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Beaches at Normandy Tour??

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Palm Springs
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Beaches at Normandy Tour??

What is the best way to make a day trip from Paris to the beaches at Normandy? Tour? Rent a car? Any suggestions or experience in this area??

Johnston, Iowa
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1. Re: Beaches at Normandy Tour??

I have no real-life experience to share here, but we are planning to rent a car and drive to Bayeux and use it as home-base while we are touring the D-Day sites. I believe some of the hotels have shuttles to the beaches, etc but we would rather have our own transportation so we can take our time.

Midwest USA
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2. Re: Beaches at Normandy Tour??

There have been many questions and responses on this topic here and this was my reply to one a week ago:

(In my opinion renting a car for one day is too big a hassle and potentially too time-consuming to be worth it)

Posted on: 4:19 pm, January 25, 2009

The absolute easiest way to visit Normandy on a Day Trip is by Paris Vision...located on the Rue Du Rivoli across from the Tuileries Gardens which are adjacent to the Louvre. All you have to do is get there by 7AM. There is a nearby Cafe which opens at 6AM for coffee and croissants.

They offer Mini-van as well as Motor Coach tours...priced accordingly.

My first visit to Europe was to Germany but I made a side trip to Paris for acouple of days (and have been back 5 times since) and took a Bus trip with them to Normandy. It was well worth it and the guide was excellent, a middle-aged woman who spoke eloquently of the Vikings, Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror, etc., besides the Invasion of WWII. To see Omaha beach, Point du Hoc with it's bomb-cratered landscape intact, and the Cemetery was awe-inspiring.

The weather near the channel was extremely windy and misty-rain, even though it was sunny and 70ish in Paris, so take a jacket and a hat.

…parisvision.com/27-normandy-and-landing-bea…

Plymouth...
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3. Re: Beaches at Normandy Tour??

The BEST way in my view is to take the train to Bayeux and stay a night or two. Take a Battle Bus tour to see the amazing, heartbreaking, and inspiring battle sites. Point du Hoc alone is worth the trip. Spend some time standing on the sand at Omaha Beach and try to imagine 5 casualties PER SECOND in the first few minutes.

Bayeux is a beautiful cathedral city with many fine restaurants and a famous tapestry to admire.

Otherwise I'd go for a led tour as long as there are no more than 8-10 people with you.

San Diego
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4. Re: Beaches at Normandy Tour??

I agree the BEST way would be to make it at least an overnight stay in Bayeaux or Rouen and take one of the local tours.

BUT, if this is one of your MUST SEES, then it is possible to do it in a day from Paris - it is a long day, no pun intended.... It also depends what time of year you are going - Summer has very long days that will allow you to see most of what you want.

My father also had the Invasion Beaches on his MUST SEE list. Rather than take a bus tour (which I adamantly refused to do) or renting a car (which my parents refused to do) we hired a private guide for the day - picked us up at our hotel in Paris about 6:45 AM and returned us there a little afer 8:00 PM.

Yes Pointe du Hoc is worth the trip alone, but standing out on Omaha Beach at low tide and looking up at the bluffs is an incredible experience. Of course the American Cemetary is a moving experience, but I was suprised how moving one of the German Cemetarys was.

San Diego
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5. Re: Beaches at Normandy Tour??

I agree the BEST way would be to make it at least an overnight stay in Bayeaux or Rouen and take one of the local tours.

BUT, if this is one of your MUST SEES, then it is possible to do it in a day from Paris - it is a long day, no pun intended.... It also depends what time of year you are going - Summer has very long days that will allow you to see most of what you want.

My father also had the Invasion Beaches on his MUST SEE list. Rather than take a bus tour (which I adamantly refused to do) or renting a car (which my parents refused to do) we hired a private guide for the day - picked us up at our hotel in Paris about 6:45 AM and returned us there a little afer 8:00 PM.

Yes Pointe du Hoc is worth the trip alone, but standing out on Omaha Beach at low tide and looking up at the bluffs is an incredible experience. Of course the American Cemetary is a moving experience, but I was suprised how moving one of the German Cemetarys was.

If you are interested, PM me, I still have the contact info for our guide, but be forewarned, it was NOT cheap.

Placerville...
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6. Re: Beaches at Normandy Tour??

Just how "NOT CHEAP" was your private car? We will be in Paris early June and are contemplating the Grayline tour that is $217 pp for the day trip directly from Paris only to avoid dragging our luggage to Bayeux for one/two nights then lugging it back to Paris to catch a plane to Nice/Cannes the day after touring D-day beaches. My husband has certain higlights he wants to see, which includes SAINTE-MERE-EGLISE and it seems the only tours that go here are based in Bayeux. Thanks.

New York
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7. Re: Beaches at Normandy Tour??

Definitely a tour the first time, them come back on another trip, stay a few days in Normandy and rent a car. We did the LinkParis tour the first time and liked it very much. Last year we rented a car and stayed for three days. We will probably do it again in a year or so. You could easily spend a week in Normandy.

With the LinkParis tour you visit the Memorial de Caen in the morning and the beaches in the afternoon in a small group. Some of the other tours may skip the museums. Just stay away from the big busses unless you can't afford a smaller group. You will get a lot more out of a group of 8 or less than a big busload. With a private tour, you can customize completely but if I recall correctly you are talking maybe $500 a day for a private tour depending on the exchange rate and whether you meet the guide in Caen or drive out from Paris. I would recommend the train, it is is fast, convenient and reasonably priced.

Louisville, Kentucky
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8. Re: Beaches at Normandy Tour??

I'm with those who said:

1) Train to Bayeux vs. driving. It is far less stressful and an easy (2 hours), economical (as little as 20 Euros) trip;

2) Stay overnight in Bayeux. Your hotel is likely to be less expensive than the one in Paris, and you can take a full day tour that is better than the shorter half day tour. I would go to Bayeux the day before your tour (tours start early in the morning, earlier than you could reach Bayeux by train), and allow enough time to visit the Tapestry Museum that afternoon. Travel back to Paris after your tour; and

3) Take a guided tour and one that is not too large. Overlord, the tour we took, and Battlebus have received excellent reviews on this site.

For lodging, I would suggest Hotel Churchill and for dining, Le Drakkar.

If you need more information, let me know. Have a great trip!

Louisville, Kentucky
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9. Re: Beaches at Normandy Tour??

Go to the Bayeux site for more info and responses there.

Melbourne
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10. Re: Beaches at Normandy Tour??

I'm trying to organise the exact same thing. It is literally just a day trip for us, no overnight stay is possible. After checking pricing and the 'hassle' we have opted to purchase train tickets from raileurope (there is a site for each country of origin) and pick up with M. Guerin for one of his half day tours. This way we see a bit of Bayeux and spend the second half of the day doing a tour around the beaches. And then just relax on the train after an exhausting day.

Here is his website if you would like to investigate his tours. Very good rates I thought.

www.normandywebguide.com

I've emailed him a couple of times and he is very efficient in response.

Good luck