Normandy Guides

Old Jun 16th, 2024, 11:40 AM
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Normandy Guides

We will be going to Paris and on to the Normandy area. Are there private guides available such as history majors who might be interested in driving us around or is it better to rent a car or take a group tour? Thank you
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Old Jun 16th, 2024, 12:39 PM
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I don't know about private guides to take you around, but we booked a small group tour with Overlord, based in Bayeux.

My late father landed at Omaha beach on D day (as a medic) and always hoped to return, but his hopes were not to be, so I made the pilgrimage on his behalf many, many years later. Ours was an extremely emotional experience. it moved me to tears.

In retrospect I wish we had booked a full two days of tours from Bayeux rather than just one, to spend more time at the heartbreakingly beautiful American cemetary and other sites. I can't begin to express how moving, how unforgettable the beautiful the American cemetary is. I do wish we had been given more time at the museum to listen to the memorial stories of the veterans there.
There were only about 10 people on our tour and many were veterans, not of WWII but sons of WWII veterans or veterans of other wars. Several participants in our day-long excursion had taken the "Band of Brothers" tour.

But before we had spent the entire day in Caen (with friends whose fathers had not fought in WWII) at the hugely educational Caen Memorial, as an introduction to what we would see.

Last edited by Maribel; Jun 16th, 2024 at 12:48 PM.
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Old Jun 16th, 2024, 08:58 PM
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We also took the same tour as Maribel and really enjoyed it.
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 01:34 AM
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Another vote for Overlord Tours, they have small group tours and are one of the best tour operators for the DDay beaches.

Some 8 years back we also did a private tour with Colin McGarry, he took us around in his car. I see hes still in business, you may want to contact him too. Colin is a Britisher married to a French woman from the area, he has lived there for several decades and we were extremely happy with him. I believe hes on Facebook too.

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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 07:34 AM
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Chiming in with another recommendation for Overlord Tours, our choice for a full day tour in November 2019.

On a previous, self-directed trip, we included the Caen Peace Memorial. I agree with Maribel that it provides an essential introduction to the events in Normandy.
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 04:01 PM
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We also did a half-day group tour and we visited Omaha Beach, Pointe d'Hoc and the American Cemetary, such a moving experience. We had also visited the museum in Caen, which is so interesting and outstanding as well as the Holocaust museum in Paris. There is also a Holocaust memorial in Paris which my husband had seen on a previous trip but we didn't have time to fit that in on our last trip.
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Old Jun 18th, 2024, 05:49 AM
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I used Normandy Sightseeing tours (small group tour from Bayeux) and they were excellent, also. Both Overlord and that company do offer private tours if you feel you cannot be with other people for some reason. But they will be very expensive, you are hiring a professional with car for 8 hrs or so, of course that won't be cheap. They charge something like 500-800 euro for a private tour of 8 hrs or so.

I never do private tours in any city, I always do small group tours as I personally like being with other people, and the cost is so much cheaper, also.

If you feel you have to do a private tour, you can find some cheaper options on the website I saw some on there that would be more like $300-400 for that. I have no personal recommendations of anyone on there doing that, though.

I don't think renting a car to do it yourself would be a good idea, as that would be expensive for the car rental, you don't know the area, and I don't know your expertise on the history, but it sounds like you need a guide to tell you about things. No, there are not people just waiting around anywhere to give private tours to walk-ups. YOu have to reserve.
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Old Jun 19th, 2024, 07:39 PM
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I will add my vote for Overlord. We took a full day tour and was impressed with them. It was rainy and chilly in Sept, but it can be blustery any time. Dress warmly!
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