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Normandy: Able to "Do It" from 1 base, eg, Bayeux?

Normandy: Able to "Do It" from 1 base, eg, Bayeux?

Old Jan 1st, 2003, 09:47 AM
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Normandy: Able to "Do It" from 1 base, eg, Bayeux?

Thinking ahead to our 10 day trip to Paris/Normandy in May. Will spend 3-4 days in Paris, having been there many times before, and then plan to take train to Caen, rent car, stay in Bayeux. Bayeux appears to be perfect for beaches area and perhaps as far west as MSM, but if we want to explore eastern Normandy, inc. Etretat, should we relocate? I'd prefer to stay in one place but there's a point at which it could be ridiculous if it takes half a day to get some place. Guess bottom line is, can we spend 6 days based in Bayeux and see enough interesting places or should we do a 3/3 (4/2) split for getting the most out of our stay in Normandy? Or perhaps moving west to eastern Brittany would be a better choice? Thanks for your thoughts, advice, etc.!
Old Jan 1st, 2003, 10:15 AM
Jinx Hoover
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I would recommend splitting your time between Bayeux and somewhere west. Three days would be plenty to headquarter in Bayeux. You can see the Normandy D-Day sites plus a little more (Honfleur, for example). An automobile gives you much more flexibility and management of your time.
There are several good choices to base in Brittany. Dinan (one hour from MSM) would be excellent. St. Malo offers a Breton beach resort with ramparts circling the old city. St. Malo is 45 minutes from either MSM or Dinan.
Get back to me with other questions.


Jinx Hoover
Old Jan 1st, 2003, 10:42 AM
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We spent 6 days in Normandy leaving from CDG, first night and day in Rouen, then a scenic drive to Honfleur for a night and finally meandering the back roads to Bayeux for 3 days stopping en route at Caen to see the Pegasus Bridge. We spent one full day beginning at ST. Mere Eglise and working down the Normandy beaches to the American cemetery. Spent the other couple of days exploring the coast and seeing the Bayeux tapestry. A Michelin map of the area is a must and there are absolutely fascinating abbeys and churches to see. The Michelin Green Guide to Normandy is excellent also.
Old Jan 1st, 2003, 11:55 AM
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We based ourselves in Le Vey, which is south and slightly to the east of Caen. With the car it was no problem exploring the whole Normandy coast. We'd start out for a specific point then work our way back to Le vey ,for a relaxing evening and a great dinner in our hotel, Le Moulin du Vey. we saw Honfleur, Bayeux , Caen, Mont St Michel, Cancale, the beaches, then American and British cemeteries, and everything in between! It was fun to wander thru the litle Norman towns that are ususally bypassed by tourists. Had one of our best days at the annual cidre festival in Beuvron en Auge, which we would not have found if we had been staying elswhere.

It is even possible to drop down into Brittany from there and see at least the interior towns.
Old Jan 1st, 2003, 07:07 PM
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Thank you for your recommendations; it was helpful hearing what you did in Normandy and how you did it. It seems that we will need to move on, either west or east, after 3 days at Bayeux (Jody, Le Moulin du Vey sounds and looks wonderful, but I'd rather be in a small town, rather than a village, where we could walk around in the evenings). Two 3 night stays will be fine; just don't want to be packing and unpacking every night or so. Anyone recommend staying east of Bayeux, towards Etretat, for the second leg of the trip?
Old Jan 11th, 2003, 06:36 AM
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Looking for a quaint small town to stay in, fun to walk around in at night or in the morning, must have several restaurants, cute windowboxes full of flowers, and most of all a good bakery. Any suggestions?
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 06:04 AM
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to the top
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 06:30 AM
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Sue: I think your instincts are right. As soon as you get to Caen, you can hit the Peace Museum there and then move on to Bayeux. Bayeux is perfect for the D-Day area, and it's a nice locale in its own right--Bayeux Tapestry, Cathedral, restaurants, etc.

Since you only want to move one more time and have spent 3-4 days out of 10 in Paris, I'd move eastward, just as you suggested. While we enjoyed Honfleur as our pit stop, I don't think it's the best base from which to explore the eastern part, one reason being that accomodations are overpriced there. I think Rouen would make a perfect center for the next part of the trip. The Autoroute in the area would allow easy exploration of of Etretat, etc. and you can also explore Giverny (beautiful in May!) with ease.
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