France in 2014: Normandy Honors D-Day Anniversary With Special Events

While many European nations will host large-scale commemorations and celebrations throughout the coming year, several will offer more somber tributes. 2014 will mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, and the area will pay tribute to the Allied soldiers who fought there throughout the summer. 

According to Atout France, the official French tourism board, many Allied Heads of State and hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world are expected to visit Normandy from June through the end of August. Normandy Tourism has a calendar of events for the region that covers the entire year, as well as a list of local sites and attractions in the area that memorialize the battle.

The commemorations and festivities are expected to include firework displays, parades, parachute drops, setting up of military camps, open air concerts with big bands playing and more.

Take a look at what Normandy has to offer, and take a look at Collette Vacation's Normandy tour, which includes tours of Rommel’s castle headquarters on the and the Caen Memorial Peace Museum. Visits to other landmarks of D-Day, including the Pointe Du Hoc Ranger Memorial and the parachute-shaped Airborne museum in the town of St. Mere Eglise, are also included. Guests can also see the beaches that have become both famous and infamous over the past 70 years: Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah. 

Not that it's all sad: The 10-day tour begins in Paris and includes a viewing of the 1,000-year-old Bayeux Tapestry (which, somewhat ironically, depicts the last successful invasion of the Normans) and tours of local apple farms to try homemade ciders.