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Paris/Normandy

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Feb 29th, 2016, 09:04 AM
  #1
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Paris/Normandy

After a 1 week pilgrimage to Lourdes in June I will be traveling with my 8 yr old son for 7 additional nights. We will fly to CDG from Pau, so the start of the trip will be CDG. My thought is to do the following:
Rent a car at CDG.
Drive to Normandy and stay 3 nights in Bayeux.
Drop off car at Orly and travel into Paris (suggestion from a Fodorite).
Stay in Paris 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th for 4 nights.
Should we stay in one hotel in Normandy and explore from there? Can anyone recommend a guide? What would be of most interest to an 8-yr old boy?
Is there any other place we should stay a night instead of 4 nights in Paris?
Thank you for all your help.
KathyBeau is offline  
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Feb 29th, 2016, 10:42 AM
  #2
 
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I can recommend the Hotel Bayeux as a VERY economical choice with attached secure car park, squeaky clean, nice breakfast room, large room. It is 5 minutes from the Cathedral, 5 minutes from the tapestry. Easy to exit the city to the highways that take you to the beaches. We based ourselves there for 3 days and returned the car to Orly (as you mention) with a stop at Chartres en route.
Gretchen is offline  
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Mar 1st, 2016, 10:45 AM
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The Normandy area is very busy in early June with the D-day celebrations, hopefully you're going after the June 6th commemoration festivities.

We're booked for the week before, the last week in May, and the hotel we use was booked full by January 15th. If you're there after the 6th, you may have more options.

You may also want to consider taking a train to Caen, renting a car there and returning it there too, then returning via a train. The cost is nearly the same, and you won't have to drive out of CDG and into Orly, nor pay for the fuel on either of those legs.

I priced a three day weekend car rental off Eurocar and it was $115 from Paris CDG and return to Orly, and $65 for the same car at Caen. Adult Prem's are only $13.60 each way, plus the cost to get into Paris St. Lazare per person of $11.00. The total cost of the train/car would be about $25.00 more, but it also wouldn't have fuel costs from CDG to Caen or from Caen to Orly which would most likely exceed $25.00.
apersuader65 is offline  
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Mar 1st, 2016, 12:17 PM
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You may also want to consider taking a train to Caen, renting a car there and returning it there too, then returning via a train. The cost is nearly the same, and you won't have to drive out of CDG and into Orly, nor pay for the fuel on either of those legs.>

great point and taking the train into Paris will be easier on the nerves than driving to Orly then taking the RER or Orly-Val/metro into the town center. Especially if you can get the deep discounted tickets apersauder has found.

Check both www.voyages-sncf.com and www.capitainetrain.com for fares and booking - same trains same fares on each site - just different booking engines I believe. For lots of good stuff on French trains check www.seat61.com (great insights on discounted ducats); and for general info like 1st vs 2ndclass (discounted tickets I believe also come in first class which is IME on those non-TGV trains Bayeux-Caen-Paris is significantly a more relaxed ride, especially with baggage - reservations are not required on those trains I think so if wanting a seat reservation - get it when booking or get it at any French train station once in France.
PalenQ is offline  
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Mar 2nd, 2016, 02:39 PM
  #5
 
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Should we stay in one hotel in Normandy and explore from there? Can anyone recommend a guide>

Well three days in Bayeux may be a bit much - the major American d-Day sites are close together and you can get any of several minibus tours from Bayeux that pick you up at your hotel and drive you to the main D-Day sights - one day enough for most but war buffs.

Mont-Saint-Michel is not that far a drive and your son may like this Mont on an island (well not always) and the basilica on top of it - not sure if the Sound and Light Show inside the abbey environs at night is on in June but if so I took my son at that age and he loved it - the special effects on a self-guided tour with trappings of mystery, etc.

There is a gaggle of motels on the mainland just opposite the Mont, where the causeway meets the mainland - these may have swimming pools and lots of kids and families there when I stayed there.

You could then drive to Rennes, capital of Brittany, to blast back to Paris on TGVs going nearly 200 mph vs the slow older style trains from Bayeux - or drive back to Orly of course.
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