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1/2 Day Normandy tour and Mont St Michel

My husband and I are arriving in Paris on May 11th. After a long overnight flight, we were thinking of catching the train to Bayeux. Start fresh the next day. May 12th do a 1/2 Normandy tour and spend the rest of the day seeing the town. May 13th get to Mont St Michel. Would love information on how to get there. We are thinking of either staying the night in Mont St Michel area and catching the train back to Paris from here or taking a day trip from Bayeux to Mont St Michel and back and catch the train the next morning back to Paris. Any thoughts?

Thank you,

Posted by
6410 posts

To get to Mont St. Michel you have to take a train from Bayeux to Pontoroson.
From Pontoroson. you can either take a taxi or a bus to Mont St. Michel.
It is real easy.

There is no train station at Mt St Michel so to get back to Paris you would need to go back to Pontoroson to catch a train back to Bayeux and then another train directly to Paris.

Posted by
2563 posts

Your proposed itinerary sounds quite rushed to me. What do you want to see in Normandy? If your interests include the D-Day landing beaches, that can be a full day on its own including the American Cemetery, other nearby beaches with monuments, and possibly the (less often visited) German cemetery. The American Cemetery is very beautiful, has a large museum, and has walking paths all the way down to the beach.

Similarly, I'd want at least a full day to experience Mont St. Michel (preferably stay in a hotel on the mainland that has a view of the Mont).

The RS guidebook to France gives good directions for driving yourself around these areas. Naturally also buy a Michelin map and consider GPS in your rental car. Have you checked rental car availability out of Bayeux, or would you consider getting a rental car at CDG airport?

Posted by
2546 posts

If you are so inclined, Hotel Churchill in Bayeux offers a shuttle service to Mont Saint Michel. You leave Bayeux at around 9:30 AM and return at around 3 PM. It is worth considering -- it costs more than the train and you don't get to spend the night at MSM which I think is the best time to be there, but it is awfully convenient and easy.

Posted by
139 posts

I imagine that a 1/2 Day tour from Bayeux will basically visit Omaha Beach (WN-62, the various memorials, etc) and the American cemetery (memorial, etc) on the bluff behind the beach - there wouldn't really be enough time to see anything else unless it's a drive-by...

With a 1/2 day in Bayeux you can get a glimpse of most everything.

Mont St. Michel to Bayeux on public transport will take most of 2 hours - 4 hours for a round trip.

2 Days is not a lot of time to see an area with 1,500 years of very dramatic history. Another day or even two would really help.

Posted by
1539 posts

I also would recommend a full day tour to the Normandy Beaches, Cemeteries, small towns with significant history of D-Day activities. We booked a tour and it was well worth it to have a very knowledgeable guide who could tell us so much of the history.

Posted by
151 posts

To quickly get back from MSM to Paris, the easiest and most frequent option is to get to Rennes, and from there take a direct TGV train to Paris Montparnasse.

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you for all your suggestions. I know it's going to be rushed, but we are meeting family in Rome the following week. I just thought arriving a couple of days early in Paris, we have seen Paris and love it, we wanted to see something else.

Posted by
7124 posts

Give yourselves over to a full day tour on the 12th if you think you may be jet lagged. No thinking then required.

May 11th - Arrive in Paris. Train to Bayeux (2)
May 12th - Full day Normandy tour
May 13th - Travel to Mont St Michel (1)
May 14th - Return to Paris from Rennes

Posted by
3435 posts

I agree that the WW2 invasion sites deserve a full day tour. Then a day to St-Michel, not because the hill needs a long visit but because of the transport (which will, at least, provide a decent experience of the Normandy countryside.) An alternative base is Caen, bigger and with more facilities than Bayeux, with its own well-reviewed war museum which runs tours. From Caen you might take a bus tour to St-Michel. As a bonus, William the Conqueror's fortress castle is worth a look, right in the middle of the Caen.

Posted by
446 posts

Seeing MSM at night is spectacular so you should stay over.