From Paris (Gare St-Lazare), separate train lines head to Upper Normandy (Rouen and Le Havre or Dieppe) and Lower Normandy (Caen, Bayeux, and Cherbourg, via Évreux and Lisieux). There are frequent trains from Paris to Rouen (70 mins, €23); some continue to Le Havre (2 hrs, €30). Change in Rouen for Dieppe (2 hrs from Paris, €28). The trip from Paris to Deauville (2 hrs, €27) often requires a change at Lisieux. There are regular trains from Paris to Caen (1 hr, 50 mins; €32), some continuing to Bayeux (2 hrs, €35). Taking the train from Paris to Mont-St-Michel is not easy—the quickest way (3 hrs, 45 mins; €69) is to take the TGV from Gare Montparnasse to Rennes, then take the bus. There are three trains daily, but the only one that will allow you a full day on the Mont leaves at 6:35 am and arrives at 9:55 am. The other options are 11:05 (arriving 3:13 pm) and 1:05 pm (arriving 5:04). From Caen you can take either an early morning or an afternoon train to Pontorson (2 hrs, €26), the nearest station to the Mont; then it's another 15 minutes to the foot of the abbey by bus or taxi (buses are directly in front of the station). Unless you're content to stick to the major towns (Rouen, Dieppe, Caen, Bayeux, Cherbourg), visiting Normandy by train may prove frustrating. You can sometimes reach several smaller towns (Fécamp, Houlgate/Cabourg) on snail-paced branch lines, but the irregular intricacies of what is said to be Europe's most complicated regional timetable will probably have driven you nuts by the time you get here. Other destinations, like Honfleur or Étretat, require train/bus journeys.
Gare SNCF Rouen (1 pl. Bernard Tissot, Rouen, 76000.)
SNCF (3635 €0.34 per min. www.ter-sncf.com.)
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