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How do we get from Bayeux to Amboise?

My husband and I are planning a trip to France next summer. Our plan is to fly into Paris, go directly to Bayeux, where we will stay for 3 nights. I would like to then head to Amboise for 2 nights before ending our trip in Paris.

I have figured out the logistics of getting to Bayeux from Paris, but I'm a bit stuck on the travel from Bayeux to Amboise. We would rather not rent a car, but I have not ruled it out. The problem is, there are not drop off locations in Amboise that I can see, and most cars appear to be stick shift, which I have not driven in 40+ years. I am all for the adventure, but this may be a bridge too far. Just wondering how others have managed this.

Posted by
10323 posts

Why not rent a car to drive to Bayeux? Drop it off in Chartres or somewhere else outside of Paris if you don ‘t want to return it in Paris. The area around Bayeux has a lot to explore so a car will give you the freedom to do and see more. You can also stop on the way to Bayeux to see more of Normandy, such as Honfleur.

Posted by
5547 posts

but I'm a bit stuck on the travel from Bayeux to Amboise.

You can take the train. Either via Paris or via Caen and Tours.

Posted by
9196 posts

Train from Bayeux to Paris. Train from Paris to St Pierre des Corps. That’s the closest train stop for Amboise. It’s about 25 min with no traffic by taxi from there to Amboise.

It’s difficult to see Normandy and the Loire Valley without a car. You can rent Automatics.

Best place to rent a car if staying in Bayeux is at the Caen train station, about 25 min by car from Bayeux. About 45 min by train. The only place to rent in Bayeux is at a gas station on the outskirts and they can easily have only one car available, not at all what you asked for, and you take it or leave it. Caen train station has many car rental places and many more cars available so better chance of getting what you requested.

We’ve rented cars more times than i can count for Normandy and the Loire Valley.
We always pick up in Caen since our first time picking up in Bayeux and not getting the car we reserved.

We’ve often driven from Bayeux to Amboise. An easy 3.5 hr drive.

Posted by
71 posts

Thank you Susan! I will check it out! We are first timers, so forgive all the gaps in knowledge, but If we rent a car in Caen and drive to Amboise, where would we drop the car off--in Tours?

Posted by
9196 posts

Not a problem s42. You would drop it off in Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (a town near Tours), at the train station. There are many car rental places there, just make sure the one you rent from is there before renting. Then you can take a train to Paris.

I use to find a car/company that suits me. It will tell you where you can pick-up and drop-off. You then book either directly with the rental company, or through Auto Europe, whichever you prefer. I learned from experience (it’s a story) to decline Auto-Europe’s insurance if i rent through them, and get full, zero-deductible insurance directly from the rental company when i pick up the car. Adds to the cost but well worth it in my experience. Some credit cards have good insurance for rental cars included with their card, so check your credit cards first.

Driving in France is easy. Just learn what all the signs mean before you go. And never speed, there are speed cameras everywhere. You don’t want to get a ticket in the mail 9 mos after your trip.

Also, many people on this forum will recommend you get an International Driver’s License from AAA.

Posted by
5547 posts

Train from Bayeux to Paris. Train from Paris to St Pierre des Corps.
That’s the closest train stop for Amboise. It’s about 25 min with no
traffic by taxi from there to Amboise.

Or, train to Aboise. The closest place to Amboise where the train stops is, not surprising, Amboise station. 10-15 minutes by train from Saint-Pierre-des-Corps.

Posted by
6379 posts

By train, going through Paris involved travelling between St Lazare and Montparnasse. It is a small hassle, dealing with often-crowded metro line 13 or with a taxi.
Even though it can take longer and has fewer daily connections, I would much rather take the direct trains from Caen to Tours, going Bayeux-Caen, Caen-Tours, Tours-Amboise.
By the way, without a car, I would stay in Tours rather than in Amboise: it has much easier transportation to chateaux, and it is a pleasant city.

Posted by
9196 posts

My advice was based on renting a car, so didn’t suggest Amboise. But Badger and Balso info is, of course, correct.
Tours is wonderful, but it’s a city… Amboise is a charming town on the river and very walkable. I prefer Amboise.

It’s so easy to drive, and so rewarding to have a car in Normandy and the Loire Valley. Go where you want, when you want, explore, and stop at whatever looks interesting.

I use Google Maps/CityMapper to find routes for driving, trains, busses, walking.

Posted by
109 posts

I have just started working on our trip for next year. I plan to pick up a car in Roun after a train from Paris. After seeing Normandy and Brittany, head to Amboise. After 2 nights in Amboise, stop at Chambord on the way to Orleans, drop the car there and take the train in to Paris. This seems like a way to see one more chateau, and drop the car off without any back tracking.

Posted by
6818 posts

Is this your first trip to Europe? I ask because two nights in the Loire, after subtracting substantial travel time, is not much of a visit. I understand that you only have so many days off from work, but this is a very rushed schedule. I personally would do two nights in Bayeux, and three nights in Amboise. You may wish to evaluate just how important the D-Day beaches are to your visit to France. We didn't go there until our fifth trip to France, perhaps because our fathers and uncles happened to serve within the U.S. Have you gone to your library, or bought Rick Steves France? (I am NOT connected with our host here, but found his books very valuable when beginning European travel.)

I agree that a car is almost a necessity in the Loire. I don't even "love" renting a car in Europe, but the Loire (and Tuscany) are two places where it greatly increases your visit opportunities. Note that the car rentals in France (including St. Pierre des Corps) usually close firmly for two hours, 12-2. This fine print is always on the company website, but you might overlook it.

A lot of people on this newsboard have success in reserving a car with automatic (and paying extra for it.) But my wife and I have had poor luck. However, we can both drive a Standard transmission. There are some regular issues to consider, like collision insurance, International Drivers Permits, and looking at the contract to see if you are responsible for a yellow vest and a set of road-triangles. (Make sure they are in the car if you are responsible for returning them!)

Posted by
71 posts is not my first trip to Europe, and I do think 2 nights is not enough, but staying an extra night in Amboise would mean cutting our stay in Paris from 4 to 3 nights.....