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Driving from Bayeux to Mont Saint Michel?

I am unable to find a day trip/ shuttle on the day(s) we have available in Normandie. Therefore, we plan to drive from Bayeux to Mont St Michel.
On Google maps, it looks easy to drive from Bayeux to MSM, taking only 1.5 hours or so.
Can anyone who has done that let me know if it is an easy drive or anything special that I need to know ?

Thank you in advance.

Posted by
133 posts

We are doing the same thing next month. From what I understand it's an easy drive. But I too would be interested in any comments from people who have done it.

Posted by
7007 posts

It is indeed very easy and there is nothing special. Good roads, few curves, little traffic. There are many speed cameras in France, so watch your speed. 50 kph in built-up areas, 80 on regular roads, 110 to 130 on divided highways unless otherwise noted. One thing to be aware of: when you see a rectangular entrance sign with the name of a village inside a red border, it doubles as a 50 speed limit sign (again, unless otherwise noted).

Posted by
33137 posts

Have you asked the Churchill Hotel in Bayeux if they are still running their daily trips there?

Posted by
33 posts

Thank you Balso for your experience and advice.
KCdav, do you know if the Churchill shuttle will also take people who are not staying at their hotel?
Thanks, I requested the Churchill shuttle on their website, and will find out if they have any availability for my dates.

Posted by
83 posts

We will be doing the same thing when we travel in June/July. I have tried to game out all options to get to MSM from Bayeux, but it comes down to renting a car, whether we like it or not. All other options involve a ridiculously long trip on public transportation, which I would prefer if it was viable. Please report back!

Posted by
33137 posts

the Churchill folks take non-guests, possibly more than guests

Posted by
10337 posts

It’s an easy drive, but I would suggest taking the shuttle if you can.

Posted by
33 posts

THANK YOU!
The shuttle on the Churchill hotel site has availablity and I just confirmed. And I do not have to stay at the hotel to book it. That makes life so much less stressful for us. Merci again.

Posted by
1163 posts

I have made that drive several times. It is simple with good roads. Only once did I have an issue because I got caught up in traffic related to a paving project. The drive right before you arrive at MSM on D75 offers excellent views. I have also stopped in Avranches on the way back to Sainte-Mère-Église once for sights and lunch. Wonderful little town with great history.

Posted by
8 posts

My first drive ever on the right ( in Australia we drive on the left as in UK ) was just this and it was fine. Naturally nervous but all went well.
Got a bit lost on return to Bayeux as we ventured off main roads and large farmer’s tractors were scary but we just motored on.
Take time, get off the main road if unsure and if in a manual change check you know how it goes into reverse before heading off. It was only when I needed it did I discover it was not as I thought ……tried all the usual methods, some swearing and finally a little button was felt on the stick.
Same applies to all car functions of course.

Posted by
11 posts

Does Overlordtours run a day trip from Bayeux to MSM? Excellent reviews. Out of curiosity, how are you getting to Bayeux? We will be traveling from Paris and are wondering about the best way to get to Bayeux.

Posted by
2391 posts

We recently stayed in Bayeau. Eurostar to Paris then changed train station for train to Bayeau which took maybe two hours. Then taxi to our B and B. We had a fantastic private tour Of the Normandy beaches and towns with a local tour company. It was expensive but worth more than what we paid!!!!! They also go to MSM if you want info.We stayed in great B and B there a block from the Tapestry. We already booked our return next May that's how great our time was in Bayeau. Enjoy.

Posted by
83 posts

We are trying to work out the logistics for MSM too, although our trip is not until late June, so I have time to figure it out. We are planning to fly to Paris, train to Caen, rent a car 2 days earlier than we actually need it, then head to MSM to stay overnight, then driving to Amboise the next day.

We are renting the car early because it would be on our way into Bayeux where we are staying, and this way we can avoid back tracking.

In addition, the rental agencies are closed on Sunday, exactly the day we will be traveling to MSM (naturally). Is this our plan realistic?

Posted by
7007 posts

It's totally realistic. Plus, a car is nice to have in Bayeux anyway, so it is not a bad thing to rent it early.

Posted by
11355 posts

For seeing Normandy it is best to rent a car. Driving there is very easy.

Posted by
128 posts

Caen is a much better place than Bayeux to rent a car. There are four agencies across the street from the train station. In Bayeux the "Hertz" agency is a gas station on the outskirts that rents cars on the side.

Posted by
427 posts

Rural Normandie has lots of unmarked intersections where the principle of "priorité à droit" prevails. Read up on it and drive carefully, yielding as appropriate, when off of the Autoroute or other major highways.

Also keep in mind that different départements have different speed limits on "D" highways outside towns. In Calvados (i.e., where Caen and Bayeux are located) it's 90 km/h, whereas in Manche (where Saint-Lô, Granville, Avranches, and Mont-Saint-Michel are located) it's 80 km/h. If you forget, don't worry -- the authorities have these nifty radar cameras that snap your photo so they can send you a reminder a few months later.

Lastly, a previous comment indicated there are 'few curves." That's incorrect. I live here. There are lots of curvy roads and, due to the hedgerows (often no longer with trees, but with quite high berms on both sides of an often narrow road) lots of those curves are blind. You can't see what's coming around the corner, so use caution. It could be nothing. It could be a jogger or a pair of bicyclists. Or it could be a large piece of agricultural machinery or a tractor-trailer truck. On some narrower roads, I've had to stop and back up until I find a wide spot so I could pull off to let an oncoming truck or tractor pass.

Posted by
5 posts

Wondering how this worked out for everyone? We’re flying into Paris on Dec 21st and then have 9 days there but since Christmas Eve and Christmas are in there, really 7 for sightseeing. We want to see the usual suspects in Paris area/just outside like Versailles but also want to try Mont Saint Michel and Normandy.
We have a tour on the 23rd to see Dday sites so could we then get to Bayeaux on 22nd and do a tour of Mont Saint Michel on our own - walk across the baie to see the abbey?
I'm not sure if there's a cheaper way than the churchill shuttle to get to Mont Saint Michel on the 22nd though I did see they have an afternoon departure.
Thanks in advance for any help.

FYI, it costs very little drop-off fee for rental cars if you drop the rental off at a different location (when you are through with it) than where you picked it up. Paris would be a glaring exception.

Posted by
184 posts

Is there anything like the Churchill shuttle from St. Malo? I am staying in Bayeux, right near the Churchill actually, but I just booked hotels with the idea of going to Mont. St. Michel from St. Malo, as it is closer. I will have a car, but prefer to drive as little as possible. On the other hand, it seems pricey to pay for that when I have the car at my disposal ...

Posted by
5 posts

For Train Tickets, try this link: https://www.sncf.com/en

This is in another group and a friend who went to MSM this summer used it to get there. Maybe it could work? I saw the Churchill shuttle and that there is an afternoon one as well but wondered if there was a cheaper option?

Posted by
7007 posts

Saint Malo is so close, you might as well drive. The coastal road near St Benoît des Ondes is beautiful.
But if you'd rather not, there is a public bus operated by Keolis - google "Keolis bus St Malo Mont St Michel" and you should find the timetable.

Posted by
33 posts

Update: We took the train from the Paris Gare Saint Lazare train station to Bayeux, where we stayed near the cathedral. We took a taxi from the train station to our BnB, because it was drizzling, we had a lot of luggage and one of the travelers with me has difficulty walking. But many other travellers were walking with their luggage into town. Within Bayeux, it is easy to walk around without a car. We took a guided tour of US D Day sights and beaches. We considered renting a car for MSM but ended up taking the Churchill Shuttle to and from Mont Saint Michel.

I am glad that we took the MSM shuttle, at least this first time, because although the drive to MSM looks easy on the map, there were several narrow roads with minimal visibility and hidden intersections. I had read a lot about driving in France, and the "priorite a droit" plus the hidden intersections made me glad that we took the shuttle to MSM.

The large autoroute on the way to MSM looked just like any modern highway but the country roads were different. Unlike the US, the roads in the French countryside had few if any signs to let you know what road you are on. These country roads were often very narrow, without any shoulders and with lots of curves and other surprises. Families seemed to live in the same towns for hundreds of years, generation after generation, and don't need signs. Our van driver seemed to know where to go just by landmarks. My cell phone/ wireless coverage in rural France was very patchy and weak, so I would not want to be obligated to rely on my GPS. My travel companions all said that they had "no sense of direction," so that also added into the equation.

Good luck, Bon Courage whatever you chose.

Posted by
21 posts

We want to meander from Mont St Michel back to Bayeaux in our rental car. Suggestions where to stop and visit? We are WW2 buffs but are taking a tour the following day.

Posted by
7502 posts

karyn, you might read up on Coutances, Fougerès, and Vitré or Dinan. The last three are "the wrong way", but nice historical places. You will find that stops are time consuming, getting off the highway and into the town, and parking, especially in high season. For example, we had to drive around Vitré, trying various public lots until we found a space. (We are not WW II buffs.)

I found the drive time consuming, and the coastal area very crowded during the summer. So if you have a long list for the D-Day beach area, you might want to get started on your arrival day - depending on your total days and the month of the year.

Posted by
1163 posts

Apologies for not having read all responses. But I have done this drive a few times (there and back once, and just back to Bayeux another time). It is easy, the roads are great, and there are things to see en route if you are interested (Avranches is a nice town with history, food, etc.). There are also great views of MSM just to the East of it if you take the smaller roads. Watch for speed cameras, orbetetr yet, set cruise control to just under the limit.