Paris and Normandy

May 21st, 2017, 12:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 42
Paris and Normandy

I am planning a trip for 2 couples. We would like 3 days in Paris and 2 or 3 in
Normandy. Trip can be in Aug., Sept., or Oct. We will fly into Paris. Should we
do Paris first or Normandy first? Train service from Paris to Normandy? Which
city to stay in as a base for Normandy? Also best way to see the best of Normandy
(D-Day beaches, cemeteries, etc.) By the way, our French is very limited. Any
suggestions greatly appreciated.. Our ages are 75 to 82.
wgood35801 is offline  
May 21st, 2017, 12:33 PM
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How many actual days exclusive of travel days will you have? I recommend settling into Paris for the first part of your trip and considering whether 3 days is enough for that beautiful and interesting city. I don't think so.

You can go by train to Normandy, but you'll need to do some research to decide what you want to see. I recommend getting a copy of the Michelin Green Guide to Normandy and doing some reading, especially the recommended itineraries. But realize that Normandy is a very large region, and in only a few days you won't be able to see very much of it. You might consider taking one of the guided tours to the D-Day beaches, etc. Some leave from Bayeux.
Underhill is offline  
May 21st, 2017, 01:36 PM
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Note that you lose a day flying to France from North America. And it takes 4 nights to get three full days in a place. Do you have the flexibility to extend your trip? I agree with Underhill that you will very likely want more than 3 days in Paris, and given how large Normandy is, two days in Normandy won't give you much time to see WWII sites. Do some research on which places in Normandy you would like to see, which will give you a better sense of how much time you will need there.
Kathie is offline  
May 21st, 2017, 01:36 PM
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Rent a car when you're leaving Paris; base in Honfleur; stop at Tapestry of Bayeux, Dieppe, Etretat, Mont St. Michel, then Chartre on your way back to Paris. Three days in Normandy per above should suffice. I can never spend less than 5 days in Paris!
aliced is offline  
May 21st, 2017, 01:42 PM
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You can take a train from Paris Gare Saint-Lazare to Bayeux - great base for Normandy- best to rent car but mini-buses go from hotels to the top D-day sites (or rent a bike)- Bayeux may not have many or any car rentals so take train to Caen and pick one up there at station.

From Bayeux bop down by train or car to Mont-Saint-Michel (technically in Brittany)- spend night there and drive to take buses to Rennes TGV station for bullet trains back to Paris.

For lots on trains check;; and Booking TGV trains far in advance can yield nifty discounts - seat seat61 site for lots on that.
PalenQ is offline  
May 21st, 2017, 02:03 PM
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Go straight from Paris to Normandy and visit Paris at the end of your trip.

Base in Bayeux. Take the train ( from Paris.

Hire a guide or take a tour based from the Mémorial in Caen.

Read a guidebook or two, preferably the Michelin Green Guide.
StCirq is online now  
May 21st, 2017, 05:49 PM
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Agree with St Cirq. Travel to your farthest destination on your first day when you are jet lagged. I also think you need more time in Paris if you have never visited. Could use more time in Normandy but 2 full days is not bad. Bayeux is a good base. Do a tour of the D day beaches. We used the Band of Brothers and were very happy but there are others too. Rent a car In Bayeux to see what else you want to see. Use a GPS and check possible age limits for the driver's.
mjs is offline  
May 22nd, 2017, 01:35 AM
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Avoid august.
WoinParis is offline  
May 22nd, 2017, 07:34 AM
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Agree with St Cirq. Travel to your farthest destination on your first day when you are jet lagged.>

Why not stay in Paris rest up and then enjoy the train ride to Bayeux fresh rather than arrive wiped out after a 3-4 hour trip all told from CDG to Bayeux?
PalenQ is offline  
May 22nd, 2017, 08:07 AM
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Because you're wiped out after an all-night flight anyway, and 3-4 more hours isn't that much of a hassle, compared to landing in Paris, spending a jetlagged night there and then continuing out of the city the next day...losing a day of travel while you do it.
StCirq is online now  
May 22nd, 2017, 10:08 AM
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No do your Paris time first - end in Normandy and a night before your flight in Paris.

It's not as if there are direct trains from CDG to Bayeux- if so different story perhaps but you have to Schlepp over to Saint-Lazare for the train.

See no reason why not to do your Paris part first then Normandy?

And if driving from CDG - after an all-night flight?

.losing a day of travel while you do it.>

No that day will be more if staying in Paris the first days.
PalenQ is offline  
May 22nd, 2017, 07:54 PM
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We did a short trip to Normandy/Brittany as an adjunct to a London business trip this fall. It was amazing. Since we took trains from Heathrow we spent our first night in Rouen which we loved. We then rented a car and drove to Honfleur where we walked around and had lunch then drove to an amazing bed and breakfast in an old chateau in the outskirts of Bayeux. It is called Chateau de Damigny. The owner Vincent Capon is an amazing chef- the landscape is beautiful and the food is divine. You can arrange a dinner which is family style with the guests that choose to dine. We were 7 for dinner. You can meet your D Day trip in Bayeux. We also drove to St Malo and then spent a night in Dinan a beautiful walled town.
I would think you would want a car to explore the Normandy maybe spend a few days in Paris and then rent a car from a convenient location and then enjoy your few days in Normandy. We thought Normandy/Brittany was truly a gem.
jft is offline  
May 23rd, 2017, 09:24 AM
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When I visited Normandy I stayed in Grandcamp Maisy at a place called Le Chateau. ( This was quite a few years ago but the place is charming and its a very short distance to Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc. You will love this place as a breakfast is provided and the owners and very friendly.
Layna33 is offline  
May 25th, 2017, 11:56 AM
Original Poster
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Thank you all for the replies. You have been a great
wgood35801 is offline  
May 25th, 2017, 01:25 PM
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Please report back!
PalenQ is offline  
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