Best base for Normandy

Jan 27th, 2009, 02:14 PM
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Best base for Normandy

We have never seen this part of France, and are curious what village or town makes the best base location to see the highlights.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 02:33 PM
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Normandy covers a large area. What do you consider to be the highlights? In several trips there we have always chosen two bases, but it depends on how much time you have - which you didn't specify.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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We stayed in Honfleur and really really loved it. We stayed in a old hotel right on the harbor and had beautiful views day and night. Stev e
bonacer22 is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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Knowing you, you'll want to see the D Day sites above all...although Normandy has much to offer. On our most recent visit, we found Chateau de Sully, a few kms. north of Bayeux on elegant grounds...from there we were able to cover the stretch from Honfleur to Utah Beach in three short day trips, on our own.

High season rates are now from €150-170. Bayeux has some excellent options at lower rates, for example:

Mount St. Michel (MSM) is about a 75 mile drive west through some beautiful countryside.

tower is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 04:16 PM
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Thanks to all !
I will check out those hotels, Stu.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 04:47 PM
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If yo decide on booking the Sully, ask for Room #25 on the third floor...gorgeous views of the entire front "yard" of the estate, and surrounding countryside. Breakfast in the solarium is some treat.

tower is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 08:28 PM
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My husband & I enjoyed our 4 night stay in Honfleur, a charming town with a picturesque harbour! There are a number of interesting sights in town: the Church of Ste. Catherine, Musee Eugene Boudin & a view point at Mont Joli where you can look over Honfleur to the Pont de Normandie. Here, there is no shortage of restaurants, galleries & shops!

From Honfleur we took day trips to Bayeux (about a 40km drive) and the D-Day beaches. One day, we drove inland through the countryside past hectares of wheat fields, forests & pretty villages. It was lovely!

We found Honfleur to be a comfortable spot to base ourselves before going to Brittany.


2010 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 09:02 PM
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Normandy has many aspects. You can stay on the coast part of the time and the rest inland maybe at Swiss Normandy where it is very differnt.
Look at a map and what you want to see will tell you where to stay or nearby.
cigalechanta is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 09:06 PM
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We enjoyed Bayeux as a base for Normandy, though I have heard wonderful things about Honfleurs as well. Bayeux has the added advantage of dining at Lion D'Or.
annw is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 04:32 PM
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I've stayed in both Honfleur and Bayeaux. Definately worth seeing both, but if you looking for a base for Normandy I'd stay in Bayeaux.

Take the hour a see the Bayeaux Tapestries with the audio tour. You'll learn lots of Anglo/Norman history and why William the Conqueror crossed the Channel.
netstar is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 06:25 PM
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We also stayed in Honfleur. Loved it... favorite part was when the tourists left the town and we could have dinner on the harbor.

stayed at this B&B. would stay there again. our room was large, we had a table to sit at, a fridge, and breakfast was included. When we left early one morning the owner met us with croissants and a baguette to go. Only downside: parking was street parking, but we had no problem finding spots.

We took a D-day tour with Roel - I would recommend a small group tour as the best way to see Normandy. If you have friends or family who landed there, tell him in advance and he will research that company and give you specific information.

We also did a day trip to Etretat, which we loved. It was well worth a day trip.

enjoy : )
surfmom is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 07:23 PM
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Good stuff, merci !
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 07:48 PM
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Bob, having enjoyed reading your posts on Italy, I'll try to jump in here.

We were in Normandy and Brittany last May.

We stayed at Hotel L'Ecrin in Honfleur which I can highly recommend.

We also stayed at the Chateau de Sully. The grounds were beautiful. So was the building, but even though we had the view, I thought our particular room was overpriced for the amount of space we had.

We did not book tours for the D-Day beaches but studied maps and books a lot before the trip. Seeing the American Cemetary at Omaha Beach (I believed it's called Colleville Sur Mer) was an emotional experience.

We drove out from Paris and spent the first night at L'Chain d'Or in Petit Les Andelys about 8 miles from Monet's Garden at Giverney.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 11:32 PM
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Surfmom, we stayed at the Giaglis' B&B in May of '05 and agree with all the nice things you said about it. The owners are so helpful and the rooms are such a great size.
grandmere is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 03:30 AM
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We found Bayeux and in particular Francois at a great base and a very informative D Day guide.
ozgirl is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 04:13 AM
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We think Honfleur one of the most beautiful small towns of Europe. The basin with tall buildings reflected in it is unique. I could just sit there all day mesmerized by the reflections on the water. It also makes a good base for exploring the areas of Haute Normandy--Etretat, Fecamp, Dieppe--as well as the bends of the Seine--ruined abbeys at St. Wandrille, Jumieges--and the cute interior villages of Caudebec en Caux, Pont Audemer, and what I call deepest cheese country--Crevcouer en Auge, Cambremer, Pont l'Eveque, etc, etc.

We have stayed in the de Loges hotel right in town--be sure to arrange parking--and liked its minimalist modern decor and reasonable prices. I also liked the look of the Cheval Blanc on the harbor (not the basin) which is a Best Western.

You can see the beaches staying at Honfleur, but we used St. Aubin sur Mer as a second base in the area and loved it. I was drawn to the Sully but wanted to stay on water and hunted around until I found this place. Check it out at It's directly on the ocean in a small holiday village. Not much of a town, really, just holiday houses (of some substance) lining the coast along a lovely wide paver covered walkway. We were there in July and stayed 4 nights with half pension obligatory, something that almost made me decide against the place. Turned out to be perfect. Rooms are very small and bathrooms even smaller, but spotlessly clean. We had a window directly onto the ocean. The restaurant is split in two--with one part glassed in between the ocean and the garden and the other across the seaside walkway, directly on the beach, surrounded by plexiglass "walls" to keep the wind and sand out. Food was heavy on seafood and in 4 nights we found plenty to keep us interested. Our son was traveling with us and had a small single room with oblique view of the ocean. We paid 251 euros per day for the two rooms, breakfast and dinner for three. Can't beat it pricewise.

We're planning a return trip this September with 4 stops, three of which will be in Brittany. Though it pains me not to be staying in Honfleur again, we've opted to make our one Normandy stop in St. Aubin at the Clos Normand.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 04:24 AM
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Hello Bob:

If you are interested in a hotel that also has a fine restaurant, check out chateau la cheneviere at Port en-Bessin, between Bayeux and the coast. We used this small hotel as a base for several days while exploring the D-Day beaches,etc. and thereby avoided having to drive after dark. Roel of Victory Tours picked us at at the hotel for a terrific day-long tour. Good luck.

gradyghost is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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Some of you are so fantastic with your descriptions that I think I've decided this will be our next destination!
sf7307 is online now  
Jan 30th, 2009, 10:35 AM
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We stayed at this b&b 2 nights at MSM. We went to MSM the first day. Took a day trip and went back to MSM again in the evening.

There is a great little restaurant down the road a short distance. The couple who own the b&b recommended it. The omelettes there were so good and so cheap compared to MSM. We ate there both nights.

You can view MSM from the backyard of the b&b.

It is an easy drive from MSM to the beaches.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 02:04 PM
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Ozgirl, my husband and I also enjoyed our stay with Francois and Isabelle at their B&B in Bayeux. We didn't use his guide services but still spent some time talking to him and catching some of his passion for the Battles fought in Normandy. I enjoyed his homemade Pommeau so much Isabelle gave us a bottle for our room. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  

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