Normandy Base and General Itinerary

Mar 10th, 2012, 07:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,289
Normandy Base and General Itinerary

I'd like to visit Normandy for the last full week in July. We will be driving our own car down from the UK. Family of 4 (DD13 & DS10). Logistically, it makes sense to come across the Channel Tunnel on a Saturday and take the Caen-Portsmouth overnight ferry on the following Friday night (i.e. 6 full days for sightseeing). The return is flexible and we could drive back or take a different ferry (though the overnight is convenient).

Some must-do's:
a) Bayeux Tapestry
b) Memorial de Caen
c) D-Day beaches (1 full day?)
d) Mont St Michel (early or late, evidently)

e) Rouen Cathedral (on drive down)
f) Cherbourg -- La Cite de la Mer
g) Pays D'Auge
h) Bayeux Cathedral
i) relaxing day on the beach -- suggestions?
j) Dinan -- stretching into Brittany

Bayeux seems to be fairly centrally located for that list. Should I use that as a base for the week? Hotel or gites recommendations? Could do 200€/night though less is better.

Or, should we stay 2-3 places including something closer to MSM and Dinan/St. Malo if that is a better mix of our week?

Any suggestions on things to do that I've not mentioned?

Any particular recommendations on the D-Day sites?

Lots of questions, I know. I've got a few books that I'm thumbing through but I thought settling on a base camp and getting that locked down would be a good thing to do.

Many thanks.
indy_dad is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,991
Bayeux IMO and IME is the perfect base for that - the only town not blitzed in WW2 in the area practically - and a smallish but still regional town with all the amenities.

Ste-Maire-Eglise (sp?) is a nice small town with a famous stained glass window showing an Allied paratrooper snagged on the church steeple - his parachute

Classic seaside resorts like Le Treport and Deauville are a short enough drive away for diversity.

cherbourg itself IMO is one of the ugliest cities in France but I loved traipsing thru the old behemoth trans-Atlantic boat terminal where so many visitors and emigrants went thru - hulking state is still majestic.

Granville is a sweet old seaside town with lots of character.

From the bishopric in Avranches you get a sweet view of Mont Saint-Michel rising majestically far across the sandy bay.
PalenQ is online now  
Mar 10th, 2012, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 465
Did a similar trip a couple of years ago. If you're going to see Rouen, you could also stop at Honfleur and Deauville (a beautiful seaside resort area with a casino). You could easily spend three nights based in Bayeux and either take the guided tour(s) of the landing beaches, or do them on your own, along with Caen and also St. Lo (site of another important but lesser-known battle in Normandy). While in Bayeux, also see the tapestry there, the cathedral, and the WWII museum. Also, the restaurants in Bayeux are great! Then go to the MSM area for another two or three nights.
tom18 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2012, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,495
Caen is bigger than Bayeux and so has more hotels and restaurants to choose from. It is worth a day of strolling on its own -- -- plus a trip to its war memorial museum on the outskirts
But it is also a quick train commute from Bayeux.
Southam is offline  
Mar 11th, 2012, 02:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,289
Thanks for the replies. Any other comments?
indy_dad is offline  
Mar 11th, 2012, 03:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,146
Take a look at We stayed there a couple of years ago and it's a wonderful place in the countryside for both adults and children. From there, we drove to the DDay beaches, Bayeux, Dinan and more. I can't think of a better setup for families.
crckwc1 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2012, 11:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,289
Thanks crckwc1. I'll give it a look. I've not considered the more rural option as we usually like to stay in the middle of things. However, it does look like a good base.
indy_dad is offline  
Mar 12th, 2012, 01:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,289
one last ttt
indy_dad is offline  
Mar 12th, 2012, 02:56 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,552
You might find this trip report I wrote about exploring the area near Dinan helpful. It's got lots of photos, descriptions and weblinks to tourist info for the area:

And for info on Normandy from Giverny out through the D-Day sites you might find this thread helpful:
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Mar 12th, 2012, 03:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,289
Thanks, FMT. I was hoping you would chime in. I'll have a look through your links.

I guess the big decision is whether to have a single base in/near Bayeux or branch out a little farther. Thoughts?
indy_dad is offline  
Feb 28th, 2014, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,345
Don't know if this will fit the budget but friends stayed here in Bayeux Lion d"or Hotel
jpie is offline  
Feb 28th, 2014, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 465
The OP was two years ago.
tom18 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:22 AM.