Day trip from Paris to Normandy

We will be staying in Paris for a few days and would like to visit Normandy. Is it possible to take a day trip or should we plan on spending a night there? Any recommendations on tour guides for day trips? Thank you
Sharon

Posted by Bev
Decorah, Iowa, USA
250 posts

It depends on if you want to take time to find a hotel and travel there on your own. What do you want to see? Do you want to see the D-Day beaches, the little towns, Honfleur, etc. etc. On our first trip to Paris, we took a Cityrama tour from Paris to the D-Day beaches. It was a long day but very scenic and interesting. We had lots of time out of the bus to walk and see things. We had a lunch plus lots of wine at the Caen museum before going to the beaches. The guide was very well informed about what we were seeing. There were RR breaks both to and from Normandy. Those were appreciated. We thought the bus trip was worth the money since we were in Paris for only a week. PS...I just read on another post that Cityrama and Parisvisions bus companies have merged but I don't know what or if there is a different name now. I am sure Google would have the information.

Posted by Sharon
Venice
22 posts

Thank you, that is wonderful information we will check it out!

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1358 posts

hi, i was there last march. i had a personal tour since the other ones where you buy a seat were booked - at least thats what they told me. So my tour was about 8 hours long, 0800~1700. my personal guide was expensive since he provided his car. but from what i saw, almost everyone toured the same places. if you plan on driving to/from Normandy to Paris, i would think it would be a really long day. If youre taking the train to/from Bayeux/Caen, then you probably could do it in a day w/o issues. fwiw, i saw somewhere that there are Normany tours out of Paris. i would have to believe they leave earlier and arrive later, but would save you the train time. just a comment. Its too bad you dont have enough time to see Mont St Michel. afa tours go, there are some based out of Bayeux. RS book covers them. also, iirc, one of the tour operators had changed business plans and has iirc, minimum 2 day tours. happy trails.

Posted by Sharon
Venice
22 posts

Thank you, I will check into the 2 day tours that is a good suggestion.

Posted by Marie
Northbrook, Illinois, USA
181 posts

Hi, Sharon. I have done Normandy both ways - as a day trip from Paris and also staying in Bayeaux. First and foremost - you will always be glad you did Normandy. Truly, one of the most moving experiences we've had on a vacation. Watch any of the famous WWII movies - The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan are two I would recommend - because they give you a sense of what it was like on the day of the Allied landing (and are supposed to be historically accurate.) 1) Day tour. Easy - train to Caen or Bayeaux. We hired a driver who picked us up at the train. Our hotel in Paris gave us a name and unfortunately, I can't find it. 2) Stay in Bayeux. We went back to Normandy a couple years ago with our three boys to do the WWII sights. Stayed at Le Tardif which is a B&B right in town - we all walked from train and stayed the night before our tour. The town itself is not much - like many towns it's dominated by a big church. There is also a tapestry we didn't see. But it was pleasant and we had a couple of good meals there. We used NormandyYours tours and I highly, highly recommend Danielle who runs it. In fact, we have sent three families to her and all three raved about their time in Normandy. Here is why - she drives and she takes you to all the big sights along with all the smaller ones we never would have found. My kids are still talking about it. Now - I priced out some of the "big bus type" tours and a private tour is a bit more, but worth every cent in our book. No question. Here is TripAdvisor link to Tardif (it was my Danielle Steele moment sitting in their small garden!) http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187181-d603119-Reviews-Hotel_Tardif_Noble_Guesthouse-Bayeux_Calvados_Basse_Normandie_Normandy.html And here is Normandy Yours.http://normandyours.pagesperso-orange.fr/

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1358 posts

hi, i forget about the Beyeux tapestry. its amazing how much info they put on it and after i left, it dawned on me that what i just saw was their version of a comic book. Not the funny type comic book, but a visual record of what happened. If you go, i would try to see it. again, its amazing! happy trails.

Posted by Sharon
Venice
22 posts

WOW, what wonderful suggestions. I love the idea of staying overnight in Bayeux, however, the Le Tardif is all booked for October (that is when we are going) must be pretty nice place. And, we want to see the tapestry, so thank you for that. I will try to find other accomodations in Bayeux that are not too complicated. Thanks again!

Posted by dorsey
san diego
32 posts

Sharon--we stayed at the Hotel Reine Mathilde in Bayeux, and used Overlord Tours to tour Normandy. I can't say enough great things about both. Also was very glad I went to see the Bayeux tapestry.

Posted by Sharon
Venice
22 posts

Thank you, that is helpful. Now I am challenged to find a hotel in Paris that is in a good location for a reasonable price!

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3209 posts

I highly recommend staying at least one night, if not two in Bayeux. We've stayed at Hotel d'Argouges in the heart of town 6 + times and absolutely love it. It's like a beautiful manor house, lovely gardens, large rooms, very clean, excellent breakfast included in room price, very budget and the owner, Mme Ropartz, and her staff are extremely nice and very helpful. I would take a train to Bayeux, stay overnight 1-2 nights, and do an all day guided tour. I would get to Bayeux early enough in the day to go to the exceptional WWII museum in town the day you arrive. Best one imo, better than the one in Caen. Marie said Bayeux wasn't much... I very much disagree. Bayeux is a wonderful, charming town. Very enjoyable to walk all around town, fun shops, good restaurants, beautiful old center. We enjoyed seeing the Bayeux Tapestry but if your time is very limited I would skip it. If you can spare 3 nights, I would recommend a guided tour one full day and a rental car the next day. The area around Bayeux and the DDay sites is so charming and driving the back roads to explore is a real treat. We've stayed a week each time... we love Normandy.

Posted by Bev
Decorah, Iowa, USA
250 posts

I loved seeing the Bayeaux tapestry. That was the reason we stopped in Bayeaux. I thought it was fascinating. On the day we were there, there were only one or two others looking at the tapestry. Thus, I was able to go back and forth to see one picture and then go back to look at the previous one to follow the story. There are probably LOTS of sights we missed but my purpose was the tapestry. We also did other sightseeing in Normandy. This is why all of us use this website...lots of different opinions.

Posted by Sharon
Venice
22 posts

I am amazed at all the wonderful suggestions, thank you! There is certainly a lot to consider, but, the more I hear the more time I want to spend in that area. Thanks to all
Sharon

Posted by Gordon
Fairfield, CA, USA
6 posts

We are doing this trip in October. Two days in Normandy, staying in Caen. Day 1, Mont St. Michel Day 2, WW-II American Cemetery and Omaha beach and fortifications. Renting a car at CDG and driving to Caen. We believe that we are going to be able to do this trip for just about the same cost of the tour as Marie above chose if you add in Mont St. Michel. We really like the freedom that having a car provides. This does require that you be a bit more adventurous but the packaged tours are a definite good option for a limited time in France. Returning the car to CDG and Metro to our Paris hotel.
NO CAR in Paris!!