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petunia0409 Jan 13th, 2009 01:24 PM

Normandy--Car, Tour, How Many Days?
My husband, myself and our 4 yo are going to France in early Feb. We are flying into CDG and staying 4 days in Paris. We have been to Paris before so this is just an opportunity to see it again. After Paris, we plan to spend 2-3 nights in the Normandy area and possibly visit Mont St. Michele. My husbands uncles were at Omaha beach so this trip is very important to him. I am wondering if we should rent a car or go by train. Is it best to stay in Bayeux as a base and go from there? Is a guide recommended?
If we do rent a car is it best to pick it up in Paris or somewhere outside? At this point, We are planning to fly out of Beauvais airport to Rome. I think it would be easier than going back into paris. Any thoughts?

StCirq Jan 13th, 2009 01:30 PM

Well, you can't visit the beaches by train, so without a car an organized tour is your only option.

There are some tours, like Battlebus, that people here have very good things to say about. I've always preferred to visit that area with a car, because I like to be on my own schedule and wander off into unlikely places a tour would never take me.

I would take the train to Bayeux, make that your base for at least two nights, pick up a rental car there and visit Bayeux itself, the Mémorial in Caen, and the D-Day beaches from there. Then drive to le Mont St-Michel and spend the night there. Then drive back to Caen or Bayeux, drop off the car, and take the train back to Paris.

If you can make it a 4-day trip, so much the better.

iris1745 Jan 13th, 2009 02:14 PM

Hi petunia; If you consider staying overnight near Mont-St Michel, this is a great place to stay. It is only about ten miles south or the 'Mont'. You will also be apraised of another American cemetery not visited too often, St. James cemetery that is close to this chateau. ENJOY Iris

Mainhattengirl Jan 13th, 2009 08:28 PM

I do recommend Battlebus Tours. If you give them the names of your uncles and their units, etc. they actually will do research on this, so you will receive more personal information pertinent to those units. Doing the 2 day tour, though kind of expensive for our budget, was truly money well spent. I have yet to hear from someone who regrets it. The guides make the whole tour absolutely fascinating and they take you places and tell you things that you would be hard pressed to find on your own. If you do the tours, they do require you to stay in Bayeux. Lovely town as it did not get bombed in the war, and with good prices on rooms.

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