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Normandy. Mont St. Michel and Loire via Public Transdport

We would like to take a trip (starting in Paris) to Normandy. Mont St. Michel and the Loire Chateaux using public transport. Is this.....
1. Almost impossible
2. Possible but very challenging...wastes s lot of time
3. Doable...and we've done it!

Thanks and merci...T&D

Posted by
1010 posts

We booked day trips from Paris through Gray Line Tours. We used them for full day tours of Paris, Versailles, Giverney (highly recommend), Normandy Beaches, Mont St. Michel, etc. We totally enjoyed all our tours.

Posted by
8700 posts

You can travel by train from Paris to Caen or Bayeux.

You can choose from several companies that offer tours of the D-Day beaches.

The Churchill Hotel in Bayeux offers a daytrip to Mont Saint-Michel in an 8-passenger minibus.

You can travel by train from Bayeux or Caen to the Loire Valley.

You can choose from several companies offering chateaux tours and wine tours.

Posted by
4556 posts

I did two of these without a car 4 years ago.

From Paris to Bayeaux, I took the train. Some trains require a change in Caen.

I also used the Churchill Hotel shuttle to visit Mont St Michel as a day trip out of Bayeaux. It was a good option for me as I was traveling solo.

Posted by
4950 posts

Thank you very much for not asking if you could do D-Day as a same-day runout from Paris! Do you understand, however, that the Loire is in a completely different direction from Normandy? You would have to, say, go back to Paris to get a train to Tours or similar. It would be the same to try to do The Catskill Mountains and Long Island Beaches from New York City. I don't mean to flog you, but please be aware that "All-American D-Day Beaches" is a completely different subset from "Normandy". We can't be sure just what you mean. I politely suggest that you put your home state and city in your profile so we can make comparisons. Also please use the Search box to search the Forums on Normandy and the Loire. There's a lot of good stuff here, more than you can get from a single thread of posts.

Posted by
658 posts

@Tim - unfortunately the Search function is still not working... I just did a search on "Normandy" and came up with only EIGHT threads. I sure hope they get the search fixed soon because right now no one is able to adequately search all the great responses that have been posted here.

Posted by
803 posts

I rented a car when I visited the area and would do it again. I was able to stay at some farm houses or people's guest rooms, I don't know if I can do that with public transportation. it saves money and I was able to see some pretty cool places. I recall the farm house we stayed by MSM cost about half of what any hotel near MSM would cost, and we had a view of MSM and the beach was really great. the road system is excellent, very easy to drive. if you have 2 or more people to rotate the drive is very pleasant. If driving is not too big of deal for you, you should rent a car.

Posted by
1994 posts

Paris to MSM by public transit is easy: TGV from G Montparnasse to Rennes; you then walk a few hundred feet to a bus that deposits you at the entrance through the wall an hour later. You can also take a different train to Pontorson, which is closer to MSM, but trains and buses are less frequent. This website has the bus schedules, as well as other details:
http://www.destination-montsaintmichel.com/?lang=en

I'd really recommend staying on the island if you can. It's more expensive, but an amazing experience. So different from a day visit. Do book early because there is very limited lodging on the island.

Posted by
11450 posts

You can take a train from Paris to Amboise .. about an hour.. and use that as a base to tour the Chateaus.. problem is you cannot tour the Chateaus by public bus.. there are buses but they are not frequent and they are slow.. . You have two choices.. take daytrips from Amboise by tours.. or rent a car there, you will find driving in Loire Valley will not be stressful like city driving..

You can also use Tours ( think train is about an hour and a half) as a base for Loire Valley. Tourist office is right by train station and you can book tours to chateaus there.