Is it feasible to try to see Normandy and St. Michel in the same day?
K, anything is possible if you throw enough $$$ at it. you may want to state if youre going to drive, where you are going to stay at if any and what time of the year. also what you want to see will be helpful for those more knowledgable in the area. in my limited experience i would say no. But it WILL depend on WHAT you want to see and do at each place. I spent 2 full days in Bayeux and 1 day was a guided tour of the USA/Normanady area. The other day was a shuttle to Mont st Michel and the rest of the day was in Bayeux. I wish i had scheduled more time up there, but thats why i will go back. happy trails.
Katherine, you also didn't mention if you were, actually, asking a version of the frequently-asked question here: Can I see the D-Day Beaches alone] in a same-day runout from a Paris hotel? I have the terrifying feeling that you were. I urge you to use the Search box at the top right to view some of the past discussions of these issues. You will get ideas of what to see, how to see them, and how long to allow. And the diversity of comments will help you make your decisions. You are asking about two very rich destinations, that many people visit. But they are not that easy to get to and around in-especially without a car.
Thank you for your response. Needless to say, I am in the planning stages and should have thought my question through. I appreciate your reply.
If by "seeing" Normandy you mean just a very small part of it. Normandy is 1/20th of the size of all of France, 350 km or 215 miles, end to end, over 30,000 square km and you can't see even a few of the major towns in a day. You could have a glimpse at the D-Day beaches and rush over to Mont St Michel for a gander over there all in a day but you'd never stop. Where would you be coming from on the day trip? Paris? Most decent tours of just the D-Day beaches take a full day.
K, dont feel bad, its usually the details that gets you. my geography sucks so i have to rely on books and questions to get a feel for things when i travel. some may think im really anal about my travel itinary, but my $$ is limited and i want to make the most of it while it lasts. if i had to do it over again, i would give normandy (just the ww2 sites) 3 full days and probably spend over nigth at Mont St Michel just for the fun of it. I would also spend some time around the normandy area too other than the WW2 sites.
but thats what other trips are for. happy trails.
Thanks, Ray. I've got a lot of homework to do!
We were at first reluctant to rent a car but was convinced by others on this site to do just that. We prefer not to rent in Paris and like the train to Caen where there are 3 rental agencies right across the street from the RR station. It's about 15 miles to Bayeux. MSM is about 2 hours from Bayeux and with a car, you can come and go as you please. Driving is very easy in Normandy and is the best choice to see the D Day beaches, the American cemetery, and MSM. Check it out.
Thanks, George. I was glad to read that driving in that area isn't bad. Something to definitely consider.
George is "spot on" ; driving in Normandy is the only way to really get to the beach sites easily so you can spend as much/little time as you wish at each site. When you pick up your rental car, get Michelin map #513, the regional one for Normandie. There will be quite a few roundabouts, but remember that you can always go around more than once if you miss the exit you want! Our system for roundabouts is to figure entering at 6 o'clock; the navigator then tells the driver to exit at the appropriate "time". Staying overnight at Mont St Michel is definitely well worth the time and $$. Strolling the quiet streets after the day hordes have left and then taking an earlier morning tour before they arrive lets you absorb the feel of both the abbey and the town. Yes, the gazillion tourist shops are still there, but you can actually look/shop if you wish.
Driving is easy. In addition to the paper maps I use a GPS. It would be difficult to do those areas justice if you try to see them in the same day.
Thank you one and all. Your comments and advice have been so helpful.
When my son and I traveled to Europe 2 summers ago, we did exactly that. We rented a car in Paris and traveled to Normandy for the day and then stayed overnight at St. Michel. We were far from experts but the trip was easy! For the most part, it was a straight road to Normandy from Paris. We brought a GPS but it turns out that our rental car had one that was included - for fun, we put them both on. We made our car reservation from the US. Normandy was the place he picked to go and St. Michel was my choice. What a perfect combination. The ride was relaxing and we had no issues. Seeing Normandy by car was a good choice. Whatever you decide, have fun.
Speaking from a geography-nerd perspective, Mont St. Michel is located in Normandy, so technically, yes, extremely feasible. But since that probably isn't what you meant, here's another idea. When I visited the area, I used Mont St. Michel as a base to explore the sites associated with the invasion by car. I didn't take an organized tour, but I felt I had enough time to gain a decent perspective in one full day.