Urban hikes

These tours are aimed at groups wishing to explore the city and some of its lesser-known districts in the form of an urban hike. The circuits are between 6 and 10 km in length and last between 3h30 and 4h.

Hardened hikers may not find them challenging enough but these suggested routes are sure to delight regular or occasional walkers looking for alternatives to classic city tours.

From Caen Stone to Monuments

This guided walk will take you through the city following the traces of Caen’s old stone quarries. You can learn about this stone’s extraction techniques, qualities and fragility. 

You will visit the main monuments made from this building material: mansions from various eras, the ducal castle and one of Caen’s abbeys.

 

Time : 3h30

Distance : 7 Km

Difficulty : easy

 

Caen, a Green City

Caen is a green city with 500 hectares of parks and gardens. On this hike you can learn about the special features and history of its various green spaces:

  • the Jardin des Plantes (a real museum of Norman and medicinal plants, its history is linked to the passion for gardening shared by men such as Baptiste Callard de la Ducquerie, François Marescot and Sébastien Blot);
  • the Vallée des Jardins (in the old natural meadows of the Vimard farm, this space of 11 hectares is an ideal place for a walk, formed by small valleys);
  • the Colline aux Oiseaux (a former municipal tip from 1923 to 1973 which was then gradually turned into a landscaped park made up of themed gardens, including an exceptional tiered rose garden).

 

Time  : 4h

Distance : 8 - 9 Km

Difficulty : intermediate

 

Bourg l’Abbé, Saint-Ouen quarter

An urban hike to explore little-known districts of the city of Caen, whose heritage was spared the bombings of 1944. The Bourg l’Abbé created around the Abbaye aux Hommes (Men’s Abbey) has

many monuments:

  • the Chapel of the Visitation,
  • the Saint Ouen quarter (church, Pont Créon manor),
  • the Saint Nicolas quarter, and Rue Caponnière and its inner courtyards. 

 

Time : 3h30

Distance : 6 Km

Difficulty : easy

 

Caen, from Ile Saint Jean to Vaucelles

On this hike, you can explore Ile Saint Jean, whose name meaning “St. John’s Island” comes from the fact that Caen was surrounded by water in the form of the Rivers Odon and Orne, and the Canal Robert. Exploring Ile Saint-Jean, the district that was worst hit by the Second World War, is a chance to understand the reconstruction of the city and also learn about its history thanks to a few historic reminders such as the Church of Saint Jean or the Hôtel de Fontenay.

This walk will take you to Vaucelles, an old suburb that has kept a village feel with its little side streets. You can see the Church of Saint Michel and its Saint Jean Cemetery, the final resting place of Monsieur Loyal, amongst others

 

Time : 3h30

Distance : 4 - 5 Km

Difficulty : easy

 

Ranville/Bénouville

This hike is a chance to explore Ranville and Bénouville, which were among the first villages in France to be liberated on 6 June 1944 by the British 6th Airborne Division. 

These two municipalities, whose development is linked to the presence of the River Orne and then the canal connecting Caen to the sea, boast a heritage that is well worth discovering: church, Grange aux Dimes, and splendid castles from the 17th and 18th centuries.

 

Time : 4h

Distance : 8 Km

Difficulty : easy

 

Bay, from Sallenelles to Merville

Discover one of the main protected natural sites in Calvados, the Orne estuary known for its varied bird life and landscapes (salt flats, beaches, mudflats and dunes covered with sea buckthorn). Humans

have also left their mark on the area, linked to economic activities such as salt production and shipbuilding sites.

Its geographical location also explains the need to fortify the site, from the 17th century with the Vauban redoubt to the Second World War with the Merville Battery (tour inside the Battery available for an extra charge).

 

Time : 4h

Distance : 9 Km

Difficulty : intermediate

 

Prices Inc. Tax

Weekdays (Monday to Saturday) : 200 €

Sundays & Bank holidays : 240 €

Time 4h

 

Information and book 

By phone au +33(0)2 31 27 14 10
By mail npetit@caen-tourisme.fr

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These urban hikes take place on foot and groups are limited to a maximum of 35 people per guide. The prices shown are valid for a return trip from Caen and are subject to changes in the VAT rate.
Ff the start and/or fi nish points are outside Caen, travelling expenses
will be charged at :
  • up to 10 km: 5 €
  • from 11 to 50 km: 30 €
  • from 51 to 100 km: 70 €
  • more than 100 km: 90 €
 
Guides’ meal expenses: if meals are not taken with the group, a charge of 25 € incl. tax will be made.