Question on France travel

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Oct 23rd, 2014, 11:05 AM
  #1
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Question on France travel

Well, it is time to take sweet Momma back to France! We (me, dh, sweet momma and our two best friends) are going to France for June 2015,
I am just beginning to work out the travel for inside France for our trip next June and I have a few questions. I need to get two people in our party from St.. Remy in Provence to Normandy. The rest of the party will be taking the train to Paris for the end of our trip.
So far I have booked the house for two weeks on St. Remy and the apartment in Paris for 4 nights.
I have the most current trip reports and even had a great detailed one emailed to me that I haven't covered yet. You all always give the best advice. Thanks in advance.
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Oct 23rd, 2014, 11:09 AM
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Where in Normandy and for what purpose?
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Oct 23rd, 2014, 11:16 AM
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Gretchen,
Sorry! They are going to the area for a tour of Battle sites. I wasn't sure which town would be best for that- their guide will pick them up at any train station in the area. Caen? Rouen!! I just wasn't sure.
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Oct 23rd, 2014, 11:18 AM
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I will need to book them overnight accommodations as well. When we went we stayed in a gite and I think they would prefer a hotel in a town.
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Oct 23rd, 2014, 11:30 AM
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willowjane,

Are they spending more than a day there? Bayeaux is a convenient pick up point for tours and is centrally located to all of the beaches as well. Churchill Hotel is nice and the pickup for many tours is directly behind the hotel parking lot. The Bayeaux tapestry and the cathedrale there are a also worth seeing. I was in both Normandy and St Remy this summer. have a great trip!
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Oct 23rd, 2014, 11:45 AM
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Keelboat, thanks for that information!!! I was hoping they would be able to see the tapestry. I will check into that hotel for them. Any advice on how to get to Bayeaux from St. Remy ?
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Oct 23rd, 2014, 11:51 AM
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By train from Avignon-TGV, nearest TGV station to St-Remy-de-Provence to Paris Gare de Lyon - then change stations either by taxi or RER (one change required I think to another RER line) to Paris Gare Saint-Lazare, from where trains roll constantly to Caen and some go onto Bayeux.

No direct trains from Provence to Normandy I think so the change of trains in Paris is needed.

Bayeux is the favored base for the classic D-Day area with like kelbo says lots of mini-bus escorted tours to the nearby beaches at Colville-sur/Mer (where the famous Allied cemetery is where all the big ceremonies involving Americans are held) - overlooking the D-Day beaches where Americans came ashore.

No need to book those mini-bus tours ahead of time and yes they do pick up at most hotels - the hotel desk will take care of details IME.

For discounted rail fares check both www.voyages-sncf.com and its competitor www.capitainetrain.com - same trains just different and easier for Americans to use it seems ticketing site.

You can save tons on Avignon-TGV station to Paris. Paris to Bayeux is a pretty flat fare with relatively little advance savings IME usually but look and see. Allow at least 1.5 hours for the transfer in Paris if these are novice travelers on the RER - taxi of course a snap and much quicker.

Discounted fares are train-specific and cannot be changed nor refunded I believe and as they are sold in limited numbers of each train must be booked months in advance to guarantee the discounted price. Full-fare tickets are always available once in Avignon.

For lots of great info on French trains check these IMO superb sites: www.seat61.com - great info on discounted fares; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Bayeux has lots of comfy hotels and IMO one full day there for the average tourist is enough. If going back to Paris book that train as well though that ticket can be bought about as cheap often as advance ticketing as this route does not involve TGV trains and reservations are not obligatory as they are on TGV trains (reservation automatically comes with the ticket).

Bayuex' train station is a sleepy one - not sure mini-bus tours pick up there but that could probably be arranged. They will not get into Bayeux from St-Remy until late in the day - best IMO to book that night in a hotel - do the D-Day tours the next day and then go back to Paris if in a rush.
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Oct 23rd, 2014, 12:00 PM
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Yes, anybody going from Saint Rémy to Normandy will be passing through Paris anyway, so the whole party should take the train to Paris for a start.
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Oct 23rd, 2014, 12:12 PM
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Thanks!!!! We will start more research. I really do appreciate you all.
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Oct 23rd, 2014, 02:00 PM
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I would consider taking the 9:16 direct TGV from the Avignon TGV station to Rennes, that arrives at 14:46. Pick up a car in Rennes and drive 2 1/4 hrs to Bayeux. They could stop for a visit/overnight at Mt St Michel on the way. Or stay overnight in Rennes - one of our "top 5" large cities in France.

Stu Dudley
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Oct 23rd, 2014, 02:12 PM
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>>No direct trains from Provence to Normandy I think so the change of trains in Paris is needed.<<

The direct TGV I recommended stops in Le Mans, Normandy at 13:35, and it is slightly over a 2 hr drive from Le Mans to Bayeux. That would get them to Bayeux 1 1/4 hrs sooner - but I suggested Rennes because the drive to Bayeux passes close to MSM.

Stu Dudley
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Oct 23rd, 2014, 02:13 PM
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Easy walk to town from Bayeux train station. We stayed at La Tour Louise Guest house, Bayeux but Hotel Churchill looked really nice and a bit more lively at night. I loved my view from the window looking directly at the Cathedral lit at night. Great places to eat in this town and make reservations if you are going to be there during the weekend. I loved eating here more than Paris. It was farm to table and so good.
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Oct 24th, 2014, 08:52 AM
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I took a day bus tour of the WWII battlefields, etc., and it was very good -- it was from Bayeux, I think several companies use that as their start point. They did drop me off at the train station, but I met them elsewhere. But that was because I went early in order to view the tapestry, anyway. They give you options as to where want to meet, the train station is one of them. I would presume all companies do that, if not the one I had did. The train station is basically in town, or the town is so small not much difference, it's a very short walk to the center from the train station.

I used Normandy Sightseeing Tours and they were really good. I only did the 5 hour afternoon tour, if you stay there you'd have more time. They will also arrange any private shuttle you want, also (ie, train station to hotel), but I imagine you could get a taxi there easily enough, don't recall.
http://www.normandy-sightseeing-tour...noon-tour.html
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