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Car Service between CDG and Caen?

Hi everyone, and thanks for reading.

My husband, in-laws and I will be arriving at CDG. Our itinerary is to spend several nights by the D-Day beaches, then drive into Belgium to do the Battle of the Bulge sites. From what I've read, it seems best to rent a car in Caen rather than at the airport and maneuvering city traffic after an overnight flight.

After hours and hours of googling, I have come up empty-handed on recommendations for a car service/transfer. If it was just my husband and me we'd definitely do the train but I think it will be problematic for his parents.

Thoughts???

Posted by
16734 posts

Although the distance is only about 150 miles, ViaMichelin is estimating the driving time at over 5 hours--and that's not allowing for any stops (but perhaps it knows of some sort of disastrous traffic situation at the moment??). There might not be too many drivers who'd want to take on 10 hours of driving in a day. If you find one, it's certainly going to be very expensive.

What is the problem you anticipate with the trains? Is it an issue of getting up and down the steps, having time to make connections, or something else?

Edited to add: Here's a place you can try: mydaytrip.com.

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you; will look!

Concerns are, yes, their ability to navigate and the timing of trains which we may not be able to make, depending upon time getting through CDG. Ugh. Saturday is apparently not the best day to land in Paris and I wish I had thought of that before we booked our flights.

Posted by
16734 posts

The train from Paris to Caen is a TER. That's not one of the high-speed trains for which you need to buy tickets way in advance because the day-of-travel fare is likely to be painfully expensive. You can land in Paris, get to the St-Lazare train station (taxi probably best for your group), and just buy a ticket for the train departing for Caen. The ones I see listed on the SNCF website for this coming Saturday do not require a transfer.

You will need to have all your luggage and your in-laws positioned at the door of the train by the time the train pulls into Caen, so you can get off the train efficiently. (I have no idea whether those trains go farther than Caen.)

Posted by
5 posts

thank you again! I looked into this and I think this is the way to go. Appreciate so much.

Posted by
1005 posts

I've done this drive and it usually takes 2-3 hours. If you want to hire a car service, you can try Paris Webservices or Albion Transport, but it will be expensive. I agree with other posts that you should take a cab to Gare St. Lazare and take the train to Caen from there. There are five car rental agencies within a few hundred feet of the Caen train station.

Posted by
5 posts

T., have you done the drive by renting a car at the airport? If so, how difficult-or easy-is it? We travel frequently on a red-eye to NYC and drive/stay up the whole next day, and it's fine but we're familiar. So I'm concerned about getting out of the airport and on to the highway and how disorienting it might be?

Posted by
5396 posts

Where is your red-eye to NY from, denebeach?

I ask because IF it is from the West Coast and IF you will also be flying from the West Coast to France this time, there is a big difference in jet-lag between the 3 hours btwn West Coast & NY and the 9 hours btwn West Coast and France.

You can not extrapolate being “fine” driving after red-eye across the States to being “fine” driving after a trans-continental AND trans-Atlantic flight.

Posted by
5 posts

Kim, good point. In this instance, we're flying early morn from Denver to Newark; 4 hour layover; then Newark to CDG. My only other visit to Paris was with my granddaughter 2 yrs ago, and our hotel shuttle got us into the city. I am just trying to get a feel for the difficulty of getting out of the airport and outside the metro area in a rental. My recollection of traffic at CDG into the city wouldn't be relevant to this. I so appreciate everyone who is contributing to this conversation.