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Normandy Tour Guide

We are traveling to Normandy (staying in Bayeux) and seeking a private tour guide for one or two days. We are four adults from the US – one is fluent in French. Any recommendations for guides?

Many thanks!

Posted by
5118 posts

If you type Normandy tour guide into the search window at the top of the page, and filter for the travel forum, you'll get a long list if previous threads.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you. Many posted are somewhat dated. I am eager to hear about any recent Normandy guide experiences and recommendations.

Posted by
3334 posts

Thanks to Covid, most posts about travel to Normandy are somewhat dated.

In September 2019, we were very happy with Overlord Tours - they should be able to accommodate your group.

Posted by
15670 posts

I took an Overlord tour this past October. It was one of the best tours I've ever taken. They will customize a tour for you.

Posted by
14248 posts

I’ve visited Normandie twice and the guide I liked best was Dale Booth. He was the step-on guide for a Rick Steves tour that visited the area. Amazing depth of knowledge. I’ve not toured with Overlord.

If you can do 2 days I would. I’d do the American Sectors of Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach, St-Mere-Eglise one day, then the British/Canadian/other forces landing sites the second day including Pegasus Bridge, Gold and Sword Beaches, Longue-Sur-Mer, Arromanches.

I’d also have everyone watch The Longest Day before you go, then watch it again when you get home, lol! According to Dale it does the best job of presenting the Invasion.

Posted by
166 posts

Me and my Son were just in Normandy a few weeks ago. We did an all day D Day Tour and it was the biggest mistake of our trip and I'll tell you why. Some of the stops you will make are large places. Gun Battery at Longues Ser Mur, American Cemetery, Point Du Hoc, Saint Mere Eglise, Omaha Beach, Utah Beach etc. When you're on a tour, you are on a schedule and if you want to take your time to walk around and explore these places (or go in museums) you wont be able to. There are lots of stops to make and miles to travel on a tour.

Before our trip, I spent dozens of hours researching everywhere we would go. I did a lot of reading, watching youtube videos, asking questions here, emailing privately with people etc. So, I already knew what happened at these places and the people that were there when it happened. Unfortunately for us, we didnt have the time to revisit the Gun Battery at LSM, Point Du Hoc or the museum at Utah Beach before we left. I really wish we had not done our tour. Everything you need to know, you can find online and by asking questions of people that have been.

My advice, do your own research, have your own car and good GPS (these places arent hard to find with one) and when you get to where you want to go, take your time and explore without having to worry about the clock.

A couple of stops I highly recommend visiting are WN60 and WN62. Research Jimmie Monteith and the F1 Draw (WN60) He is a medal of honor winner and is interred at the American Cemetery in Normandy. And for WN62, research Hein Severloh, Bernhard Frerking and Franz Gockle. Bernhard Frerking is interred at the German Cemetery as is tank commander Michael Whittman. The German Cemetery is about 25 minutes or so from Bayeux.

I realize everyone has their own opinion. This is mine and the way I wish me and my Son had done. The all day D Day tour for us just wasn't worth it.

Posted by
2233 posts

We did 2 different day tours with Dale Booth and then came back the following year and did 2 more.My husband loved him (we all did). From the sound of it, he remains an excellent guide.

Posted by
116 posts

We just did one with Mike at Allied Victory Tours. Mike was fantastic. Knew all the history and side stories. We highly recommend him.

Posted by
332 posts

in 2017 our family booked a private tour with Mathias LeClere. He was fantastic. He grew up in Normandy. His grandparents billeted German soldiers. He had some good stories about it. He picked us up at the train in Caen & dropped us off. We did 2 days which was a good start. He was good about moving us around the sites. Took us down on Omaha Beach at low tide. Just to see how very far the men had to move off the landing craft

http://ddayguidedtours.com/normandy/

Posted by
14248 posts

@trblee - I’m sorry you had such a poor experience. What was your company called, or is it All DDay tours? I’m wondered how many you had in your group.

I ask because with Dale we walked around the gun placements and batteries at Point du Hoc as he explained the weiderstandnest system. We went down onto the beach at Utah where he pointed out to one of the tour members where that person’s relative would have come ashore based on the unit. We did not visit the museum at Utah though but with a private tour that could easily be done. We did visit the church at Angoville-au-Plain which was powerful.

I did Longue-sur-Mer and Pegasus Bridge with another guide and we also walked those areas.

It sounds like you did some amazing research and I’m sorry your trip wasn’t all you wanted it to be.

Posted by
166 posts

Oh our trip was amazing. I just wish we had not done the tour and just went out on our own. The company we used was Overlord. Charles was our guide and he was great. I had printed out maps, pictures and had tons of other source material I had downloaded. Charles was impressed with how much I knew about each site we visited. Did I know as much as Charles, of course not, but I knew enough that we would have been fine at each site. And, we could have taken our time and walked around much more at the sites.

Posted by
1170 posts

I agree with what trblee wrote

My advice, do your own research, have your own car and good GPS (these
places arent hard to find with one) and when you get to where you want
to go, take your time and explore without having to worry about the
clock.

Nothing against a tour guide if that is the way you think you need to handle your trip, but it is not for everyone, and not at all needed if you do your research. Granted, I am a history geek. But I have been to Normandy eight times, always without a tour guide, and always with a car. But even if you feel you need your hand held on your visit, still take a little time to learn as much as you can about the history before you go. It will only help your visit, and will allow you to get much more out of your trip. Plus, compared to hotels, flights and tour guides, a little book reading or movie watching ahead of time at home is cheap. As others have pointed out in other threads, if you do get a tour guide, plan an additional day (at least) on your own to go to places either they did not bring you. or places at which you wished you had spent more time.

Posted by
1097 posts

If you will have a car, I highly recommend Chris and Visit D-Day. You drive, he navigates and narrates. It's a private tour so totally customizable. He's a retired British Royal Navy guy and he and his wife live in Normandy. My husband and I toured with him a few years ago and have stayed in touch. We just returned from France and our son in law wanted to see the WW2 sites but our time was limited. They rented a car in Paris, drove to Chris's house and did a whirlwind tour. SIL said it was the best day of our two weeks. I cannot recommend him enough. You'll see far more than you can on your own, with more context.