Getting to the Maple Leaf Route…
The closest major city to the starting point for the Maple Leaf Route Cycling Tour is Caen, which lies 234km west of Paris. The official start point for the Tour is the Juno Beach Centre at Juno Beach, close to Caen
Most flights from Canada to France arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport, which is 25km north of Paris. Some charter flights from Canada and many European flights land at Orly Airport, 15km south of Paris. From Paris, there are direct trains to Caen (the transit point) which have bike carrying compartments (as pictured). For those with less time or for air ticket price reasons and who want to limit their trip to the D-Day Beaches and Normandy Interior Tours, a flight to London Heathrow and travel to Portsmouth followed by a ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Ouistreham (then 45 minute bus ride to Caen) will be of interest. Bikes can then be rented and returned in Caen before you make your way back to Heathrow.
Before making your airline reservations, check with different airlines about their policy on transporting bicycles. Most but not all airlines will carry your boxed bicycle as a piece of checked luggage. Some airlines will carry unboxed bikes.
Starting Point: The Juno Beach Centre
The Juno Beach Centre is the departure point for the Maple Leaf Route Cycling Tour. The Juno Beach Centre tells the story of Canadians on D-Day, but also Canada’s entire role in the Second World War, as well as giving the visitor historical background regarding Canadian society in the pre-war. The Centre has become the point of reference for Canadians visiting Normandy. Check out the Plan Your Visit section for more information about visiting the Centre and surrounding area.
A Maple Leaf Route “Passport” is available at the boutique in the Centre.