Base city to see Normandy?

Oct 31st, 2010, 03:03 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 246
Base city to see Normandy?

I'm looking for a good town to serve as a home base while we see the Normandy area. Right now we are planning to tour the beaches and Mont St. Michel. We will have a car so we will be able to get around easily.

We are trying to avoid the larger cities, and would love a quaint town, but a town with restaurants and services.

We were considering Bayeux, any other opinions out there?
SavTrav is offline  
Oct 31st, 2010, 03:20 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,552
Most people doing the DDay beaches and Mont Saint Michel use Bayeux as a base because it meets the criteria you mentioned: charming, central to the sites in this area and ample stores, services and restaurants. While there are also some quaint/charming towns in this area most other towns in this vicinity are smallish and won't offer you the choice of restaurants and other services that you will find in Bayeux

Besides DDay attractions and MSM other places to visit would be the coast east of here including Deauville/Trouville and Honfleur. You could do a countryside drive in the Auge region and follow the cheese or cider trail. Near MSM you could visit Saint Malo or Dinan. Just a few suggestions among many of the options in case you needed tips.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Oct 31st, 2010, 03:32 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,818
Normandy is bigger than you might think; get the Michelin map and see what I mean. We spent 6 nights and saw only a small part of the region. I really recommend getting the Michelin Green Guide to Normandy and looking at the recommended itineraries and places of interest.
Underhill is online now  
Oct 31st, 2010, 03:45 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 148
I agree with staying in Bayeux
Venezia123 is offline  
Oct 31st, 2010, 03:57 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,672
We stayed in Bayeux at the Hotel D'Argouges. If you stay there, be sure to see the Bayeux tapestry. We were in Bayeux for 3 nights and had a lovely time visiting the WW2 beaches and the Normandy countryside. Bayeux is a charming town to walk around and we found a number of really good restaurants.
mamcalice is offline  
Oct 31st, 2010, 05:17 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 104
We stayed Oct 24 and 25 at http://www.hotel-de-sainte-croix.com . Very convenient. Charming, large old home. Excellent rate. Large bedroom and bathroom. Very nice breakfast included. Warm hostess who speaks limited English.

The only consideration is that sounds do transmit within the building (not from the street) because it's old and has wooden floors. The other guests (just one party, I think) were quiet, so we weren't bothered at all. Just wanted to mention.

Would definitely recommend over Caen as a base for D-Day beaches.

In Bayeux, very good, affordable lunch and dinner at La Fringale. Inedible (soggy) pizza at Il Bellagio.

It's a two-hour drive to Mont St. Michel. A better choice for seeing MSM and that area is to stay in Dinan, about 50 minutes easy drive away. (We found the development around the causeway to MSM to be overly touristy.)

We stayed Oct 23 and 24 at La Challonge Hotel http://www.hotel-dinan.fr/ and had a great room overlooking the ramparts. Highly recommended. Breakfast was 8 euro and was good, including made-to-order eggs.

-- Paul
pconte is offline  
Oct 31st, 2010, 05:29 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,022
I second Underhill's suggestion of the Michelin Green Guide. IMO it gives the best info on touring Normandy and the D-Day sights without a tour guide.

I can also second mamcalice's recommendation of Hotel d'Argouges in Bayeux.

http://www.hotel-dargouges.com/
Jean is online now  
Oct 31st, 2010, 05:32 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 465
We just returned from Bayeux and I would agree that it's a good base. Besides the tapestry, Bayeux also has a 11th century cathedral that is being renovated; a good museum on the Battle of Normandy; and a British military cemetery. As others have mentioned, it also has a number of wonderful restaurants. In addition to La Fringale, I would also recommend Le Petit Normand and the restaurant at the Queen Matilda Hotel.
tom18 is offline  
Oct 31st, 2010, 05:33 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 465
We just returned from Bayeux and I would agree that it's a good base. Besides the tapestry, Bayeux also has a 11th century cathedral that is being renovated; a good museum on the Battle of Normandy; and a British military cemetery. As others have mentioned, it also has a number of wonderful restaurants. In addition to La Fringale, I would also recommend Le Petit Normand and the restaurant at the Queen Matilda Hotel.
tom18 is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 03:04 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,396
Bayeux is a good base, I've tried others (Falaise for example which is wonderful if you like to learn so much about WW2 that you could cry) and even St Jean le Thomas (no really) and Bayeux is good though it can get busy and car parking becomes a pain.

Alternativley you could go to the coast (Deuville and Trouville where i spent much of my childhood is not so good) but Port-en-Bessin, Courseulles and Ouistreham are lovely if you like fish for supper.

Villedieu is cooper pan heaven and has a famous dish of tripe which does little for me. Avranches has a fort and is a bit cold and forbidding
bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 1st, 2010, 05:37 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,999
Another vote for the Michelin Green Guide. Le Petit Normand is good, but even better and the best meal we had on that particular trip to France (including Paris) was at Le Petit Bistro, across from the cathedral. make a reservation. A very very reasonable, squeaky clean hotel is Hotel Bayeux, 5 minutes from the cathedral and from the Tapestry. Large rooms, secure car park, and close to the edge of town so it is easy to drive out of town to your destinations.
Gretchen is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
crennaker
Europe
12
Jun 20th, 2016 12:49 PM
ekellyga
Europe
16
Oct 5th, 2013 06:42 AM
trishready
Europe
10
Apr 11th, 2006 12:31 PM
JackLanghorne
Europe
6
Jun 3rd, 2003 04:05 PM
Sue
Europe
7
Jan 13th, 2003 06:30 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:59 PM.