best 3/4 day normandy itinerary

Jun 23rd, 2004, 05:54 AM
  #1  
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best 3/4 day normandy itinerary

going to france for 8 days next march. am going to do 3 days in normandy and 5 days in paris (or possibly 4/4).

looking for suggestions on a good 3/4 days itinerary for the region, nice hotel to use as a home base, etc.

thanks!

jr
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 06:45 AM
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Hi jr98,
Will you have the use of a car?
Is your objective the ww2 Normandy Landing beaches/sites?

Muck
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 07:19 AM
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Muck asks good questions. Here are some more, the answers to which might help inspire some helpful suggestions:

What's your price range for hotels? Would you prefer to stay in town or would the countryside appeal to you? Are you interested in history other than WWII, e.g., the Tapestry?

Many people make Bayeux their base, for example, and have recommended various hotels there on this board. We stayed a short distance away in a country B&B near Villers Bocage, a 400-year-old farmhouse, and loved it.
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 07:23 AM
  #4  
tmh
 
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Certainly a car is the best way to get around but there are other options as noted here with tours. I recently posted this information for those who wanted to take a bus from site to site to get an overview. It appeared to be a summer operation only in the brochure.

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...name=tmh&fid=2
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 07:30 AM
  #5  
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good questions indeed!

we will have a car

objective is wwII but also french countryside--going with wife's parents who have never been out of the country

on hotels, looking for something with a special feel/ambiance. could be very high end but definitely doesn't have to be.

thx for any/all advice
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 08:23 AM
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We spent 3 days in Normandy last year and limited ourselves to the WWII sites, the countryside and Bayeux. WE had a car but used a tour guide with a van for the day we visited the WWII sights. Normandy is beautiful and we stayed in Bayeux which is very charming. The Hotel de Argouges is lovely and centrally located. The Bayeux Tapestry is well worth a visit.
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 08:44 AM
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We're spending 6 nights in Normandy in September, the first following a visit to Monet's house and gardens at Giverny; La Chaine d'Or (a restaurant with rooms) is the overnight stop. The next 2 nights will be at the Novotel Rouen Sud, with sightseeing in Les Andelys, Jumièges, and Rouen.

The following day we'll visit Le Havre (for the Dufy museum) and Honfleur, spending the night at L'Ecrin, in Honfleur.

The next two days we see Deauville, Bayeux, Le Mont St-Michel, and Coutance, staying at a château B&B outside Bayeux, the Château de Cottun.

I hope that will give you some ideas. There's a lot to see in Normandy, and our brief trip will only scratch the surface of this picturesque region.
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 12:51 PM
  #8  
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there seems to be a lot of good things to see/do in normandy. which is the best spot to use as a home base? don't want to move too much. honfleur? bayeux?
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 01:13 PM
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Normandy is subdivided into Upper (Haut) and Lower (Basse), and trying to base yourselves in just one area would mean covering a lot of ground, depending on what you want to see. I'd recommend staying around Rouen for part of the time and then over toward Bayeux for the rest.
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 02:05 PM
  #10  
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now we're getting somewhere! thx for the info. i assume i should hit upper first and then lower on the way back to paris?
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 03:38 PM
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Whichever way you choose--you could head straight for the Bayeux area and then gradually work your way back along the coast to Haut Normandie, then toward Rouen and finally over to Paris.

What you might do is look at the Michelin Green Guide to Normandy for itinerary ideas; that would help you get the most out of the time you have available, and the guide includes hotel recommendations.
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Jun 23rd, 2004, 11:06 PM
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Don't think anyone mentioned Honfleur, but it would be a pity to leave it out.
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Jun 24th, 2004, 07:18 AM
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is honfleur upper or lower normandy?
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Jun 24th, 2004, 07:51 AM
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Honfleur is in Haute Normandie, as as many of the major sightseeing destinations.
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Jun 26th, 2004, 03:38 AM
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Hi jr98,
I have dug up a recent pamphlet I picked up in Normandy it may be of some interest regarding WW2 touring routes. You can do part or all of which ever you wish.
Sorry its a little long winded but it may be of some interest.

The routes are identified by sword shaped signs and totem poles scattered around the areas.
"Normandy is a veritable open air museum; the historical area of the battle of Normandy brings together all museums and places of interest and remembrance connected to D Day and the ensuing offensive in the three departments of Calvados Manche and Orne.

There are 8 itineraries in chronicle sequence clearly signposted
?Normandie Terre-Liberté?
These routes enable the visitor to discover these history packed places and follow the unfolding of the huge battle on which the outcome of the Second World War depended.

These itineraries are as follows:

OVERLORD-L?ASSAUT (OVERLORD-THE ASSAULT)
This route is designed to help discover a great many places that marked 6th June 1944 in the Anglo-Canadian sector from the right bank of the Orne estuary to Bayeux.
You will first come across Pegasus Bridge at Bénouville, and then carry on along the coast following the signs.
Juno and Gold Landing beaches as far as Arromanches and the Longues Battery. Finally reaching Bayeux the first French town to be liberated.
Distance : 72km

D-DAY-LE CHOC (D-DAY-THE ONSLOUGHT)

Starting out from Bayeux, this route covers the entire length of the Omaha sector as far as Carentan. Taking in places like Colleville-Sur Mer and Points du Hoc, it gives an idea of the violence of the battle and the scale of the American casualties, which earned the Omaha beach the nickname ?Bloody Omaha?
The route then follows the hard fought advance of the American troops towards the town of Saint Lo badly scarred by intensive bombing raids and then through marshlands to Carentan where the link up took place with the troops coming ashore from Utah beach.
Distance :130km

OBJECTIF-UN PORT (OBJECTIVE-A PORT)
From Carentan to Cherbourg, this route lets you relive the parachute drop by the American 82nd and 101st airborne divisions around Saint-Mere Eglise and the landing on Utah beach at St Marie-du-mont. Moving on to Cherbourg, a vital base for importing the equipment and supplies required for the operation to succeed.
Distance :95km

L?AFFRONTEMENT (THE CONFRONTATION)
Starting out at Bénouville this completes the ?Overlord-L?assaut? route and follows the extremely difficult advance and consolidation of the beachhead by the British and Canadian troops. Between Caen, not liberated until 9th July, and Vire in early August, strategic towns like Caumont-L?eventé and St Martin des Besaces would be wiped out under Allied artillery fire and air attacks during ?operation bluecoat? (breakthrough in the Bocage) with the aim of supporting the American offensive in the West .
Distance :207km

COBRA-LA PERCEE (COBRA-THE BREAKOUT)
From Cherbourg to Avranches, you will follow the difficult progress of the Allied tanks under General Patton as far as the tremendous breakout at Avranches, which was not liberated until 31st July.
The towns of La Haye-du-puits, Périers and Coutances, and the battlefields of Mont Castre, la chapelle-en-juger and Roncey show with what extreme difficulty the fighting forces contrived to get around the German defences entrenched in Normandy.
Distance :174km

LA CONTRE ATTAQUE (THE COUNTER ATTACK)
The decisive phase of the Battle of Normandy took place with the wide sweep from Avranches to Mortain, where a deadly counteroffensive put paid to German hopes of halting the Allied advance.
From Mortain, the route then takes you to Alencon along either side of which Anglo-Canadian forces, to the North, and American forces to the South would gradually close the jaws on the German divisions.
Distance :209km

L?ENCERCLEMENT (THE ENCIRCLEMENT)
This itinary, from Alencon to L?aingle, gives an idea of how the trap designed to encircle the German forces closed in from the south. After following the progress of the French 2nd Armoured Div and American units moving northwards, you can discover the place where the bloody and decisive and decisive battles were fought for the Falaise-Chambois pocket. Before going on to L?aingle, whose liberation opened the road to the Seine for the Allied Armies.
Distance :162km

LE DENOUEMENT (THE OUTCOME)
This circuit covers the phase in which the Allied offensives converged towards what would be the most decisive battlefield of the whole Normandy campaign, the Falaise pocket. It follows in the footsteps of the British, Canadian and Polish Armies, heading due south in operation ?Totalize? to meet American and French (2nd Armoured) troops who had achieved a breakthrough towards Alencon and were moving North to encircle the German army as it withdrew following its failure at Mortain.
Distance: 128km"

Muck
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Jun 26th, 2004, 04:58 AM
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Doble_Vergasser
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I am going to reiterate a lot of previous comments.

Thankfully we had a car, but we used a half day bus tour for the D-day beaches. Try to get to Arromanches (good D-day museum, a separate movie, and important D-day history).

For a very special place to stay look at Bienvenue au Chateaux. We stayed at Chateau de Fontaine-Etoupefour (near Caen) at it was great. I think it is 500+ yrs old.

Honfleur is a postcard perfect little fishing village. The whole Honfluer, Deauville, Troville ... route can be done in a day (or less if necessary).

Bayeaux was great (it was the first time I had experienced a town/ city that old).

 
Jun 29th, 2004, 07:51 AM
  #17  
 
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jr98 - We are doing 4 days in Normandy using Bayeux as a base. The Green Book is helping us prioritize places to see. Also Mucky's itineries from the pamphlet on WWII sites most helpful... thanks. One question - is a day trip to Mont St. Michel from Bayeux doable? jr98 apologies for tagging onto this thread but info here is very relevent to our trip. Thanks Bob
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Jun 29th, 2004, 09:03 AM
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A day trip from Bayeux to Mont St-Michel is quite doable and might even leave you some time to stop by Coutances on the way back. They to get to the Mont fairly early in the morning.
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Jun 29th, 2004, 09:11 AM
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Not "They," "try." Sorry.
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Jun 30th, 2004, 06:40 AM
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Underhill---Tnks for the info. We will plan a day trip to St. Michel. I hadn't considered Coutances but the town, history and particularly cathedral have whetted our appetite so will visit there too. jr98 tnks again for tolerating my using your thread.
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