Please sign in to post.

Private tour or commercial tour of Normandy? Is the money difference worth it?

I'm trying to decide if the money is worth it to take a private tour of Normandy with the recommended companies or private people in Rick's book. I was looking at two tours, both all day, the private tour cost 525 euros plus tip the other 320 euros. We will be sharing the tour with another couple on memorial day this year. It will be just the 4 of us on the private or up to 8 total on the commercial. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
Thank you

Posted by
9110 posts

Radical thought: Read first, then drive. A one day car rental can't be more than seventy-five bucks.

Posted by
2016 posts

We did tours 2 years in a row on what used to be Battlebus. There were 4 of us and each time we enjoyed the extra company, although on some tours it was just the 4 of us. Initially, the price made us gulp, but the guides are all so good, we felt we got every penny out of it. I know lots of people enjoy going off on their own with a car, but just being able to concentrate on the history part and not fighting over which road to take made it worth it, for us. And, I know GPS is supposed to be great but after going around city the city of Orange 3 times (different area, different trip), I'm not as trustful.

There seem to be lots of great guides in the Normandy area and I haven't seen anyone criticize one yet.

Posted by
2081 posts


I took a private tour of the Normandy area since i wasnt able to convey to the other tour operators that all i wanted was one seat not the whole bus. By the time i got my point across they were booked. But for me the private tour was worth every penny since for 1, i didnt have to drive and i hate driving. 2. i didnt have to spend time using maps or gps to find where i was going. 3. the guide knew the area and the places to go/see.

when i go back i will probably do a mix of driving and using him again. Since im not that interested in the non USA sectors i will use him for that and then get a car and run around to the places i missed. But i will know better to alot more time for the USA sectors.

happy trails.

Posted by
3962 posts

Read ? Read ??? Positively subversive !! " The Longest Day " by Cornelius Ryan .

Posted by
31830 posts


I haven't checked the Guidebook lately to see which tours are recommended, but would be curious to know which ones you were looking at? I'd highly recommend taking a guided tour, as you'll learn far more than just reading and wandering around on your own. Also, the guides know where all the battlefield sites are located, so they can get visitors from one site to another very efficiently, without wasting any time.

I just checked THIS tour firm and they offer full-day tours for €95 PP or half-day tours for €60 or so. These will be shared tours, but I'm not sure what size the groups are? One guide that I would very highly recommend is Dale Booth. Another firm that I've seen recommended by one of the other Normandy guides is THIS firm.

It should be possible to find a tour that fits your budget.

Happy travels!

Posted by
335 posts

I've done the full day Band of Brothers tour with Overlord tours (cost 65 euro/person) and found it to be excellent. Our wonderful guide, Olivier, grew up in the area and was very knowledgeable. I highly recommend him and it!

Posted by
163 posts

Thank you all for your suggestions. I'm leaning towards the private tour, but still on the fence about it. We will definitely be taking a tour, which one is the question. We will be picking up our rental car the day after the tour so we can visit the spots we want to see again or see things we missed on the tour.

I have a private tour booked with Dale Booth for the 4 of us, and one with Normandy Siteseeing tours, both highly recommend, can't decide which one. From what I read about the Normandy Siteseeing tours, it's a crap shot about the quality of their teaching with the guide you get.

Dale Booth: 525 E other 90E each

Posted by
2 posts

I just posted the comment below. We were totally blown away by Roel's knowledge. Watched nazis mega weapons - the Atlantic wall - on PBS last week and it included several things Roel told us including the last German machine gunner firing at Omaha. Roel had actually met him several years ago in the American cemetery.

My wife and I used Victory Tours - - in 2008 and some friends used it last year. Roel is an excellent guide, best we have ever had anywhere. We stayed at his chateau and were lucky enough to have a private tour because no one else had signed up. Tours are limited to 8 people. I found Victory on google and then in Rick's 2008 France Guidebook. I would not hesitate t book another tour with Roel (pronounced Rule in west Texan)