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Normandy and Mont St. Michel with only 35 hours???

Normandy and Mont St. Michel with only 35 hours???

Old Mar 21st, 2000, 07:15 AM
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Normandy and Mont St. Michel with only 35 hours???

We will be traveling with our two teenagers from Paris to Normandy and Mont Saint Michel in mid-June. We have very limited time for this excursion. We will depart from Paris on Monday morning,(after a five day visit) and will need to return to Paris for our Eurostar train to London on Tuesday night at around 7:00 pm. We want to know the best way to see the Normandy beaches, absorb the history there and tour Mont St. Michel (hopefully staying on the island Monday night) in this time frame. We are considering renting a car in Paris and driving this whole trip, but are concerned we will not have enough time. Another option would be to train to Caen (2 hours) and rent a car there and return the car there for the train back to Paris on Tuesday afternoon. Does anyone have suggestions, personal experience? We were also wondering if access to Mont St. Michel is limited to certain times of the day due to high tide? This would help us determine if this trip is feasible in two short days. This forum is the best!! Look forward to hearing from you.
Old Mar 21st, 2000, 08:27 AM
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Taking the train has merit, but I always like to sing the praises of renting a car. You could head out on Sunday night, shortening your Paris stay a little bit, and "average down" your lodging budget by staying somewhere OUTSIDE Paris on Sunday, and be closer to your target. A car rental will (most likely) cost you the same whether it is 1 hour or 73 - - so many rental companies have a 3 day minimum).

And you might want to consider saving yourself the trip back to Paris to catch your Eurostar by taking www.Ryanair.com from Dinard to London (Stansted); departs at 14:20 and arrives 14:30 for the unbelievable price of 94.98 FF (that's right, less than 15 dollars US!) I just checked the fare for 15 June myeslf this very minute. I'll say it again - - unbelievable!

As for planning your time in Normandy and MSM, check out the website at www.normandy-tourism.org - - very informative.

Best wishes,

Old Mar 21st, 2000, 02:04 PM
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There are bus trips to the D-Day beaches and Mont St Michel via Cityrama to the tune of about $350 per person. For four people, that's beaucoup bucks.
You can take the train to Bayeux and pick up local bus tours to the beaches. Take the train to Mont St Michel (actually, to a town nearby, then a bus or taxi), stay overnight, bus/train back to Paris the next day.

I would recommend you rent a car and drive. Some research before you go will help you with the beaches (Michelin had a map of the beaches a few years ago showing landings, who was where, etc.; don't know if they still print it); there is a museum of the landings in Bayeux with all sorts of stuff (Monty's hat, GIs letters from home, etc.) that you should see. This should take you most of the day. Drive to Mont St Michel; you should have a couple of hours left of daylight, then you have it to yourself (tour buses go home) for the evening. There are hotels on the mont; there are also a couple of hotels just at the end of the causeway, and in the nearby town (the hotels at the end of the causeway are motels, so you can park the car near your room).
The huge tides that once cut off the Mont from the mainland no longer exist (natural and manmade changes to the shoreline have been responsible) but there are still waters that swirl up and over the causeway (I've visited the Mont a couple of times and never had a problem getting on or off - more trouble seems to be for the cars parked along the causeway).
There are guided tours of the abbey, which are very good. The streets are mobbed during the day (tour buses, as mentioned before) but the evenings and EARLY mornings are much nicer.
There is a tide schedule somewhere on the web; can't remember where though.
Old Mar 21st, 2000, 04:04 PM
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I think your idea of taking a train north from Paris is a good one. It gets you there faster than if you drive. For example, you can catch a TGV from Paris to Rennes, change to a local train there and go to St. Malo, rent a car there and drive to the beaches and then to Mont St Michel. I've both driven and taken the train there, and I've been a lot more relaxed after taking the train. Moreover, the last time I went I was also limited by time and followed a schedule similar to yours and got to see what I wanted -- but I had to be back in Paris around 2:00 in the afternoon and I didn't have time to take it real easy.
Old Mar 21st, 2000, 05:51 PM
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I agree, take the train out somewhere, you decide, and get a car to do the rest. Definitely spend the night at Mont St. Michel, it is best at night. I seem to recall that they don't do the night time sound and light show inside the mount on Monday, I'd check this out, but otherwise it is fine. Driving distances are surprisingly short -- at least they were to us. If you can and you like oysters, don't miss stopping at the oyster fields at the beach at Cancale and having the best oysters on the half shell you've ever had, pulled out of the sea and opened before you eyes for pennies. Y
Old Mar 22nd, 2000, 07:27 AM
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To Rex, Elvira, Louis, and Patrick,

Thanks for your great suggestions. This was just what I needed to supplement the research I had already done. The suggestion of using Ryanair from Dinard back to London was one I had not considered. Prices for a one way were 1000F, when I checked, but a round trip could be purchased for 198F. Still a great buy! Just wouldn't use the return portion. To the regulars that keep this forum going, my sincere thanks!


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