Up for trying something a bit different on our Normandy holiday, husband Félix and I decided to explore the famous D-Day Landing Beaches by electric fat-bike. Accompanied by our guide Laurent from the nearby Pôle Sports de Nature, we headed off onto the beautiful and historic Omaha Beach for a very memorable morning...

Following in the footsteps of heroes

It’s 9am when we arrive at the Pôle Sports de Nature in Colleville-sur-Mer. Manager Laurent, our guide for the morning, gives us a warm welcome and introduces us to our fellow fat-bikers, Herveline, Valérie and Patrick. Everyone is raring to try out the fat-bikes, ‘bicycles from North American whose wide tyres enable them to adapt easily to all terrains, particularly sand,’ Lauren tells us. Today we’d be riding electric fat-bikes.

Once on Omaha Beach, we leisurely ride past the impressive steel sculpture Les Braves, a poignant and beautiful memorial to all those who fell here on D-Day, before Laurents shouts for us to speed up. It takes a few pedals before the electric motor kicks in and propels us all forward. After a few seconds I’m effortlessly riding at 20km/hour. It’s exhilarating! What’s more, the view is beautiful – to our right is the sea, to our left are holiday homes, and ahead are the cliffs we’re heading for.

A history lesson with a difference

We climb off our bikes and continue for a little while on foot. After a few minutes, we arrive at a look-out point. Below us, we can see the sandy D-Day Landing Beaches, Omaha Beach stretching away from us to the east, then beyond, the artificial port at Arromanches. Félix and I make the most of the moment to take a selfie. Then it’s down to blockhouse Wn 73, located just below. In the dark, Laurent lights up the walls of this former defensive structure using a video projector, and shows us a number of maps and photos of those who experienced the D-Day Landings. It’s pretty exciting, but that’s just the beginning!

We return to the beach, get back on our fat-bikes and are told we’re now headed for bunker Wn 65. Off we go, racing one another for a few km, our hair flying behind us in the wind! Félix definitely seems make at home at this speed than me, and gets to the bunker first. Laurent explains to us that this bunker provided vital support for German artillery during the D-Day Landings. With its 75mm cannon still intact, this concrete casemate is certainly imposing.

A film screening in a bunker

We then make our way to blockhouse Wn 62, which dominates this part of the beach. Traces of the letter S left by the Germans can still be seen on the walls. Once inside, Laurent pulls out a tablet and portable speaker and plays us a few extracts from films about D-Day. We try to imagine what the Allies would have experienced on the morning of 6 June 1944. It’s extremely moving.

Our unusual film screening is an apt finale to our D-Day history lesson. As we get back on our fat-bikes, we all thank Laurent for being such an amazing guide and enabling us to share a very memorable morning together in this special place.

Omaha Beach

This iconic beach, best known for its strategic importance in D-Day, stretches for 7km and is popular with holiday makers for not only its historic ties and poignant Les Braves memorial, but also its fine golden sand and wide range of watersports and outdoor pursuits.
Find out more about Omaha Beach

© Thib’s Prod / Lumières Marines Prod

USEFUL INFORMATION

Eolia Normandie/Pôle Sports de Nature

14710 Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer

eolia-normandie.com | +33 (0)2 31 22 26 21

Fat-biking sessions are reservation only

One-person bookings possible – we will put you in a mixed group

Suitable for teenagers

You are welcome to bring your own helmet

DATES 2021 (To Be Confirmed)

Fat-biking sessions available on request* throughout the year based on dates proposed by the service provider

PRICES 2021 (to be confirmed)

Half day: €50 (welcome drink, and post-session snack included)

Full day: €100 (welcome drink, lunch at the club house in Colleville-sur-Mer and post-session snack included)

Covid-19

All of our Normandy Experiences service providers adhere to the strict health and safety measures currently in place across France.

All of the above information is subject to change

LAURENT

Guide and manager at the Pôle Sports de Nature, Omaha Beach

Laurent is passionate about outdoor pursuits and knows Omaha Beach like the back of his hand. In short, there’s no-one better with whom to explore this beautiful and historic spot by fat-bike!

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