Help planning a trip to Normandy

Nov 28th, 2013, 05:55 AM
Original Poster
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Help planning a trip to Normandy

Our family of 6 plus one toddler (wife and I, 2 adult kids and spouses) will spend a few days in Paris in late September of 2014. Then, would like to see Normandy. Thinking of basing ourselves in Honfleur. We will have 2 autos, so people can take different day trips. Will want to see the Normandy WWII beaches (is that a day trip?), probably see rouen, maybe Mont Ste Michel. Any suggestions as to things to "not miss", certain foods to try, scenic drives? We love city outdoor markets, strolling the shopping districts, cathedrals, glass of wine at an outdoor cafe.
E Kelly
ekellyga is offline  
Nov 28th, 2013, 06:40 AM
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Honfleur is a lovely town, but I think Bayeux is better suited as your base because it is more central and is closest to the D Day beaches. Do not miss the Tapestry. The cathedral is striking as well.
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Nov 28th, 2013, 07:07 AM
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Agree that Bayeux is better as a base. You could certainly stop in Honfleur for a night.
When we did Normandy we left from CDG to tour --Rouen, Honfleur, Bayeux, and returned to Paris via Chartres and turned in the car at Orly.
I like to end in Paris, personally--it's easy to get the departure lined up to go to CDG, and for us, it consolidates our time with less moving.
In Bayeux be sure to eat at Le Petite Bistro--make reservations. it was the best meal we had in France that trip!!
We used the Michelin Green Guide to Normandy and were well pleased for the number of things suggested (cheese, cider, Calvados) as well as information on the beaches and battlefields.
In Bayeux we stayed at the Hotel Bayeux==VERY economical, I thought the rooms larger than many in France, car park attached, nice breakfast room, squeaky clean. It is 5 minutes from the Cathedral, the Tapestry--and Le Petite Bistro!! It is also close to the major "out of town" highways.
Gretchen is offline  
Nov 28th, 2013, 07:10 AM
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Second the Bayeux recommendation, great restaurants in this town. La Fringale was my fav. Reservations a must.
flpab is offline  
Nov 28th, 2013, 07:29 AM
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My wife & I have spent many weeks exploring Normandy. I developed an itinerary that describes our favorite villages, scenic drives, markets, etc. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail. I've sent my various itineraries to over 4,000 people on Fodors.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Nov 28th, 2013, 11:25 AM
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You might be interested in the latest issue of France newsletter. It details all sorts of events taking place in Normandy and some of the more enjoyable towns to visit Here's the link
Avalon2 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 08:02 AM
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You have received excellent recommendations, especially basing yourselves in Bayeux instead. My wife and I spent time in that area and I was enchanted by Honfleur. I will be in Europe again next year, God willing, and might visit Honfleur again as I can easily drive there from Brussels. Mount Saint Michelle is a must. Enjoy.
rogandgee is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 10:39 AM
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How many days are you planning to spend in Normandy? I agree with all the others above that Bayeux is a better location for seeing the WWII sites.
john183 is online now  
Nov 29th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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Yes, along with all the others, a base in Bayeux makes the most sense. If you're planning on a daytrip to Mont Ste. Michel consider going just a little further to visit the spectacular walled city of St. Malo. Gallettes (savory crepes) and cider are a local specialties that shouldn't be missed. Along with the D-Day beaches there are excellent museums in Ste.Mer Eglise (airborne) and Arromanches along with the big one at Caen. Spectacular war sites at Longues sur Mer and Pointe du Hoc.
RogerM is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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To me the "don't miss" beaches are Omaha, Pointe du Hoc, Arromanches, and of course, the American Cemetery. We do go up to Ste Mere Eglise and it is good. Also, on the road from Honfleur we saw Pegasus Bridge. There are many many small little museums along the back roads, but there gets to be a lot of repetition of exhibits. Arromanches is the big differing one--building a floating harbor and bringing it across the Channel.
Don't forget to eat at some little seaside cafes along the way.
Gretchen is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 01:30 PM
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TR and photos if that helps:
indy_dad is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 02:30 PM
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I want to second RogerM's recommendation of the museum in Caen. It is excellent.
Cathinjoetown is offline  

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