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Versailles, Normandy connections on a tight schedule

I have gleaned info from many posts, but still have questions about the logistics. After the 21 day Best of Europe tour, we have only 3 days.
We will visit Versailles on Saturday, by train from Paris, Normandy beaches on Sunday, and the military museum in Paris on Monday, before flying home on Tuesday.
We must get to the Carentan station by Saturday night, for a tour of the D Day area based out of St Mere Eglise on Sunday morning. (I have been advised the train schedule on Sunday will not permit me to get there) we'll then be taking an early train back to Paris Monday morning.

Should we consider renting a car in Versailles and driving to St Mere Eglise instead of taking the train?
Shall we accept the pick up and return to the Carentan Station for 25 Euros RT for the group of two? Or rent a car there, so we can stay in Bayeux or St Mere Eglise instead? We won't really have time to drive around much, as the tour ends at 6pm and we want to be in Paris ASAP on Monday to maximize out time at the military museum.

Finally, we have a 10:40am flight on Tuesday morning. Shall we stay at a hotel near the museum Monday night, or get a room near the airport?

Thanks for any suggestions/ advice you can offer. I know it is a LOT to do in 3 days, but that is all the time we have.
Mary

Posted by
1005 posts

Well, I think this is too much to do in three days. But if you insist on visiting the chateau and then going to Carentan all in one day, I'd rent a car for the trip to Carentan. It's going to take you about 1 1/2 hours to get from Versailles to Gare St. Lazare by public transportation, and then the train to Carentan takes another four hours--so that doesn't leave you much time to see the chateau. According to viamichelin, driving from Versailles to Carentan takes about three hours--if you are just driving to Bayeux for the night it's a little less.

Since you'll be on the autoroute most of the way, the driving won't be too stressful. Get good directions from your hotel in Bayeux or Carentan on how to get there from the autoroute exit.

If your flight leaves at 10:40, you could arrange for an early shuttle pick up at your hotel near the Army Museum. Have your hotel book it for you--they'll know how long it will take to get you to the airport at that time of day.

Posted by
4524 posts

While I agree with T that it is a lot to do in three days, he his completely wrong that it takes 1 1/2 hours to get from Versailles to Gare Saint Lazare. You can take the SNCF commuter line from the Versailles Rive Droite Station (note that this is NOT the typical Versailles train station that tourists come and go from). Gare Rive Droite is about a 10-15 minute walk from the chateau. You head out on Avenue Saint Cloud and then left on Rue Foch or you can exit the gardens at the Queens gate and go straight down Boulevard de la Reine (the station is at the intersection of Rue Foch).

Commuter trains leave about every 15 minutes on Saturday afternoons and it takes about 30 minutes to get to Saint Lazare, the last stop. You can work your schedule backwards from the time your train would leave Gare St. Lazare, and give yourself about an hour.

If you really won't have much time, renting a car is expensive and time consuming. And it can be easy to lose time finding your way around (or outright lost).

Posted by
18 posts

Thank you to both T and Douglas. We have taken your advice and cancelled the Normandy portion of our trip, so that we can truly enjoy Versailles and the military museum. We will include Normandy on a future trip when we can spend the time there that the area deserves. More is not always better.....
I appreciate the time you spent answering my questions.