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Caen train station best for Normandy D-day visit?

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We're coming from the Tours area in the Loire Valley and do not want to drive. Is Caen the closest train station? Does anyone know if we can pick up a tour from the station area?

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    No...the closest train station is Bayeux.

    Don't know for sure concerning picking tours from Bayeux, though I'm quite sure you can. Anyway, someone will certainly be able to answer. Actually, I should be staying in Bayeux next week myself, so if nobody else answer your question (I doubt it...it's a popular destination), drop me a line.

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    Hi
    This is the information I have.

    You can take a train to Bayeux and take a tour with Bus Fly tours which operates van tours of the Normandy Beaches out of Bayeaux. They offer two tours each day leaving at 8:30 and 1:30. The tours are scheduled for four hours. They may be able to arrange pickups at other locations or at hotels. Their vans accommodate up to 8 people. They also run tours to Mont St Michel. Tel: (from U.S.) 011-33-2-31-22-00-08 or 011-33-2-33-39-23-52
    Fax: (from U.S.) 011-33-2-31-92-35-10
    E mail: info@busfly.com Web site: www.busfly.com
    In March 2001 some of my family used Bus Fly with happy results.

    You can take a tour called Normandy Tours given out of Hotel de la Gare in Bayeux - right by the train station .They give half day tours (in English). The tours are usually about 5 hours, and only costs 140F. It takes you to Omaha beach, the American Cemetary, Pointe du Hoc, and Arromanche to see the WWII Museum. Tel: 011-33-2-31-92-10-70

    Oct 2000 from Fodor's Forum:
    "For the D-Day beaches, take the train (or drive) to Bayeux. Normandy Tours, run by Jean-Marc Bacon, whose father runs the hotel De La Gare right across from the station, will take you all around the D-Day beaches, cemeteries, etc. in his van. His English is excellent, and he is a wealth of information about the invasion (he's been studying about it since he was a kid). There is no way to get to the beaches via train; you must drive, be driven, or bicycle. Normandy Tours telephone 31 92 10 70; fax 31 51 95 99.
    About $40 pp for virtually the whole day; you can be back in time to catch a train back to Paris."

    Note: A Fodor's poster in April 2001 had a very unsatisfying experience with the above service when they were assigned a guide named "Samuel." He was described as being uninformed and very much in a rush.

    From Fodor's forum May 2001:
    You can take a private driver with a van who will pick you up at your hotel (or train station, I would guess), drive you to Normandy, and give you an all day tour. Speaks perfect English. He takes only cash. Nice guy. He uses a van that accomodates up to 6 people. Charges by the tour, not per person.
    Jean-Marie Ceccaldi 44 rue Ginoux 75015 Paris
    Tel (home) : 011-33-1-45-75-43-12 (from U.S.)
    Cellular: 06-09-03-31-53
    Fax: 011-33-1-40-93-07-32 (from U.S.)

    You can take a guided tour from the museum in Caen. Advice from Fodors.com
    Nov 2000: "My sister and I took the train from Paris. From the Caen train station,
    you can take either a taxi or bus (I suggest a taxi is much more straight forward) to the memorial museum. There are mini-bus tours that can take you on a variety of tours, including the landing beaches and the American Cemetery. The driver/tour conductor is English speaking. Be sure that you know BEFORE you leave Paris what times the return trains are on the day you are going. We took our time and had dinner in Caen because we Normandie thought there was a late train to Paris that turned out not to run on the day we were there (had to stay overnight)!."

    From Rick Steves's website March 2001:
    "Caen's excellent Museum of the Battle of Normandy offers guided minivan tours of the D-Day beaches. Tours include admission to the museum. Half-day tours depart at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and cover Longues-sur-Mer, Pegasus bridge, Arromanches, Courseulles, and Douvres for $50. Full-day tours ( 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) add the American and German cemeteries, St. Mere l'Eglise, and lunch, and cost roughly $75. (Contact the Caen Museum and pay in advance, tel. 02 31 06 06 44 - as in June 6, 1944."

    You can take a tour by Col Chilcott . He conducts private tours of the Normandy WWII sights. He charges per tour plus the cost of diesel and lunch, for a whole day. The day lasts as long as necessary. He's retired from the British military and owns a 300 year old farmhouse in Bayeux where you can stay also. Contact him at:
    chilcott@mail.cpod.fr
    Web page: http://www.vrbo.com/vrbo/352.htm
    Tel: 011-33-2-31-22-39-09 (from U.S.)
    Fax: 011-33-2-31-21-97-84 (from U.S.)

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    never having used any other tour (I had a car, went around with a friend, and, stayed with the Chilcotts) I can't be the most unbiased source - but I don't see how you can get better than Col. Chilcott.

    my $.02

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