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A Normandy town to stay in?

We'll be traveling in Normandy for several days in October with relatives, staying in Bayeux and doing a D-Day tour and visiting Mt. St. Michel. We may also drive along the coast to Etretat and Honfleur on our way to Bayeux after picking up our car from Orly.
My husband and I will have a couple days (2 nights) to ourselves after our relatives leave and I'd love to hear suggestions for another town/area to stay in before we go home.
In the afternoon of our last day, we'll drop our rental car off somewhere and take the train to CDG to stay there the night before our flight home, so a location that takes that into account (i.e., not a terribly long train trip to CDG) would be good.

Posted by
1035 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,

We stayed 10 days outside of Bayeux a few years ago at Le Petit Promenant. A self catering cottage. I would go back in a heart beat. It is in the countryside 20 minutes or so out of the city of Bayeux. On the other hand, staying in Bayeux would be a treat especially if you can be there for its Saturday market.

If you are unfamiliar with Gites de France go to that website and in the upper right hand corner is a series of lines. Click on that and it will show French at the bottom and you can change the language to English. Put in Calvados as your location. Calvados includes Normandy. You will find so many places to rent you won't believe it. And the prices are very hard to beat.

Le Petit Promenant is where I think Sleeping Beauty lived. Small place with a fireplace, wonderful queen bed upstairs. Nice compact kitchen. Only neighbors are cows, horses, and the occasional fox.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
22 posts

Hi Wayne,
Thanks for your reply. That cottage looks amazing! We only have two nights left of our time in Normandy and that place requires a stay of at least 7 days. We're already staying in Bayeux (thanks for the tip on the Saturday market!) so I was hoping to get suggestions of a town to stay in for our last two nights.
I will check out the Gites de France.

Posted by
1789 posts

You can stay in Saint-Malo or Dinan after visiting Le Mont-Saint-Michel and drop off the car in Rennes or Le Mans. From the first a direct TGV (1½h or 2h) or one from the latter (1h) both to Montparnasse in Paris. Around Saint-Malo and Dinan you can visit Cancale and follow the scenic route along the coast or Fort La latte in opposite direction. Former fishing village Saint-Juliac is worth strolling around as well as tiny Léhon just south of Dinan.

On the way to Le Mans in case you want to drop off the car there both Fougères and Vitré are really lovely places to consider and the historic centre of Le Mans is not to miss too.

Chartres is an option too, 1h with local train to Montparnasse and worth a visit is besides the famous Cathedral there in nearby Maintenon the royal château.

Like Wayner I have good experiences with Gîtes de France, good value for the money.

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks! I appreciate all the suggestions!

Posted by
784 posts

Honfleur would be my choice. It is quite charming for 2 nights with a few good museums and a walkable center and picturesque harbor. You could drop the car in Rouen and take the train into Paris, or even drive right to CDG and drop the car there if you are staying that last night at the airport - I have done that a couple of times and it is fairly easy.

I can also recommend the Novotel CDG Terminal. It is at Terminal 3 and very close to the CGCval train the connects the terminals. I have stayed there three times the night before flights out of Terminal 2E.

Posted by
1789 posts

If you stay in Rouen you can keep the car as long as possible for doing trips to Lyons-la-Fôret and enjoying the stunning view of the Seine valley from Château Gaillard. Or you can go west to see the abbeys of Saint-Georges (Martin) de Bosscherville, Jumièges and Saint-Wandrille. Jumièges is anyway open to public, Saint-Wandrille has still a living community and think the guided tours are only in French and specific days.

Have to note that with the maze of oneway streets Rouen is not easy driving through and also be aware of the TEOR fast bus lane running through the city centre.