Day Trip to Normandy from Paris

Old Mar 8th, 2002, 06:24 AM
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Day Trip to Normandy from Paris

We're going to Paris and would like to take a day trip to Normandy. Should we make advance reservations through a tour group before leaving the US or can we arrange a tour while we are in Paris? Or, would it be easier to rent a car/take a train and explore Normandy on our own?
Any advice?
Old Mar 8th, 2002, 06:52 AM
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You may wish to enlist the front desk help at your hotel. Normandy by car is a very, very long day. You might investigate a tour cum TGV train or overnight stay. Look at and for ideas and prices. I do not endorse or curse either.
Old Mar 8th, 2002, 07:04 AM
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This is an extremely long day trip but I believe there are a couple of tour companies (Parisvision, Cityrama) that do it. Check out websites. The best way to go is rent a car and spend several days but I realize you may not have time for that if your schedule is limited.
Old Mar 8th, 2002, 07:15 AM
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If you have the time, do as Lori says and rent a car for longer trip.

If you are primarily interested in the D-Day beaches, the Cityrama/Parisvision are good choices

If you'd rather do it at your own pace, you can do the D-Day beaches in a daytrip by taking an early morning train to Bayeux and either picking up a tour or renting a car there. It's a long day, but taking a train back to Paris around 7 will mean no stress on the trip back.
Old Mar 8th, 2002, 07:24 AM
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Hi Lynne, we did the Cityrama trip and were extremely pleased, check their web site but it might have left around 7:00am?, we walked there from our hotel and were back around 10pm. Guide couldn't have been better, this was all in a drizzly rain just like the real D-Day. The museum and films in Caen set the stage nicely for what we saw that afternoon. And the meal was even good. The entire visit was a memorable one. I believe I did make advance reservations. Our bus was full. We went on 5/30/2000, 46 years to the day. Don't miss it. Judy
Old Mar 8th, 2002, 07:40 AM
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Depending on when you go, I would suggest that you book the tour before you leave. At certain times of the year, like November when I went on that same trip, the tour company's did not operate on a regular schedule. I needed to arrange a private tour.

I booked my trip though a travel agency in New York (French Accents (718)896-5400.) We went to the D-Day Museum in Caen and the landing beaches.

If your interest was to see both the landing beaches and Mont St. Michel, I understand that it is difficult to do both in one day.

As we had 5 people, renting a car did not make sense. Frankly, I'm glad we didn't because it is a long drive to and from Paris in one day. We left Paris at 6 a.m. and didn't get back until 7 p.m. I believe it was at least a 3 hour drive each way.

If you do decide to rent a car and go at your own pace, I would recommend picking up the car in Normandy and avoiding the long drive and the "ruthless" Parisian drivers.

Good luck. BTW, the Museum in Caen is much more than military history. There is a nice section that relates to the occupation. Although, the relatively new WWII/Occupation exhibit at the Musee d'Armie, is more extensive.
Old Mar 8th, 2002, 07:56 AM
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There's a great tour company (from what I've heard) called Busfly tours (you can search the web) out of Bayeax. They do full & half day tours of the D-Day sights. The hard part is catching a 6.30am train to get there, and then you can only take the afternoon tour (but you'd have time to see the Bayeax tapestry & Cathedral). Either the train & tour, or city bus tour make for a really long, long day. Really, if you can afford two days, either take the train or rent a car...

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