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Travel Advice Normandy, Giverny , Versailles with Teens

Travel Advice Normandy, Giverny , Versailles with Teens

May 22nd, 2011, 07:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4
Travel Advice Normandy, Giverny , Versailles with Teens

Will be in Paris July 6-13th with 13 & 15 year old. We'd like to see Normandy, Giverny and Versailles. Can anyone suggest the best way to see all? I think an overnight in Bayeux from reading other forums seems best. Train from Paris to Bayeux then rent a car? What about St. Michel, am I over reaching? Suggested hotel B&B and pvt. tour guides in Normandy? We are on a budget, no need for fancy, just clean and reliable.
yogamom is offline  
May 22nd, 2011, 08:31 AM
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Giverny can be packed with half the world so you need to look closely at the timings of that bit and perhaps very good advice. The others are much easier.

Normandy is biggish and of course Mont St Michel is not in it so that stretches the whole trip out a bit. Bayeux a good place to stay overnight, don't miss the tapistry but check local tourist information for any special festivals which may include the whole town walking around with pikes and bows and arrows.

Versailles, well if you must, maybe you don't like Paris.
Also look at train to Rouen. the sncg web site is ok but also look at the TER-SNCF web site for a little more clarity.

What else do you want to do in Normandy, WWII, cider, cheese, beach???
bilboburgler is offline  
May 22nd, 2011, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You need to be more specific about what you mean when you say Normandy; as Bilboburgler say, it is huge. If you mean the WWII sites, I can recommend http://www.daleboothnormandytours.com/
This man was our guide a few years ago when he was with Battlebus (which has since disbanded) and he was excellent. He gets great reviews on here.

With that short amount of time in Paris, I would forego Versailles unless it is a must see for you.
grandmere is offline  
May 22nd, 2011, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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You can do Versailles, Giverny, and Rouen as day trips from Paris using the train. In Giverny, you can rent bikes near the train station to get to the Gardens, etc.

The least expensive way to get to Rouen would be to take the RER to Gare du Nord, then transfer to Gare St. Lazare by métro (or by taxi if you have a lot of luggage) and then take the train to Rouen. It will take you about an hour to get to G. St. L. from CDG, and the fastest trains to Rouen take a little over an hour.

With 8 days you want to move the least amount of times. Here are two options:

Option A: From CDG go to Normandy first.
Day 1 - 2. Base yourself in Rouen: Enjoy it, and visit Giverny early the next morning (Crowds). Or, Visit Giverny enroute to Rouen and stay in Rouen on Day 2.

Day 3 drive to Bayeaux and base there for 2-3 days. You can stop in Caen to visit the Museum or other places of interest enroute to Bayeaux.

Day 5 or Day 6: Early Bayeaux train to Paris for 3-4 days.

Option B: Do in either order,
Paris Base with day trips.
Bayeaux base for WWII tour, and other Normandy interests.

Depending on your priorities, you may want to consider visiting Versailles on another trip in order to have time in Paris.
MSM is a full day trip from Bayeaux due to summer crowds and length of trip.

If you want to do any WWII tours you need to book them now as they fill up fast.
DiG is offline  
May 22nd, 2011, 10:06 AM
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Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your post, but if your plan is to leave Paris for just one night, base in Bayeux, and in that time "see" Versailles, Giverny, and Normandy....not possible. I hope you have a few days for this. Versailles and Giverny can be daytrips from Paris. Normandy, depending on your objective for going there, could be done in a couple of days or a couple of weeks. There's lots there besides WWII attractions, but you don't say what you'd like to do and see once there. Bayeux makes sense as a base for D-Day sites, but not for many of the other things the region is famous for.
StCirq is offline  
May 22nd, 2011, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I think there are only 7 days here for the trip from arrival to departure. So I think you could stay in Paris five days and Bayeux area the other two if you really want. I think St Michel is too far away and you have too many other things you want to do. You can do Versailles and Giverny from Paris during your five days they. I guess you could add Giverny to the Normandy foray if you want (you know it is in Normandy, I'm also not sure what you really want to see in Normandy). I suspect when you say Normandy you just mean WWII beach landing sites, most people do. Then you'd have more use for a car for several days at least. You could do that last and then drive from around Giverny to the airport to leave.

It seems like a lot of work for a one week trip to me, but I get stressed by too much stuff and moving around and renting cars, etc.
Christina is offline  
May 22nd, 2011, 10:44 AM
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You are trying to fit in an awful lot and will end up short-changing Paris. If you really want to see Mt St Michel get up VERY early, rent a car and drive there and see it during the day - then in the evening drive to Bayeux. Stay in Bayeux 2 nights. This will give you time for a brief glimpse of the tapestry and a quick overview of the invasion beaches and cemeteries. The following day see Giverny on the way back to Paris. If you really want to see Versailles just do it as a day trip from Paris.

But IMHO - you have left little time for Paris itself.
nytraveler is offline  
May 22nd, 2011, 01:32 PM
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Have you been to Paris before? If not, I suggest picking one other destination - Normandy, Giverny or Versailles and giving Paris the rest of the time. As it is, you will find it is not enough. If you go to Normandy, spend 2 nights in Bayeux and arrange for a tour of the WWII sights. If you go to Versailles or Giverny, do it as a day trip.

Eight trips to Paris and we have visited Versailles and Normandy once and Giverny twice. There is just too much to see and do in Paris that we can't break away.
mamcalice is offline  
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