Bayeux France

Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:03 AM
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Bayeux France

4 adults with car are traveling from Bayeux toParis on April 27th. We have two days to get to Paris so we want to go out in the country. Any ideas on where to go and what to see?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:08 AM
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Stop in Chartres to see the Cathedral and the town.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:35 AM
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Are you exploring the DDay sites at all while you are in Bayeux?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:36 AM
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What are your interests?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:38 AM
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It isn't too far, but Honfleur is a lovely, historic waterfront town.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 10:42 AM
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We are exploring the DDay sights. We love getting out with the locals and seeing history and old towns. We were wondering about Honfleur. It would be a great direction for us to go. Any suggestions on where to stay there?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 11:04 AM
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Go to Honfleur for a night, stopping en route for some of the wonderful cheese and calvados. Then from Honfleur drive south to Rouen and Giverney. There is an Abbey road going into Rouen from the north that follows a string of medieval abbeys. Get the Michelin Green Guide to Normandy for a description.
And Chartres is wonderful also, but a different direction.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 11:10 AM
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I went to Bayeux specifically to see the Bayeux tapestry (which is not a tapestry, as many of you surely know). I can't imagine being there without seeing it. Maybe few people have my interest in Anglo-Saxon England, but I think it's very impressive even without that peculiar trait of mine. The display is excellent and there are signs that explain all the scenes.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 11:25 AM
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This is part of my longer Normandy & Brittany itinerary. E-mail me at [email protected] if you want the entire itinerary - but do so soon because we're leaving for a 10 day trip soon. It covers the area between Rouen & Bayeux - so you'll have to figure it out in reverse - from Bayeux to Rouen/Paris.

The GG is the Michelin Green Guide, and the star* is the rating given in the guide. If I think the site is better/not-as-good - I'll put a plus+ or minus- next to the site rating.

Day 4
Leave Rouen going northwest on the A150 autoroute. This autoroute will end, and the D6015 will continue northwest to the A29 heading west. Get off the A29 at exit # 8, and take the D926 northwest to the D149 heading northeast. In Hericourt, take the D131 north which follows the lovely Durdent River. This is a very scenic road. When you soon approach the Chateau Auffay on your right (see your 304 map) take the road off to the left into the village of le Hanourd. This is a very interesting village. You’ll take lots of pictures. You won’t find le Hanourd in any tour books. I read about this (and the drive getting there) in my France magazine. After le Hanourd, get on the D925 heading northeast then west to the pretty village of Veules les Roses*+. Look up VEULES LES ROSES in the GG. This is a very charming village on the coast. Pick up a walking itinerary at the tourist office & spend a couple of hours wandering around – you’ll love this village.

After Veules les Roses, head southwest along the coast. We stopped at several towns/sites along the way – but there wasn’t anything that I would recommend until you hit Etretat***- (see the GG). Don’t visit the town. First head up to the Falaise d’Amont** and admire the views. Then head into town, park the car wherever you can (difficult), and spend an hour or so walking up to and around the Falaise d’Aval***. This is a fantastic spot with great views of the cliffs. There is a picture in the current GG.

After the Falaise d’Aval, take the D39 heading southeast (bypass le Havre) & pick up the A29 at exit # 6 and head to Honfleur

Honfleur**+ See HONFLEUR in the GG
Beautiful port town. Very touristy, but there is a reason it’s full of tourists. Follow the walking itinerary in the GG.
Honfleur is quite crowded mid-day, so it’s best to explore the town in the late afternoon or in the morning

Hotel – L’Ecrin in Honfleur - stay 3 nights. See the Michelin red guide for the location of the Hotel. Getting to the hotel can be a little difficult, but there is parking & the hotel is very helpful (I believe they speak English).

If you are planning on staying in Normandy for 1 week or more and can work with a Saturday to Saturday rental, consider staying in a Gite. As of 2012, we’ve stayed in 36 different gites scattered around France, for a total of 79 weeks. We rent them through Gites-de-France. Here is the one we stayed in while in Normandy in ’11. Of the different 36 gites we’ve rented – this was one of the best. Rated “4 wheaties” – the top rating. It is ideally situated to visit most of the sites I’ve mentioned in this Normandy section.
I have a write-up on how we rent gites through Gites-de-France. E-mail me if you would like this write-up.

Day 5
Explore Honfleur in the morning.

See the Cote de Grace** described in the excursions section about Honfleur in the GG, and on map 304 – just west of Honfleur. Drive along this road and also drive along the ‘green” road between the D279 and Honfleur.

There are some very beautiful old resorts along the coast from Trouville to Cabourg. These “old style” resorts have lots of old Belle Epoque/Victorian houses, so if you like to see this type of stuff, drive along the coast. See DEAUVILLE **- in GG. We really didn’t find these resort towns to be that interesting compared to other resort towns/cities in France. There is some nice architecture scattered around – but that’s about it.

A small inland village that we really enjoyed is Beaumont en Auge+. There is a wonderful restaurant in this village where we had one of the best dinners in the region. Read about the village and our dining experience at the end of this itinerary.

If you like towns with cross-timbered buildings, head to Pont l’Eveque – which, of course, is famous for cheese by the same name. Most of the picturesque houses are along the D675 and west of the D579.

Return to Honfleur

We dined at two different restaurants in Honfleur – neither of them remarkable.

Day 6 (not Tues)
Pays d’Auge*++ see PAYS D’AUGE in the GG
This is the Normandy countryside that makes this region famous. Follow the route in the Michelin guide. From Honfleur, head towards Pont l’Eveque, and then get on the D48 heading south towards Lisieux. Skip Lisieux* and then get on the D64 heading south from Lisieux. Follow the route clockwise.

While on the above GG route:
- St Germain de Livet*+. This is a very pretty chateau.
- Liverot – this town is famous for its cheese by the same name – one of the best in Normandy. There is a very good self-guided tour through a cheesemaking facility just to the south of town on the “white” road that runs through town (not the D579). There are a few half-timbered buildings in town (BTW, I would not recommend a visit to Camembert)

Once back at Lisieux, head west on the N13, then the D50 & find your way to Cambremer. First, stop at Pierre Huet for a tour of the Calvados distillery, and then a tasting. Then walk 100 meters to the wonderful Les Jardins du Pays d’Auge*+. This was by far the best gardens we visited in the region.

After the gardens, take the D101 southwest to Crevecoeur en Auge (see CREVECOEUR in the GG). Crevecoeur is an interesting Chateau*, although it’s more of a series of buildings where there are displays and films about Normandy Architecture.

Retrace your route east on the N13 to La Boissiere, and then head north on the D59, continuing on to the D117/D85/D146 to Beuvron en Auge*+. This is a very pretty village – perhaps the “cutest” in Normandy. Our gite was very close to here, and we had a very nice dinner at the Michelin 1 star Le Pave d’Auge* in Beuvron.

Return to Honfleur

Other “attractions” in the area:
- Chateau Vendeuvre** very nice garden also.
- St Pierre sur Dives Monday morning market in an old timbered hall and outside on the parking lot & street. Town is not worth visiting by itself.
- Poterie du Mesnil de Bavent. If you have noticed lots of ceramic finials on buildings – this is where they are made and sold. We spent a lot of time here. . It is located between the towns of Bavent & Ranville on the D513 where it meets the D224
- Falaise* – newly opened William the Conqueror museum* in the Chateau. It was only OK. Good Sat morning market. We enjoyed the Automates museum.
- Suisse Normande** see SUISSE NORMANDE in the GG follow the route outlined. Clecy*- is mentioned and we visited the Sunday market there (not that great), and we didn’t see much that we liked in the village.
- Carrouges Chateau** See CARROUGES in GG. This is an extremely picturesque and interesting Chateau – don’t miss.

Recommended Restaurants
- Le Dauphine. A Michelin 1 star in La Breuil en Auge. See my wife’s write-up at the back of this itinerary.
- Le Pave d’Auge in Beauvon en Auge. Another Michelin 1 star, but more touristy than the others.
- Auberge de l’Abbaye in Beaumont en Auge. Delightful & cozy place. See my wife’s write up.
- Chateau les Bruyeres. Very nice place. If you don’t want to stay in Honfleur and would rather stay in the “interior” of Normandy in the beautiful Pays d’Auge, this hotel/restaurant would be a good choice.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 11:28 AM
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I think Gretchen's idea of going through Normandy back to Paris makes the most sense as there's more to see on that route than on the route to Chartres.

I'm assuming you'll have already seen the D-Day sites so if you have two days (one overnight) you could make your overnight destination Honfleur. Unless you are going to spend time in museums you can see Honfleur with a 3-4 hour visit, giving you time to see something else at the beginning of the day. There's some lovely countryside and charming villages south of Honfleur in a region known as the Pays d'Auge, which is cidre and cheese country so if that interests you then you could explore there and head to Honfleur in the afternoon. Here's some info about the Pays d'Auge.

Some nice villages to visit would be beuvron-en-Auge, Cambremer, Blangy-le-Château, Cormeilles and several others.

This next thread has a lot of info about things to see between Bayeux and Paris going through Normandy.

If you follow my tips about Michelin maps you'll see lots of designated scenic roads in the Pays d'Auge area.

On your second day you could do the abbey trail as suggested or visit Rouen or Château-Gaillard or Giverny.

There's info about Rouen, Giverny and Château-Gaillard in the thread I linked to.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 11:35 AM
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We stayed at Hotel L'Ecrin in Honfleur and could walk everywhere we wanted to go. Recommend it.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 12:07 PM
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Smack on a route back to Paris via Giverny and Rouen is Les Andylys - I loved it.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 12:12 PM
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Love Honfleur.

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Old Apr 22nd, 2014, 12:44 PM
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Versailles could also easily be a last stop before Paris.
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