A World War II historic guide to discover the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy

Travel Normandy guide François Gauthron offers tours of the Normandy landing beaches, World War II battlefield. Come and discover the most famous part of Normandy where took place the Landing and the battle of Normandy in June 1944 to liberate France and Europe. You will be escorted by a qualified bilingual guide who will show you round the major sites of the beaches. Visit the highlights of World War II sites in Normandy with an expert license guide, first the most important sites of the landing beaches.

Normandy Travel

Travel in Normandy with Francois Gauthron

About us

François Gauthron

14 Résidence de la Pigache
Saint-Vigor-le-Grand 14400
+33 (0)622831194

WWI & WWII historian, writer and lecturer

WWII Battlefields Expert Licensed Guide, François Gauthron is an official tour guide. He has been guiding Battlefields for more than 15 years, Normandy is his region of birth.

Either on a private guided tour or a group tour, François Gauthron is your personal guide in Normandy and the North West of France.

This passionate travel guide shares with you their extended knowledge on the D-Day landing beaches and on the Battle of Normandy. He offers personalized tours of the D-Day Beaches and the Battle of Normandy with passion.

François Gauthron

My Reputation and my guiding

Along those last 20 years in the tourism business and guiding, my reputation is well known over the world. I am proud to say I met hundreds of WWII Veterans from the USA and from many other countries of both sides and both theatres. To really understand this war, it is essential to talk to both sides. I won't put down the list of the authors I know and work with, when staying at my Guest house, I will be very pleased to show you my library and map room, (about 500 books) and dedications for significant help. When I read on some websites from various companies, that they met everyone and know everything in two or three years... that convulse me with laughter.

I will be proud to offer you a personalized tour of the D-Day Beaches and the Battle of Normandy with enthusiasm and passion - Be honest, we can all tell when a person in a job is just "going through the motions".  The last thing you want when you make your pilgrimage to Normandy is to be stuck with a guide or a courier who clearly has no interest in his job, knows little more of history than you do and simply can't wait to get you back and take your money. Please understand that many of the French or British "guides" which these companies offer will simply bring you to the various sites such as Utah Beach, stop in the parking lot and tell you that you have 15 or so minutes to discover sites on your own. When I am with visitors, I don't say clients; I don't work but live my Passion.

We will climb in the bunkers together and I will explain History to you right on the spot.

In addition of the American Cemetery, I will assist you in locating the graves of particular battle casualties, which you may wish to find (such as family members). I also bring you to the graves of the sons of President Theodore Roosevelt and of the Nilan brothers (about whom Saving Private Ryan was based). You'll continue with various stops along Omaha Beach (these sites are not even known by most tour guides) where I explain the actions in details. 

Being a License Normandy Guide

I feel it's important to be clear about what you should expect from a guide when you visit Normandy.

What "being a Guide" means regarding the French law and restrictions: A Guide is someone who has passed an exam and who must have a comprehensive knowledge of his country and, of course, of his region. A Guide has a professional working card, given by the French Ministry of Tourism. This person is allowed to guide everywhere, including the inside and the outside of every monument.

Guide should not be used as a password as it is used by a large quantity of people, coming from foreign countries, who have no diploma and request to be paid in cash.

Battlefield Guide Book: Normandy on your Own

François Gauthron had the idea during the 60th Anniversary to write the book of his guiding, named Battlefield Guide Book: Normandy on your Own. He is in such demand, that he cannot satisfy most requests.

His guide book directed visitors on most of the sites only accessible with a guide. The road explanations were difficult, and people had hard time to find their way in Normandy country side.

Discover this book here.

Many companies pretending to be specialist on BoB's tours as exemple are like actors playing in a theatre, repeating days after days the same story that they memorized from a text, don't ask them to change a word or a site.

You've all heard horror-stories from friends booking none Official Guides "courier" in Europe who hardly speak a word of English, or fluent in English with no local history knowledge, don't let it happen to you!

Anyone pretending to be an official guide in France by presenting another document than the License Guide Card given by the Ministry of Tourism is a liar. Titles like Guild of Battlefield Guides have no meaning or any value in France no more than Blue Guide which is restricted to Great Britain, as if I wanted to use my French Guide Diploma to guide in the US and pretending to be a specialist in US History.

The right designation of those persons is courier or tour conductor.

Knowledge of the region - all Normandy guides and couriers should know how to get to the Pointe du Hoc, Sainte Mere Église and Pegasus Bridge, I hope.  But when you are on site, then you realize the difference between a guide and a courier.

The Courier will recite with more or less accuracy a text coming from one book. Don't ask him any question out of his lesson, like Norman history or architecture.

The proof is that they propose you a very restricted selection of tours, there are over 2000 memorials dedicated to WWII in Normandy, spread out all over an area of 4000 square miles. Of course, it is impossible to know all of them and everything about our region. But when you are a native, and when you have spent over 20 years to study your history and confirmed your knowledge by Official exams, you can give your visitors a better chance to answer their expectations. Anyway much, much better than someone who comes from a foreign country and has been here for few years or few months. Would you ask a French to guide you on Gettysburg battlefield or to a local guide? To my opinion, there's neither question no doubt, I would choose a local citizen.

More than WWII Tours

When you are a professional Guide, it includes that you can do more than one type of guiding, this is the reason why we have to pass exams and many years of studies. Even if I have two favorite periods, WWII and Medieval History, I can, as well, talk about more subjects. Many times, I had families including 3 or 4 generations and, fortunately, my large range of knowledge satisfied everyone. Again, this is the difference with foreign couriers who express the excuse of not undertaking non-WWII tours. This behavior signs their poor background!

Family Stories

My Mother was 16 years old in 1944; she was living with family to Saonet about 15 miles inland behind Omaha Beach. She was liberated by the US Forces of the 29th DI...

I have an incredible story about the Liberation. In 1998, I was with a American Veteran and his family who landed on Omaha D-Day + 3; He had with him his notes with a lot of the villages names he and his unit went through. Of course, I checked with him those names and we started to foot back a part of his itinerary. When we arrived at Le Molay Littry, he said that he could remember a little village close-by where he and 5 other guys chased a small group of Germans. When they arrived in this village (unfortunately this one was missing of his list), the Germans had disappeared but the locals welcomed them... He could remember a man who opened his cellar and offered them cider and calvados. He said that the calvados was stored in big barrel. As soon he mentioned "calvados" in big barrel that rung me a bell. The only family having calvados in huge barrels in the vicinity was my grand-father who was the owner of a Calvados distillery. I took him right away to Saonet, and he felt he recognized the place. I called my mother and told her that I may have with me her 1944 Liberator. We spend the whole evening together and after he compared his souvenirs with my mother's ones, it seemed possible that she had been Liberated by this gentleman.

Such a small world!!!

I am a Member of NVA and British Legion since 1985.