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Brittany and Normandy Help!!

Dublin, Tipperary...
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Brittany and Normandy Help!!

Hi!,

At the end of Nov into Dec I will hopefully be coming from Cinque Terre where I believe the closest airport it Pisa and am wanting to explore the Brittany and Normandy Regions for a week each. I will be a solo backpacker so naturually trying to do it as cheap as I can.

In Brittany these are the places I have seeen that look nice/interesting - Carnac, St Malo, Dinan, Gulf of Morbihan, Gavrinis andFougères

In Normandy I dont much except Mont St MIchel and Caen.

I am trying to find the best way for me to get around these regions and from one to the other. I understand car would be easiest but probably doesnt fit in budget wise. Any suggestoins?

Cheers

Gouvix, France
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1. Re: Brittany and Normandy Help!!

I admire your ambition, but without your own transport you will struggle, especially at that time of year, as the days are short, generally wet, and verging on the cold.... even by Dublin standards

However, for Normandy you could base yourself in either Caen or Bayeux, both have good train links back to Paris, cheapish hotels, and with a bit of organisation you could get around the coast by bus. Each city also has a day or more of sights that can be walked to and plenty of cafes to dry out and warm your toes.

Can't really comment on Brittany from personal experience, bit I think out of season its not going to be much fun, and the places you mention are pretty spread out - perhaps others can be more encouraging.

Bonne Chance !

Bayeux, France
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for Bayeux, Basse-Normandie, Mont-Saint-Michel, Caen
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2. Re: Brittany and Normandy Help!!

There are far more interesting sites in normandy than brittany.

From MSM you can get to Bayeux by bus and train. The town itself is interesting, then there's the cathedral and the unique tapestry. From Bayeux take a d-day minibus tour. You can get to Caen by train, then to Rouen by train. other sites would be more difficult to get to like Etretat, Honfleur, Jumieges, Chateau gaillard.

Paris, France
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3. Re: Brittany and Normandy Help!!

Whether or not Normandy is more interesting than Brittany is highly subjective. I prefer Brittany over Normandy but to each his own.

Getting around these regions by public transport may not be easy and can involve awkward transfers and long waits between transfers but it can be done. I'm going out for the evening but I'll come back to this thread later and see if I can give you some websites to the various bus networks that operate in these regions. In the meantime, you can check some rail transfers by looking at the official French rail site www.voyages-sncf.com.

Brittany is one of my favorite regions in France and I've written trip reports about all the places you want to visit in Brittany that might help you with planning.

Here's a link to a report about exploring near Dinan and Saint-Malo. At the end of the report I've added a section to assist people vacationing in Brittany and there are links to just about every major tourist office website in the region and you'll probably find some useful info for planning if you search the websites, including transport info:

http://tinyurl.com/82azcyh

Here's a report about exploring the Gulf of Morbihan, including trips to Fougères, Gavrinis and some other places.

http://tinyurl.com/8xuuryc

I haven't check on-line but I suspect Gavrinis will be closed for the season when you arrive. On the plus side, you'll be able to wander among the alignments at Carnac, which must be viewed from behind the fences during high tourist season.

London, UK
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4. Re: Brittany and Normandy Help!!

When travelling by public transport in France, it is a good idea to base yourself in the administrative centre of the relavent Department. This would certainly apply insouthern Brittany where Vannes would be appropriate for Carnac and the Golfe de Morbihan. My general rule doesn't quite hold for the north east of the egion where you could base yourself in St Malo and get to Dinan and Mont St Michel. Certainly my first point applies to Caen for getting to places in Calados and the neighbouring areas.

Paris, France
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5. Re: Brittany and Normandy Help!!

Just have a minute to post but here is the link for the bus network in the area around Saint-Malo and Dinan:

http://www.tibus.fr/

And some info for buses around Carnac and the Gulf of Morbihan:

belle-ile.com/espace/…

keolis-atlantique.com/wp-content/uploads/200…

If you have specific questions about how to get from point A to point B it would be easier to help you.

St Louet sur Vire...
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for Bayeux
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6. Re: Brittany and Normandy Help!!

I'm not going to decry Britanny but all I would say is - it's absolutely beautiful and equally, if not more stunning than Normandy in the sunshine but end of November/December I really wouldn't fancy it at all, especially by public transport. I really can't think of many more depressing things to do than trying to get to all the places you mention at that time of year by public transport. St Malo and Dinan would be fine, Vannes is lovely but the Golf de Morbihan in general is a summer holiday destination. Caen and Bayeux at that time of year would be much better and more easily do-able by public transport from Paris.

Edited: 29 September 2012, 23:39
Paris, France
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7. Re: Brittany and Normandy Help!!

Unless one is interested in megalithic sites. ;)

Dublin, Tipperary...
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8. Re: Brittany and Normandy Help!!

Thanks everyone for your help. Ill look at scaling back my places and try and base myself in Caen. Will look at those websites for buses and see how I go.

Will let you know

Cheers

United Kingdom
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for Barnstaple, Robin Hood's Bay, Whitby
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9. Re: Brittany and Normandy Help!!

I have to agree with French_Mystique - Brittany has loads to see and is truly beautiful. As he says, though, public transport can be a bit of an issue.

10. Re: Brittany and Normandy Help!!

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