9 days in Normandy

Old Sep 24th, 2019, 11:29 AM
  #21  
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How about visiting Vitre on our way from Paris to our B&B near MSM (skipping Fougiere altogether), then next morning MSM and Dinan in the afternoon?
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Old Sep 24th, 2019, 12:53 PM
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Sure - that would work.

I hope your read my itinerary about MSM. Our favorite time there was at night between 7PM and 11:30 pm walking on the ramparts. Try to work that in.

Stu Dudley
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Old Sep 25th, 2019, 12:58 AM
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Even if we don't find accommodation on MSM, we could take the shuttle bus in the evening and do a nice walk on the ramparts after dinner? We'll make sure to get a B&B close to a shuttle bus.
Now I'm wondering if indeed we don't have too many different B&B locations. The problem is that I don't like to drive too much every day with 2 kids. If we would have a base in let's say Honfleur, it would still take 1.5 hour to go to e.g. Rouen, Bayeux, Veules-Les-Roses, etc, and 1.5 hour to go back. 3 hours per day in the car seems a bit of a waste.
However, it may be an option to skip the 2 nights in Bayeux if we go straight from MSM to Honfleur and visit Omaha Beach and Bayeux on the way (arriving at a B&B near Honfleur in the evening). Is Bayeux worth a whole day, or is it all about the tapestry? As I said, we're not into the WWII stuff so I think a guided tour on Omaha Beach will be enough.
Next day we could do Deauville and Honfleur and stay a second night in Honfleur. Then the coastal drive via Etretat and Veules-Les-Roses to Rouen where we stay the final 2 nights.
That means we reduced the holiday to 6 nights/7 days. Is there a specific area where you think we should spend more time?
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Old Sep 25th, 2019, 04:00 AM
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Maybe an extra night in Honfleur to see Pays d'Auge?
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Old Sep 25th, 2019, 06:30 AM
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Bayeux is noted for 3 things - the Tapestry, proximity to the WWII landing sites, and the fact that it was the only village in the area that was not leveled in WWII. Compared to the hundreds & hundreds of villages & towns we've explored in France - Bayeux is not that notable, IMO. Not sure the kids would get much out of the Tapestry, and since you are not particularly interested in the WWII sites - except for a glimpse of the beaches - skip a stay in Bayeux. Honfleur is much more interesting.

I think the plan to add a day to Honfleur for the Pays d'Auge is a good idea. I'm not a big fan of Deauville.

Stu Dudley
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Old Sep 25th, 2019, 07:17 AM
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Thanks, Stu! Deauville is not a must, but I thought a relaxing day at the beach would be nice. Although I understand the weather in Normandy is quite unpredictable...
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Old Sep 25th, 2019, 07:24 AM
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We were in Normandy the 2nd & 3rd week in June this year, and the first 10 days were not that great, then it got horribly hot for the remaining 2 1/2 weeks of our trip (2 weeks in Brittany near Dinan, followed by a 1/2 day in Paris - when we never left the air conditioned hotel room - except for dinner).

We were in Brittany last year for the last 2 weeks in June & first two weeks in July. It was "record temperatures" for most of our trip.

Deauville would be fine for a "day on the beach".

Stu Dudley
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Old Sep 25th, 2019, 07:45 AM
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So airconditioning would be advisable in the summer months? I noticed many of the B&B's and gites don't have it
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Old Sep 25th, 2019, 07:52 AM
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We were just in Normandy - we stayed one night in Giverny, one night in Honfleur and 4 nights in Bayeux. Bayeux is a nice little town in which to base yourselves IF (as we were) you are there to see the WWII sites. We spent 2 full days visiting WWII sites and one visiting Mont St Michel. Otherwise, I think your decision to visit the Bayeux sites on the way somewhere is is a good one. We really liked both Honfleur (the whole town) and Giverny (Monetís home and garden and the small village ambiance). Note we are 2 seniors and we were not traveling with any children.
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Old Sep 25th, 2019, 08:47 AM
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>> So airconditioning would be advisable in the summer months? <<

If next year is like the last 2 years - air conditioning would be beneficial. We have rented 72 gites in France and several apartments. Except for Paris & 1 of the apts in St Tropez - none have had air conditioning. However, most of them had thick walls so you could close all the shutters in the daytime & keep the place cool. Several had fans, which helped. We have friends who stay in Gites & they purchased a fan in France. During heatwaves, we either spent a lot of time in the pool, or drove in an air-conditioned car during peak heat times of the day.

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Old Sep 25th, 2019, 08:53 AM
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Air con in Britanny, not really needed, the walls are thick and correct control of window shutters should solve this.
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Old Sep 26th, 2019, 04:21 AM
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Thanks a lot. Looks like the plan is coming together. Next step is to find accommodation!
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Old Sep 27th, 2019, 12:01 AM
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As it stands now we'll do MSM and Dinan on a Sunday. Would that be okay?
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Old Sep 27th, 2019, 12:15 AM
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No market on Sunday but there might be a grenier (car boot sale) https://vide-greniers.org/22-Cotes-Armor/Dinan-22 worth checking nearer the time.
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Old Sep 27th, 2019, 06:57 AM
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Note that most shops in Italy are closed on a Sunday. Except in heavy tourist towns. Some may be open in Dinan. However, the port in Dinan is the "place to be" for Sunday lunch. Parking is difficult/impossible around the port.

Stu Dudley
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Old Sep 27th, 2019, 07:05 AM
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Best to park up on the Dinan hill (inside the walls, your GPS will show the car park) and walk down to the port.
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Old May 14th, 2020, 08:48 AM
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Normandy in Corona time

Originally I planned a 9 day trip to Normandy for this summer. Coming from Paris, I would spend 3 nights near MSM, 3 nights in Pays d'Auge and 2 nights near Rouen. Assuming France will welcome tourists this summer, I am wondering if I should change my itinerary. MSM will be closed presumably, so maybe an idea to skip that far corner of Normandy and spend some more time in other areas. Any ideas?
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Old May 14th, 2020, 11:09 AM
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Everybody has their own perception of tolerable risk.

The recent news about Kawasaki Disease would make me think twice about traveling this summer with young ones until they know more about its connection to Covid. France may welcome tourists everywhere in the country this summer, but I wouldn't base a decision purely on seeing a government welcome sign. I'd be doing my own research on Covid in the specific areas of the entire itinerary. FYI, so far, France has done less testing per capita than most other European countries. Your drive from Rouen would be through Belgium which currently has counted more deaths per capita than the rest of Europe. Yes, they are just statistics, but you have to start somewhere....

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/l...129-6/fulltext

You should also continue to check the status of all the places you hope to visit. Currently, the Bayeux Tapestry Museum is closed, as are the Peace Memorial in Caen and the American Cemetery above Omaha Beach. MSM is open to tourists, but its abbey is currently closed.
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Old May 21st, 2020, 10:17 AM
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I wouldn't assume that France will welcome international tourists this summer, and even if it does, I wouldn't come here. Stay home and stay safe.
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