Normandy Itinerary

Apr 13th, 2009, 10:01 PM
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Normandy Itinerary

I have been reviewing these forums with some interest and have noted how helpful people on here can be. I was wondering whether you would let me have your comments and suggestions on our rough itinerary for a week long trip to Normandy towards the end of June. There will be five of us, my husband and I and our three year old son together with my elderly parents (late 70's). We are travelling from the UK to Caen on the high-speed catamaran and are staying at a Gite just North of Vire. As we have a three year old and my husband does a lot of travelling for a living we do not want to spend all day in a car getting to and from some local attractions. Longer journeys will be another trip when s0n is a little older. Of course we are prepared to drive and hour plus for the D-day beaches. What do you think of this itinerary:

Saturday - Arrive at Caen. As we cannot arrive at our Gite before 4pm we thought to take in the Peace museum Dday museum there. One point is it the same museum or two seperate ones? If so which would be better? Travel to Vire.

Sunday - Bayeux. Tapestry, town, lunch then British cemetery and Ste Mere Eglise which I believe was the first village liberated? On the way home a visit to the town of St Lo then home to relax.

Monday- Mont St Michael approaching from the Avranches.

Tuesday - D day beaches concentrating on Omaha, American cemetery, Point du Hoc, Arromanches .

Wedneday - Meander through cheese/cider/Calvados country . Perhaps on a planned route?

Thursday - Villedieu les Poeles- Close by to where we are staying and hope to purchase a Mauviel pot or two. Home to walk in the forest, swim, play with son.

Friday - Leisure, shopping, any addes attractions nearby- mop up day.

Saturday - Leave gite to travel back to ferry departing at lunchtime.

Right anything else that we must do?I have tried to keep a lot of free time so that we can enjoy the hamlet where our gite is situated and we do want to all psend time together, eating, drinking wine and playing with our son.

I would welcome any suggestions. Oh and my parents have travelled to the area about ten years ago and havewarned that the weather can be very changeable. I was hoping that end of June would be warm though!
Joannedup67 is offline  
Apr 13th, 2009, 11:21 PM
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Hi Joannedup67,
Sounds fine so far, in fact your trip sounds just like the many visits we have made.
Just one cautionary note, as you mention, the fast ferry is a cat and you could be susceptable to sea sickness, be prepared they tend to bob about a lot especially if the sea is choppy.

Vire is a nice town and sitting near the clock tower drinking coffee watching the world go by is just great.
The weather ought to be ok but you never can tell lol.

As for places to visit, you will find many totem poles that define several different routes that represent different stages of the Battle for Normandy. Any tourist office will have the leaflets with information about these routes.

There are gun batteries at Maisy, Longues sur mer, Azeville, Merville and many others. Fascinating places to visit, don't forget your wellies and a torch.

Coleville sur mer is worth a look too.

Pegasus bridge has an interesting museum where the original bridge and a replica Horsa Glider along with guns and plenty of photo opportunities.
I'm sure that with a 3 year old, WW2 won't be the main objective lol.

There is a lovely lake near to Vire called Lake Dathee, nice place for a family walk. we hired a small boat, but not sure if that can still be done.

Children love beaches, there are plenty of those to choose from.There is also a Zoo at Lisieux.

There is a beautiful village called Beuvron-en-Auge
well worth a visit too.

As for the cider route, you can get leaflets from the tourist information offices and you can call in a farm where you see the sign outside. There is also a cheese route check out the Pays d’Auge for cheese and cider route.

There are loads of places to see and visit, always go to the tourist information office, they are brilliant places to start your trip.
Good luck with your planning and enjoy

Mucky is offline  
Apr 13th, 2009, 11:53 PM
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Thanks Muck

A friend has warned me of the possibility of sea-sickness. Originally we were to fly to Dinard but the flights were cancelled so have opted for the ferry. I shall have to ensure we are all adeqately dosed with sea-sickenss pills!

Do you know what day the Vire market is held on?
Joannedup67 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 12:50 AM
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I am pretty sure the market was on a Friday in Vire, again the tourist office will be able to give you a list of market days across Normandy.

I rememebr my kids wanted to buy a live chicken to take home lol

Good Luck

Mucky is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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Thank very much Mucky!
Joannedup67 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 08:48 AM
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The Viré market is Friday. Your itinerary sounds perfect.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 14th, 2009, 08:54 AM
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Add the Abbey of Fontrevraud, the resting place of Henry II of England, Eleanor of Acquitane, Richard the Lion-Hearted (Richard II of England) and Isabella d'Angouleme, wife of John Lackland -- aka King John of England, the despot whose misrule led to the nobles' uprising that forced him to sign the Magna Carta. It's near Arromanches -- we stopped there on the way back from Arromanches to Bayeux and it is well worth the detour. It would fit with your Sunday or Tuesday tours.

Note that your trip to and from Mt. St. Michel will be upwards of 3.5 hours, round trip. It is unquestionably worth the visit, but you'll have to judge if the little one can take the ride and then the climb to the abbey.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 01:21 PM
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The official name of the museum in Caen is "Le Memorial de Caen, un musee pour la paix." Many people call it the D-Day Museum, but it also focuses on other triumphs and failures toward achieving world peace such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and Sept. 11th.
Jean is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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I think this is a marvelous itinerary! It will involve a lot of driving though, which you mentioned you may like to avoid.

The sense I am getting (from my research) is that the Cider Routes are in the Pays d'Auge, which is even farther away from your base.
flygirl is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 01:54 PM
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hi joanne,

it's small point, but Fontrevraud is in the Loire area, near Chinon. so it mgiht be quite a long day trip!

but you'll have plenty to do otherwise. the Loire would make another good trip.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 02:30 PM
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AAAH! Sorry Joanne. Skip Fontevraud. My trip report listed it in the wrong area. You'll not want to drive that far.

Apologies again.
BigRuss is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 07:42 PM
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You might consider visiting Honfluer (very picturesque).

St Mere Eglaise was the first village liberated. It was liberated by paratroopers. There is a paratrooper museum there.

The first village liberated by the amphibious forces is probably St Mere Dumont.
Big_Red is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 08:22 PM
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Thank you all so much. I have loads to go on now. I did not realise that MSM would be a long drive ans it seems quite close to us on the map. I guess if we take a slow drive, leave early in the morning to avoid the crowds and then can have a stop or two that would work.

Has anyone here visited Villedieu les Poeles? I seem to recall that there are horse and cart rides for children? Don't know where I read that. Also any recommendations for lunch at MSM and VLP?

Thanks again for all your advice. It is invaluable!
Joannedup67 is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 01:11 AM
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near st mere eglaise is Dead Mans Corner Museum which is very interesting you can find out about here

Dead Man's Corner Museum
2, Village de l'Amont
50.500 Saint-Côme-du-Mont
E-mail: [email protected]
(get a map)

Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed on Sunday from 1 Sept. to 31 May
Closed from 23 Dec. to 2 Jan.

also pegasus bridge seems to be very busy and you might have to queue. also along from Omaha beach is grand camp masey which is a enplacement which was only discovered recently and it is being opened up at the moment. It is very quiet and even with many visitors its seems you are alone to wander, recommended.
mrgrumpy is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 07:01 AM
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I found a good thread on the Cider Route:
flygirl is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 11:45 AM
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Thank you all so much. I am feeling a lot more comfortable about our trip and what we can and will be doing. You have all been so helpful. Will post a trip report on my return hopefully!
Joannedup67 is offline  
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