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trips from Paris

My wife and i are planning on being in paris for a week in early sept. 2015.
I was thinking about taking a day trip to the D-day beaches and a day trip to the loire valley. Any thoughts on doing a couple of days outside of paris, and what tours would be reccomended.....

Posted by
11503 posts

Hi Vaughn,, while a daytrip could be done from Paris to the D Day beaches. it would be much much better to plan on an overnight.. reason is distance.. if you take the train from Paris you will likely still arrive after daytours of the sites have left,, but you could rent a car and drive yourself to a site or two..
However.. there are big bus companies that do daytrips there.. its a long day( on the bus by 6.30 am.. back by 8 or 9 at night) but you can sleep on the bus and not worry about figuring out how to get to things etc.. they also are pricey.. ( over 150 euros per person at least) but there are two reliable companies that I personally know of ..

Pariscityvision.. run via Grayline.. just google "Pariscityvision" for site. Its a pricey tour.. but its not really any different then the other company that is cheaper..
Francetourisme( yes.. spelled that way).. they run about 115 euros per person...

I have used Pariscityvision for a tour to Loire Valley Chateaus..and I have a friend who used Francetourisme for Normandy D Day beaches and Brugges..

Doing Loire Valley is possible as a daytrip,( although there is so much to see a night or two is worth it there if you can spare it) , if you are will to rent a car.. or you could take the train from Paris to Tours.. and then there pick up a small van tour to chateaus.. taking public transport to see chateaus is not very easy.. buses come infrequently and chateaus are of course spread out. I have been to Loire Valley twice.. once I was alone with my child( so I had no desire to rent a car with a child as navigator!) .. so I took the bus tour( daytrip from Paris).. and another time I was with my father who is French and was happy to drive there.. ( we also stayed 3 nights in area) .. so with a lot if up to you ,, how much time you have.. and what you are willing to spend.. If time is short and money not tight.. then bus tours would allow you to do both as rushed daytrips..

Posted by
38 posts

Also, Overlord Tours has some D-Day tours intended for tourists from Paris; including one that picks up and drops off at the Bayeux train station, with times that coordinate with the trains from/to Paris.

Posted by
16893 posts

The Caen Memorial Museum also has a tour that picks up from the Caen train station. The 6:45 a.m. train from St. Lazare normally meets the 9:00 departure.

Posted by
2028 posts

Two years ago i took the Cityvision, 2-day tour of the Castles of the Loire Valley. It cost $506. Pricey for sure, but it included hotel stay and some meals, and a very comfortable bus ride to several chateaus and tour guides. I recommend it. I believe they also have a one-day Loire tour. I also took their 1-day Normandy beaches tour, which was very good also.

Posted by
7722 posts

There are literally dozens of great places to visit within an hour of Paris that can be done as easy day trips by train. Some examples: Reims, Rouen, Chartres, Versailles, Crecy la Chapelle, Moret sur Loing, Senlis, Auvers sur Oise, Fountainebleau, Giverny, Sceux, Rambouillet etc etc etc. If you want to see the D day beaches, I would not plan it as a day trip from Paris but plan a trip to Normandy for a few days -- there are lots of other amazing sights there. Same with the Loire. Although you could take the train to Tours and get a minivan tour of a few of the chateaux as a day trip.

But there are enough marvelous chateaux near Paris -- Vaux le Vicomte and Fontainebleau (and of course Versailles) as obvious starters -- that I wouldn't want to spend a lot of time on the road with only a week in Paris. Each area of France deserves its own visit. IMHO.

Having just taken a day trip to Normandy, I will tell you it is completely possible. And rewarding. We also went to see D-Day Beaches......our interests were specifically WWll. Because I have rented an apartment in Paris, I didn't want to pay 2x to stay over night. We arranged for a tour guide to pick us up at the train station in Bayeux ......after a 2 hour train ride. We saw Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc and the American Cemetery for those who died in relation to D-Day. This took about 5+ hours. We still had time to discover the town of Bayeux before walking back to the train station. Our tour was 70 euros each. Round trip train tickets were about the same......If you were interested in other areas of Normandy as well, you would need 2 days, but your were really specific about what you wanted to see! Have a great trip!