Colleville-sur-Mer is most famous as the home of the American Military Cemetery, which was depicted in the opening scenes of the film Saving Private Ryan. The town was chosen to host this cemetery after Operation Overlord brought the Allied troops to the shores of Normandy and to the beach code-named Omaha, which is located in Colleville-sur-Mer.
The town had always been very small, so the opening of the cemetery and museum have turned the military history of the town into its principal draw. The beaches, however, are still open to the public for swimming and walking.
Many use Colleville-sur-Mer as a home base for visits to the other American and Allied beaches nearby. As such, Colleville and surrounding areas offer plenty of options for hotels, restaurants and bed-and-breakfast choices.
Be sure to save some time in your schedule for a visit to Pointe du Hoc, between Omaha and Utah beaches. This locale was a key fortified point by the Germans, taken by American Rangers in June 1944.
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