunch we will tackle the second leg of the tour with a visit to Graindorge dairy where you will get to discover their modern installations and the cheese making process that was 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 cider, Pommeau and/or Calvados tasting. After bidding farewell to your Norman hosts the guide will take you back either to train-station in Caen/Bayeux or the very same address where you have been picked up in the morning.
Graindorge Dairy (Livarot)
Cider Farm (Vimoutiers)
STANDARD (transport included)
Hotel or Railway Station
in Caen or Bayeux
PERSONALISED (transport included)
Any location in Normandy
(the guide travels in your vehicle)
Bayeux or any location in Normandy