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Visiting Normandy (D-Day) beaches site - best way?

Visiting Normandy (D-Day) beaches site - best way?

Nov 5th, 2007, 09:54 AM
  #1  
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Visiting Normandy (D-Day) beaches site - best way?

My husband wants to visit the Normandy (D-Day) invasion site when we visit our son in Seville, Spain. Where would you fly into and what would be best way to get there - car or train?
We would probably go there first and then take the train down to Seville.
Is this reasonable?
beachies7500 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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Paris if not some smaller airport nearer like Caen or Cherbourg.

Few hours by train Paris-Bayeux, fine old town and about only Normandy one not blitzed in WWII invasions - great base

from there about a dozen different companies do relatively inexpensive mini-bus tours to the main D-Day sights - www.battlebus.com is just one and has gotten generally good reviews here. Pick up at many hotels.

Or rent a car in Caen, a train stop before Bayeux, which may not have many car rentals, and visit the acclaimed D-day Museum there - the best around and a great primer with maps, etc. of the area then motor around the relatively short circuit passing major sights.

There have been many similar posts on Fodor's if you search
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 01:09 PM
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others experience with these tours or driving?
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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I went with Battlebus. Definitely a great tour. Very knew their stuff. Basically a bunch of WWII nerds, which is what you want. Really cared about the history.

Definitely rent a car to get there. We drove from Brussels, but Paris is closer.
travelgourmet is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 03:06 PM
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mms
 
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We did a tour with Battlebus this summer. Excellent! A few corrections though to earlier comments. Their website is www.battlebus.fr and they do not pick up at hotels. They have one pick up/drop off site in Bayeux which is right by the Hotel Churchill.

We took the 2 hour train ride from Paris to Bayeux and stayed there for a few nights. The Churchill was a great place to stay. The location was excellent...right in the heart of everything, and very easy to walk from the train station. The staff were very helpful as well.
mms is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 03:18 PM
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When I visited there last spring with friends, we had a car, but didn't want to drive around the beaches on our own. There is a Major Chilcott, who owns an inn near Bayeux, who used to offer private tours, but he was ill at that time. Mrs Chilcott referred us to
Nicholas Kennedy, also a Brit.
Nickís website (actually, itís for his gite where he provides accommodations) is www.gitelacroix.com, his email is [email protected]

I have a trip file on the Normandy Beaches; if you'd like to see it, email me at [email protected]
elaine is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 03:41 PM
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we drove the beaches with guide book in hand. Although I always prefer to drive myself, this was one case where I felt like I missed out on some of the history. A knowledgeable tour guide may be a better choice.
seafox is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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elaine, you've got mail!
kopp is offline  
Nov 5th, 2007, 08:27 PM
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We just did the D-Day tour last Thursday organized through an American-based company in Paris that's been mentioned numerous times here on the site:

www.fattirebiketoursparis.com

Tinathread is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 03:00 AM
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"We would probably go there [Normandy] first and then take the train down to Seville.
Is this reasonable?"

Not unless you want to take an epic 25 to 27 hour train journey with anywhere from 3 to 5 changes of train. Which of course for all I know you might.

Any of Air Europa (I know nothing about them but someone here might) Air France and Iberia fly Paris to Seville, generally from Paris Orly airport and sometimes even with a direct flight (in which case it is about 2.5 hours.)

If you flew to Paris CDG airport, you would then have to go into town to catch the train to Bayeux from St. Lazare station, or as others have mentioned, pick up a car directly at CDG airport and drive from there.

On the return: you'd probably want to overnight in Paris; most of the flights to Seville go out of Paris ORLY airport, not CDG, which means you would have to cross Paris to the south side and Orly.
Sue_xx_yy is online now  
Nov 6th, 2007, 03:37 AM
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Between Sevilla and CDG, there is a connection, served by Vueling.
www.vueling.com

There is also a connection to Orly, served by Clickair and Air Europa, but CDG is much better for going to Normandy.
traveller1959 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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Beachies7500,

I have driven the beaches twice minimum 3 days in the area. First trip I thought I knew everything boy was I dumbfounded by the lack of event info. We came home and I read 53 books regarding D-Day. Second trip was better but not enough time at each location. The five landing beaches, Merville batteries, Pegasus Bridge etc are seperate incidents to make up the whole operation. I suggest train to Caen or Bayeaux -- rent a car. What about Mont St. Michel?

Craig
cklimon is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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Beachies7500,

I mean my lack of event knowledge not local info.

Craig
cklimon is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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I rode my bike around the area a few times and if physically active that's a possibility as well - rentals in Bayeux.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 6th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Hi
We visited the Normandy beaches last Sept. we drove and I had 2 good guidebooks, plus my own knowledge. we visited both Utah and Omaha beaches, as well as St. Mere Eglise [has an excellent museum]and Pont du Hoc. On Utah there was an old radio station that the Navy captured from the Nazis. It's now a part museum and restaurant. serves very good mussels. We visited the American cemetery, unfortuatly on 9/11 which made the occasion even more sad. The the moment of the first plane going into the WTC, a 21 gun salute was given, taps played and it hit home as we were so far from it. We stayed in Bayeux at the Hotel Churchill, a very nice hotel, English speaking owners and staff. It has no elevator if you need it. It also has free parking.

We drove from Brussels, stooping along the way in Boulogne sur Mer and honfleur. I'm sorry I can't help about trains, but there is an airport in Caen.
aeiger is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 04:13 PM
  #16  
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GREAT INFO! We really appreciate everyone's insights. Now we have to pin down our spring travel dates - whether to drive from Paris or take the train + how long then to stay....seeing the beaches.

We will definitely fly to Seville from Paris and thanks for the tip on the airline out of CDG.
beachies7500 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 04:35 PM
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bookmarking
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