Normandy Beach Visit

Old Feb 27th, 2000, 04:21 PM
Tom Bakos
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Normandy Beach Visit

What are the logistical problems with a one day visit to the Normandy WWII battle monuments/cemeteries if one intends to start and return to Paris on the same day? Is it feasible or should we plan on an overnight stay in Caen or Cherbourg? We're visiting in late May/earlyJune. Thank you.
Old Feb 27th, 2000, 05:16 PM
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I think you are pushing it from Paris, but I'd do the overnight in either Bayeux or Honfleur, or Mont St. Michel.
Old Feb 27th, 2000, 07:07 PM
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I will second the suggestion to spend the night nearby; Bayeux is the easiest and they have several hotels. Also try to see the Bayeux Tapestry.
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 03:39 AM
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My Mom and I stayed in Bayeux for 3 nights. First day we saw the Bayeux Tapestry, the Cathedral, and WWII museum. Next day we went to the D-Day beaches, which is about 6-8 miles to Aramanches. I rented a car for 2 days. 3rd day we went to Mont St Michel. Please see my personal travel web page for the hotel information in Bayeux (and restaurant information too):
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 03:53 AM
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There are at least 2 companies in Paris that offer one-day coach tours to the Normandie beaches.
go to or
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 09:41 AM
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I researched this same question for our upcoming trip in May. Grey Lines also offers a one day bus tour from Paris and it appears possible to take the train to either Caen or Bayeux and then hook up with a local tour. The peace memorial in Caen offers tours and there's an outfit called Bus Fly going from Bayeux I believe. We decided we wanted to spend more time in Normandy and will go there for our first two nights and then head to Paris.
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 11:01 AM
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Last year my husband and I rented a car and drove all around the area. There is alot to see. My suggestion would be to rent a car, and also spend a night in either place. While a bus tour may be convenient, it is really easy to do on your own. I like having the freedom to come and go as I please.
Old Feb 28th, 2000, 02:03 PM
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Tom -
You can do it in one day--but it is a long day. If you are able to, spending a night might be the better choice. We stayed in Caen and then traveled to the beaches and museums with a whole day to explore. If you want to fit in as much as possible, I would suggest leaving Paris early, visiting the D-Day beaches and museum, and then driving to Mont St. Michel. There are some nice hotels just before the entrance to the Mont. I would suggest staying on the island. I did it and enjoyed it very much. It is a little pricey, but how many times do you get the opportunity? It is a unique experience.
If you plan on returning to Paris from Mont St. Michel, I would suggest stopping along the way to see the cathedral in Chartre. The stained glass is incredible, as is the history of the cathedral itself. Chartre is a quaint little town as well. The people were very helpful and pleasant.
Old Feb 29th, 2000, 10:06 PM
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Well I did the Normandy trip in 2 days. So here goes but there is a lot of driving. Pay the tolls and stay on the main motorway to save huge amounts of time. We headed first to Chartres to visit the most impressive cathedral. Next stop was Caen where we visited the Normandy Museum (allow 3 hours minimum). Overnight in Caen. We stayed in a wonderful hotel called Hotel du Chateau Caen and ate at a fabulous restaurant around the corner called "La Napoli Brasserie". If you like Creme Caramel this was the best in the world. Up early and head for Bayeux and see the famous tapestry. Then on to Gold Beach for a quick look round. Carry on towards Juno Beach but stop at the theatre (about 1/2 way between the two beaches on your left). They have the D-Day landing in a 360 degree round theatre where you are actually in the middle of the action landing on the beach. Believe me the film "Saving Private Ryan" paled in comparison to this film. Also washrooms and gift shop plus a wonderful view. But no time to lose. Head now to the wonderful city of Rouen with some of the most magnificent architecture. This is where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. It's really tough to find the statue but its right beside the ugly modern church in the main square. Also pop into the cathedral as it's really lovely. If you are lucky you'll be back in Paris around midnight.
Happy toll paying.

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