Stay in Bayeux or Honfleur

Old Jul 29th, 2014, 06:02 AM
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Stay in Bayeux or Honfleur

We are two 75 yr olds renting a car in October to travel around Normandy sights by day. We like a small town but one with shops and nice restaurants to keep us amused after dinner. We would like to stay 5 or 6 nights. Would Bayeux or Honfleur better fit our needs. Thank you.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 06:06 AM
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Bayeux is a bigger town and is well placed for general travel. I'd stay there .. unless...

you like a small port, Honfleur has less to do, but there is something to walking around a port with small yachts in it at the end of the day
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 06:36 AM
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I think that's a good assessment. I would not count on either town having shops for after dinner, though. That's pretty late at night for most people and many shops are closed (most close around 7:30 pm).

I think Honfleur is known for better dining and is more picturesque, but I imagine there are nice restaurants in Bayeux, also. Honfleur is fairly upscale and a lot of Parisians spend weekends there. There is a good market on Saturdays and lots of specialty food shops. They are also known for antique shops.

I would choose Honfleur as a place I more wanted to stay but it may not be as convenient for sightseeing in Normandy, depending where you plan to go. For example, Mont St Michel is about 2.5 hours away from Honfleur, but Honfleur is more convenient for Rouen, Giverny and things on the east side of Normandie. If you want to see the WWII sights a lot, which can take a full day or more, I'd choose Bayeux.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 07:14 AM
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Bayeux, but things are very quiet after dinner. Great places to eat and easy to get to all of the Normandy sights.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 07:17 AM
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IMO, Bayeux is a little "over-rated". It may be one of the nicer towns in the area - but all the others were pretty much wiped-out in WWII. We've stayed in both Honfleur and Bayeux for multiple days - and we thought Honfleur was more interesting & had better restaurants. We also stayed in a gite for a week in the Pays d'Auge - which we thought was more centrally located than the cities you are considering.

I developed a 20+ page itinerary for Normandy & Brittany based on our 8 weeks in those regions. If you would like a copy, e-mail me at [email protected] & I'll attach one to the reply e-mail.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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Another question is where you want to visit in Normandy. Honfleur is more convenient for the beaches that the Brits and Canadians took on D-Day; Bayeux is closer to Utah and Omaha beaches, where the Americans landed.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 09:01 AM
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Honfleur is a most charming town with lots of good hotels and restaurants. Everything is small and easily walkable.

That said, I would stay in Honfleur and drive to Bayeux and the beaches from there. After the daytrip, you will enjoy charming Honfleur and like stroll around the port.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 09:03 AM
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Sorry to tag onto the OP's post, but what would be the more interesting beach to visit, regardless of which country took which beach?
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 09:10 AM
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My own preference would go to Honfleur, because I like to walk along the waterfront.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 10:39 AM
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Tulips

The Canadean & Brit's beaches are (over) developed. The US beaches and the cemetery are not - almost just like they were in 1944.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 10:49 AM
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Honfleur is so much more charming and the harbor is lovely to stroll. As Christina said, there are many good restaurants and and I remember the market as one of the better ones I've visited

Bayeux is more convenient for touring the WW II sights and the Bayeux tapestry is wonderful to see, but I find the town itself has limited charm.

I would do 3 nights in Honfleur and 3 nights in Bayeux if the convenience to the beaches & WWII sights is important; otherwise, like most others, I would stay in Honfleur.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 11:18 AM
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I wouldn't limit myself to just one or two towns. There are lots of lovely nearby towns to spend a night, and it is not much of an effort to drive 50 or 100km to get there.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 11:26 AM
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I've stayed in both. I'd go back to Honfleur to stay in a heartbeat. Love the harbor and the atmosphere at night. Bayeux not so much.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 11:41 AM
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Honfleur! Have you considered booking a 1 or 2 day tour of the Normandy Beaches.? We used Overlord Tours out of Bayeaux a few years ago and it was wonderful.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 11:56 AM
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I don't think either town is worth five or six nights, but a fifty-fifty split should work!
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 12:01 PM
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Honfleur is a gorgeous little gem. I would advice you to stay there as it is ideal for afternoon walks in the old town and port, dining by the sea in the old port, and generally it is a really charming town.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 12:27 PM
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I agree with Fra Diavolo. And it depends on what you want to do--around Honfleur there is cider and cheese. Bayeux has the tapestry and the beaches.
I think Honfleur would get very wearing for more than 2-3 dayse, even being used to go on day trips.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 04:37 PM
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All else being equal (and you've already gotten some information about some potentially important differences), I would stay in Honfleur for at least a few days.

But I agree with those who are questioning whether to stay there for your whole trip: Depending on what you plan on doing in the area, you might want to venture a bit further afield for a few days. To suggest a place, we'd need to know more about what you want to see and experience while in the area.

BTW, I found the Michelin Green Guide to the area exceptionally helpful.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 05:08 PM
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You would not go wrong ,no matter which one you chose.

The driving distances in Normandy are relatively close together, so enjoy Normandy.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 06:12 PM
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Since you have 5-6 days I think this is what you perhaps should do:

1. Stay on Bayeux
2. From here you can drive to Omaha Beach ( which has a lo-o-ng row of house along the beach towards Utah
Beach.

But no houses along the beach below where the lovely (if one can use that word about a Cemetery) American Cemetery is.


3. Then you can drive along the beach passing Sword Beach Gold Beach and Juno Beach ..all the way to Honfleurs.

4. At Honfleurs you can have something to eat and walk about the inner harbour called Old Basin or Smugglers Cove.

5. Then it is all the way back to Bayeux.....but at least you have been to Honfleurs.

6. From your home base in Bayeux you can now visit the sites in Omaha Beach, take your shoes off and walk along the beach.

This is a great place to just walk between the crosses then see the Omaha Memorial, The War Museum, Omaha Look-Out Point, WWII Monument and Fifth Engineers Monument.

7. The following days you can visit the other beaches as each places has something unique to offer.

8. Also while in Bayeux , you will see the Bayeux Tapestry ( about 230 feet long)
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