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Paris to Caen

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Calgary, Canada
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Paris to Caen

We're planning on going to Juno Beach on a day trip from Paris next summer. If anyone has any advice pertaining to renting a car in Paris for a day and being able to relatively conveniently getting out and back to Paris with that car I would appreciate your advice.

Thank you kindly,

Southampton, United...
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1. Re: Paris to Caen

The sort of reply I'm about to make has probably been made a thousand times in the various forums of VT.

Unless all you are interested in is ticking the boxes or you time is severely limited, a day trip to the Normandy beaches is insufficient. The return journey by car alone will take a large chunk of the day. Better, if you are able, to spend a night in Caen or Bayeux and take in much more of what there is to see and experience.

Renting a car is as easy (or difficult) in Paris as in any western city; just make sure you have your driver's licence and credit card.

Mississauga, Canada
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2. Re: Paris to Caen

I got the folllowing reply from the Juno Beach Centre staff when I asked the same question:

TRAIN AND CAR INFORMATION

There are several ways to travel from Paris to Normandy. If you are interested in seeing the D-Day Landing Beaches and the Juno Beach Centre, in my opinion, the best way to travel within Normandy is by car. Below, I will give you all of the information you will need to travel by car or train. You may decide which is best for you.

By car:

The best way to visit the D-Day beaches and the Canadian memorials is to rent a car. I suggest, if possible that you rent a car directly from Paris. You would have to double check, but if you are travelling with more than one person, I believe it may be less expensive, and definitely more efficient and flexible to rent a car directly from Paris. If you go to “Mappy” (www.mappy.com) and insert Paris as the place of departure and Courseulles-sur-Mer as the city of arrival (postal code 14470) it will give you the most direct driving route from Paris. It will also show you how many km it will be and how much you will need to pay in toll fees. You may choose not to take the toll roads as they are expensive, however, it is by far the fastest way to arrive if you are pressed for time. The directions to the Centre are quite simple, you take the N13, direction to Caen. From Caen, you take the ring-road North (Periphérique Nord) and get off the ring road at exit 5 (Sortie 5) heading North. You follow this road North. Once you are approximately 10 km outside of the city of Caen, you will take the D79 west towards Courseulles.

If you do decide to rent a car while in France there are a few different ways to do so. You may rent the car through a Canadian travel agent and simply pick it up when you arrive in Paris. Sometimes, by renting a car through a Canadian agent, you may be able to get a better rate. You may contact an rental agency yourself in Paris before you begin your trip. If you visit some of the sites below, you can get an idea of the cost of renting a car. It is much less expensive on gas if you rent a diesel car. Some of the larger companies are the following :

EUROPCAR - https://www.europcar.com/tools/frameset.html…

AVIS - http://www.avis.com

HERTZ - http://www.hertz.com

By train:

There are several steps which need to be taken when travelling from Paris to the Juno Beach Centre by train. When travelling from Paris to Normandy by train, you will need to leave from the train station "Gare Saint Lazare." You can get to this train station by Paris metro or city bus. You will need to take a train to the city of Caen. To learn more about train times and fares, visit www.sncf.com. It is approximately 30 km from Caen to Courseulles. It is possible to take the regional bus or rent a car from the city of Caen. There are car rental agencies near the train station. Once again, for rates, consult the rental agency sites above. There is a regional bus system which is called the BusVert. If you are intending to take the regional bus, it is VERY IMPORTANT to consult their schedule, as there is usually only one bus per hour, and the buses do not always run late into the evening (especially if you need to return to Caen at the end of the day). Their website is http://www.busverts14.fr/. In order to go from Caen to Courseulles-sur-Mer, you have to take line #3. If you are arriving by train, the bus does leave from the train station, at the bus stop gare routière s.n.c.f. Some buses are more direct than others. The bus ride can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes. You are best to get off the bus at the stop place du 6 juin. From this location you can see the Centre on the other side of the port. If you follow the port south, cross the small bridge and then make your way north towards the beach again, you will see the Juno Beach Centre.