Group tour or go it alone in Caen/Bayeaux

Hi Looking at packages by tour operatirs and also the Museum in Caen- for one night in hotel, a tour of the D-Day beaches and the Museum , audio tour of the Bayeaux tapestry. Basically I think the mainadvantage is that they pick-up at the train in Caen and then transport you to the hotel. Has anyone doen this on their own and how difficult would it be to get from the train in Caen to the Museum and then to Bayeaux? 4 adults , all non French speaking. The package seems rather pricey and I am wondering of the difference in cost would be worth the convenience.
Thanks

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17733 posts

Diane, Your best bet (IMO) would be to spend at least one night in Bayeux rather than Caen. You could visit the Bayeux Tapestry after you get settled in your hotel, and arrange a guided tour of the D-Day beaches for the following day (either a full day or half day tour). In addition to the Bayeux Tapestry, there's also an excellent WW-II Museum in Bayeux. I've travelled on my own in Normandy and also taken guided tours. and with only very limited time I would highly recommend a guided tour. You'll learn far more about the history in a short time frame, so it's a very efficient method of touring. They know all the locations extremely well, so can get you to the main sites without wasting any time, and the Guides that I've travelled with have been outstanding. If you'd like to have a look at some of the D-Day tours, some websites to check are: > www.ddayhistorian.com (Paul Woodage) > www.daleboothnormandytours.com (Dale Booth) > www.overlord tour.com (various Guides) > www.ddaybattletours.com/elldi.php (Ellwood von Seibold) They offer a variety of Itineraries, depending on your interests. I'm assuming you're only interested in sites associated with U.S. forces, so you might consider something like this: http://daleboothnormandytours.com/index_files/Page743.htm If you decide on a full-day tour, after you return to Bayeux in the late afternoon, it would be easy to take the train to Paris and be there in time for a late dinner. Happy travels!

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4757 posts

Spending the day and overnighting in Bayeux is recommended over staying overnight in Caen. One, the town is beautiful, with many of the buildings dating back to the 1500's. The museum there is outstanding and most of the good tours begin here. Bayeux is easy to reach by a direct train from Paris.

Posted by Diane
New York, NY, USA
60 posts

Thanks We are definitly staying overnight in Bayeaux. How hard is it to get to the Museum in Caen from the train inCaen and then to Bayeaux form that same museum in Caen
Thanks

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1335 posts

hi, you dont say WHAT museums in Caen you want go to. Caen - if you want to go to the Caen Memorial Musuem its easy from the Caen Train station. I would p/u or read RS book on France (Normandy beaches), it covers all of your transportation questions! When i was there on a Sunday, i was waiting at one of the bus stops for a while when i noticed there was no schedule. I thought they changed the scheduled. I met a Father/son that was going to the same place so we flagged a taxi and sent that way only to find the buses were running! I think the cost of the shared taxi was 10 Euros for my half. Caen - Bayeux. This is a piece of cake. The train ride is about 30 minutes and they are nice trains. I havent rode trains over here, but the system over in Europe puts ours to shame. You dont have to speak french since everyone i talked to did. JUST BE POLITE!
If I Remember Correctly (IIRC), there are tour operators that work out of Caen too. I was thinking they meet you at a central location but i maybe wrong. Bayeux Tapestry - Its about a 5~10 minute walk from the Bayeux train station to the Tapestry. in my opinion/experince (imo/ime) i did the tour piecemeal. I had a private tour of Normandy since when i contacted the tour operator i wanted to use, they told me they were booked. the 2nd operator i chose, didnt contact me or wasnt getting my emails. So i chose to go private and make sure my tour was booked & confirmed. It was more expensive too! Bayeux is a walkable town. Caen is somewhat walkable,but they do have a bus/tram system. Dont know if everyone in your group is mobile, but depending on what day of the week you go, transportation shouldnt be an issue depending on where you want to go. Also, just outside of the Bayeux train station, there were signs for Normandy tours. Also, there is a War Museum in Bayeux just across the Canadian Cemetery. Happy Trails.

Posted by dorsey
san diego
32 posts

We walked from the Bayeaux train station into Bayeux and stayed at the Hotel Reine Mathilde. The following morning we walked not even a 1/4 mile to the pickup spot for the tour guidesin our case, Overlord. Across the street from our Hotel was the lovely Notre Dame Cathedral. Perhaps a five minute walk to the Bayeux tapestry. We are non-French speakers as well.

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3198 posts

I recommend following Ken's excellent advice. A great hotel in Bayeux where we have stayed 6+ times is Hotel d'Argouges. Wonderful hotel and owner. As Ken and Jo said, the WWII museum in Bayeux is outstanding, much better than the one in Caen. As others recommended, just take the train directly to Bayeux.