Four Night Trip Round Normandy

Old Aug 31st, 2013, 02:40 AM
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Four Night Trip Round Normandy

In early October my wife and I plan to fly into DeGaull airport around mid-night between Sat-Sun and tour Normandy until Thu, when I need to be back in Paris in the evening for a business meeting. We will stay in Paris for three nights afterwards.
I have read the forums and some guides but now I need some help in putting it although to get the most out of this brief junket through Normandy, which seems so enchanting by from what I read.
Here is the plan, as best as I can put it together now. After resting for a few hours at a hotel at or around ithe airport, I plan to rent a car. I assume the best route is counterclock-wise. First Day (Sun) - CDG - Giverny-Rouen-Honfleur. Second Day (Mon) - Honfleur - Etretat & Coast - Bayeux. Third Day (Tue) - Bayeux - Fourth Day (Wed) - D-Day - Mont St. Michel at night. Fifth Day - Mont St. Michel (morning) - drive back to Paris & return car. We particularly like lodging with rooms with a view and would appreciate any suggestions. I thought the Best Western in Honfleur next to the inner harbor would have a scenic view, although we understand that the rooms are rather small. Any suggestions on the itinerary and accommodations would be a great help.
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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 05:19 AM
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I think MSM may be a bridge too far.
We did this trip for 6 days. We arrived in the morning and went to Giverney and the night in Rouen.
Second night in Honfleur, and just enjoyed that town.
Stayed in Bayeux for 3 nights--touring Pegasus Bridge on the way to Bayeux. Then two days doing the beaches and tapestry, etc.
We drove back via Chartres and then to orly to return the car. the rental area there is just across from the taxi queue to get a cab into Paris.
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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 06:46 AM
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You can take the train to Caen and rent a car from there. That would help with the jet lag. You are trying to do a lot. We stayed in Bayeux for three nights. It was a nice village. We did day trips from there but still never got to MSM.
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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 07:14 AM
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Lots of driving if you're jet-lagged and sleepy. And you don't mention anything about the WWII sites in Normandy. Do you plan to see anything of those? Assuming so, here's my suggested itinerary:

Day 1: Giverny - Rouen
Sleep in Rouen
Day 2: Etretat - Honfleur - Bayeux
Sleep in Bayeux
Day 3: Bayeux tapestry/Caen Peace Museum
Sleep in Bayeux
Day 4: WWII sites
Sleep in Bayeux
Day 5: Drive to Deauville, tour the Pays d'Auge (go easy on the cider), drive to Paris.

I'm not sure Etretat is worth the detour. Is there a special reason you want to go there? And I've omitted Mont-St-Michel, due to time constraints. It's pretty much the end of the garden season for Giverny; it closes for the season Nov. 1, but I enjoyed the house almost as much.

Once you settle on an itinerary, give us a budget and we can recommend hotels. And sights to see along the way.
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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 07:16 AM
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You have to go into Paris to get the train to Caen however--waste of time and money to me.
His idea of a hotel at CDG since they arrive so late is probably good.
I also recommend getting the Michelin Green Guide to Normandy. It has wonderful ideas for highways to drive, such as the Abbey Road leaving Rouen going toward Honfleur--a string of medieval abbeys along the route.
It will also give a great overview of touring the beaches, and the stories.
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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 07:33 AM
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>> (Sun) CDG - Giverny-Rouen-Honfleur.

I would skip Rouen. On Sunday all the shops will be closed and the city will feel kind of dead. Perhaps catch on on the way back to Paris.

>>Second Day (Mon) - Honfleur - Etretat & Coast - Bayeux.>Fifth Day - Mont St. Michel (morning) - drive back to Paris & return car.
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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 08:00 AM
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Agree with the others that it is probably a bit rushed to fit it all in. See my TR for photos and more:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...y-uk-stops.cfm
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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 08:43 AM
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I think chazman has a good chance of doing this trip - if he skips Rouen and takes the TGV back to Paris from Rennes

Sun
-Land at CDG, pick up car, & drive to Giverny - 1 1/3 hr drive. Leave CGD at 9 & arrive at Giverny at 10:20
- Visit Giverny 10:20-noon.
- drive to Etretat 2 hrs noon-2PM
- visit the Falaises at Etretat 2 to 4PM
- Drive to Honfleur 1 hr. 4PM to 5PM.
- wander Honfleur

Mon
Explore Honfleur
Drive to Caen, visit museum, then Pegases Bridge & museum, Arromanches (museum & theater), stay in Bayeux. Visit Tapestry tonight or in the morning. Same with invasion museum in Bayeux.

Tues
visit US Landing beaches, cemetery, etc.
Stay in Bayeux

Wed
-Drive 1 3/4 hrs to MSM & visit. Should not be overly crowded on a week day in late Oct. If you leave Bayeux at 8 you should get to MSM by 10.
- visit MSM 10-1:00.
- Drive to Rennes - 1 1/4 hrs. Get there by 3:00, dump the car at the rental offices next to the train station (check opening times), stay at a hotel near the train station.
- Explore Rennes

Thurs
- Explore Rennes.
- There are hourly trains departing for Paris. 2 1/4 hr trip. If your meeting on Friday is in the afternoon, you could even leave Rennes on Friday morning & spend more time in Normandy. You are missing our favorite region there - the Pays d'Auge.

Stu Dudley
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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 09:19 AM
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Wed

If you leave MSM by 1PM, visit Chateau Fougeres on the way to Rennes.

Stu Dudley
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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 10:09 PM
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Thanks for all of your helpful comments on the itinerary. A few bits of information to tighten up the travel plans. Luckily we won't be jet lagged, just tired from the late evening flight. Second, I need to be back in Paris by Thursday around 5PM to check-in and make a dinner engagement around 8PM. The idea of returning the car early and taking the train back to Paris is really intriguing. No, I have never driven in Paris and would have to rely exclusively on the GPS, while maneuvering through traffic. Now I am a bit anxious about returning the car to Paris. I will have to sharpen my pencil and get back to the trip plan. Please keep the useful ideas and information coming.
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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 10:31 PM
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Stu, Following your itinerary. Anyway to work in Pays d'Auge by shortening visit to landing beaches & cemetaries, Rennes?
All, Is it worthwhile to see MSM at night in addition to in the day?
Thanks to all.
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Old Sep 1st, 2013, 04:52 AM
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The train is a good idea, but you don't have to drive IN Paris if you return the car to Orly--IF you want to drive back from as far as MSM. Probably less anxiety on a train.
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Old Sep 1st, 2013, 07:42 AM
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>>Stu, Following your itinerary. Anyway to work in Pays d'Auge by shortening visit to landing beaches & cemetaries, Rennes?
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Old Sep 1st, 2013, 07:55 AM
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The train is a good idea, but you don't have to drive IN Paris if you return the car to Orly--IF you want to drive back from as far as MSM. Probably less anxiety on a train.
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Old Sep 7th, 2013, 07:18 AM
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Chateaus in Pays d'Auge - We thought to stay at Chateau les Bruyeres while touring the Pays d'Auge following Stu's suggestion. Unfortunately, it is not available. Any ideas for similar chateaus in the area, where we could spend one night?
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Old Sep 8th, 2013, 04:45 AM
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Chateau du Mesnil d'O - Does anyone know anything about this chateaux? Strangely, I can't find any reviews. Thanks for any advice you can offer.
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