best 3/4 day normandy itinerary

Jun 23rd, 2004, 05:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 71
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.


jr98 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 06:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,083
Hi jr98,
Will you have the use of a car?
Is your objective the ww2 Normandy Landing beaches/sites?

Mucky is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 07:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 530
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.
flsd is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 448
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.
tmh is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 07:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 71
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
jr98 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,942
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.
mamc is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 08:44 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,280
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.
Underhill is online now  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 12:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 71
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?
jr98 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,280
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.
Underhill is online now  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 02:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 71
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?
jr98 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,280
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.
Underhill is online now  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 11:06 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,227
Don't think anyone mentioned Honfleur, but it would be a pity to leave it out.
twoflower is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 07:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 71
is honfleur upper or lower normandy?
jr98 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2004, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,280
Honfleur is in Haute Normandie, as as many of the major sightseeing destinations.
Underhill is online now  
Jun 26th, 2004, 03:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,083
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:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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"

Mucky is offline  
Jun 26th, 2004, 04:58 AM
Posts: n/a
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
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 108
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
Beechtree is offline  
Jun 29th, 2004, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,280
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.
Underhill is online now  
Jun 29th, 2004, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,280
Not "They," "try." Sorry.
Underhill is online now  
Jun 30th, 2004, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 108
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.
Beechtree is offline  

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 -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:20 AM.