Sainte-Mère-Église WWII sites private tour

May 11, 2015, to May 23 with Gregg, Maureen, Coleen and Donald. This private tour was designed and priced for a party of four.

This post is dedicated to the WWII tour I designed and personally led as a tour manager to show you what is possible in Europe with Travels with Audrey.  This was a very special private tour and request. Coleen and Maureen wished to visit the places and follow in their father’s footsteps during WWII. He was a member of the Allied Airborne Army in the 82nd Airborne Division. All tours are custom-designed and private.


3 days in Paris (May 11 to 14)

Private tour started in Paris, where the guests, after checking in to their hotel on their first day, joined me on an orientation walk in Paris including a visit to the Eiffel Tower.  Services booked with our local wonderful guide Stephanie, for a private tour with entrances to Notre-Dame, the Louvre museum and Versailles (State Apartments of the King and Queen, Hall of Mirrors, King’s Chamber and walked through the gardens).

Clients getting ready to enjoy a boat ride on the Seine in Paris

In Paris getting ready for the dinner cruise on the Seine River/Photo Audrey De Monte

3 days in Sainte-Mère-Église (May 14 to 17)

Traveled by train to Sainte-Mère-Église where a private tour was arranged of the WWII landing sites, Utah and Omaha beaches, Pointe du Hoc (Operation Overlord). Guests also enjoyed a full day private tour to Mont-Saint-Michel. In  Sainte-Mère-Église visits to the Airborne museum and of course the church where a mannequin representing John Steele hangs to remember his story were included.

Out for a wonderful dinner in a local bistro in Sainte-Mère-Église

Out for dinner at a local bistro in Sainte-Mère-Église/Photo Audrey De Monte

May 17 – Train travel day and orientation walk in Amsterdam

Off to Amsterdam by train via Paris (where we were transferred by private vehicle between the two train stations Gare Sainte Lazare and Gare du Nord). In the evening I introduced them to the delicious RIJSTTAFEL.

Indonesian rijsttafel in a restaurant in  msterdam

Indonesian rijsttafel in Amsterdam/Photo Audrey De Monte

What is Rijsttafel? Dutch for “rice table,” rijsttafel is a by-product of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia, which, if we count the days of the Dutch East India Company, stretched for more than three centuries, formally concluding in 1949. When the Dutch returned home, they brought with them an undying affection for satay (spicy peanut) sauce; a handful of Indonesian stir-fry standards; and this practice of serving many small Indonesian dishes, revolving around rice, at once to best show off the archipelago’s flavorful cuisine (it’s likely the Dutch were inspired by a similar Sumatran manner of feasting, called nasi padang). Modern-day rijsttafel is the same exact idea: Cram every inch of your table with anywhere from eight to 40 small plates—a variety of meats, vegetables, and condiments, like sambals and pickled dishes—and eat them with steamed white rice. It’s a tradition that is relatively unique to the Netherlands today, where it’s considered nearly as indigenous as ‘stamppot’, and it adds some much-appreciated exotic spiciness to Amsterdam’s culinary scene. If you crave a change from those hearty Dutch classics you’ve been filling up on, rijsttafel is your answer. Just show up hungry!

May 18 – Private tour booked for clients with their guide Murk for the battlefields of WWII for Operation Market Garden

battlefields of WWII for Operation Market Garden

Battlefields of WWII for Operation Market Garden private guided tour/Photo Audrey De Monte

May 19 – Train travel to Maastricht

Here we spent two nights. On May 20, we traveled down to Liege by train to meet up with their private guide Emile Lacroix for a full day tour of the Battle of the Ardennes.

Private guided tour of the Battle of the Ardennes out of the Liège-Guillemins railway station

Private guided tour of the Battle of the Ardennes/Photo Audrey De Monte

May 21 – Travel to Berlin

From Maastricht a private transfer was arranged to take us to Cologne for our Air Berlin flight to Berlin, where we spent 2 nights touring the city. Guests enjoyed a private walking tour of Berlin with our guide Wolfgang.

Private walking tour of Berlin

Private walking tour of Berlin/Photo Audrey De Monte

May 23 – Departure Day

International flight home


Just want to say thank you once again for a most fabulous tour. The fact that you designed it to suit our very specific interests was phenomenal. Everything went very smoothly. You knew just what arrangements were necessary to accomplish everything in the time we had available. We were very pleased with the transportation, restaurants, sites, guides, etc. The whole trip could not have gone better.  Our tour realized the dream my wife and sister in law wanted to fulfill: following the footsteps of their father as a paratrooper during the 2nd World War. We met many great people and have wonderful memories. I will always cherish the “down” times when Maureen and I had a sandwich and a beer at a sidewalk cafe in Paris and a beer at a sidewalk cafe in Berlin with Frau Vogel. Looking forward to future travels!

Contact Audrey to find out how you can have an exclusive itinerary built around your wishes to Europe.

Subscribe to my Newsletter

Showcased featured tours, new itineraries, expert travel advice and inspiration.  You will receive my insider tips for bringing your wine home.


Audrey De Monte

About Audrey De Monte

Born in New York City, raised in Western Africa, I have studied, lived and worked on three continents (Africa, Europe and North America), and have traveled extensively throughout the world. Travel has shaped my life, who I am, how I look at the world and continues to be my biggest teacher. Together with my native Italian husband, we speak 5 languages. Western Europe is my backyard, in particular Spain, France, Germany, and Italy—countries where I have spent my life, since early childhood, visiting family, friends, studying, living and working.