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Awesome Normandy Day Trip from Paris

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iowa
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Awesome Normandy Day Trip from Paris

Last week I went on Day Trip to Normandy from Paris. I know there are mixed reviews on trying to accomplish this in a day but others have asked for my review so....

We left St. Lazare at 7:07 with a stop in Caen to change trains we arrived in Bayeux. Our tour guide Roul was there to pick us up. We booked with Victory Tours basically because their Full day tour started after the first train from Paris arrived.

We toured Arromanches, Omaha, the American Cemetary, Point du hok, St. Marie Du Mont, Utah Beach, and St. Marie Englise. We also stopped at a few lesser know sights because we booked a Private Tour. Roul's knowledge of the area alond with personal stories or stories from servicemen and women he has talked to enhanced the tour and brought June 1944 to life.

Roul was knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and a great sense of humor. The other 3 members of our group were more excited to see the sights of Paris but after the week said our tour was the highlight of their trip to Europe.

Roul dropped us back off at the train station before the 6:41 train to Paris. It was the best tour I have ever been on. If anyone has any questions or wants more details, feel free to pm me.

ddj

Minneapolis...
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1. Re: Awesome Normandy Day Trip from Paris

Nice timing! There were a few people on the Bayeux board looking for a private guide that would provide all transport from the train station tot he sites and back. You account will help them.

The negativity about trying to do the trip in one day stems from those who think that it's worth staying a night to see more of Normandy than Arromanches, Omaha and Utah beaches, the cemeteries, Point du Hoc and St. Mere Eglise. Honfleur, Trouville, Bayeux ... it is a wonderful area that has a very nice feel to it and a nice contrast to the bustle of Paris.

I (albeit from my small amount of experience -- two trips) would always recommend people stay a night to be able to take in at least some of the nuance of the place. But I realize that not everyone can spare that time or even wants to. So I'm glad you had a great trip. Those WWII sites were something I dreamed of seeing for 20 years. When I finally did, I was very moved. Came back three years later to see them again, this time with a better guide.

Thanks for the report.

Victoria, Canada
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2. Re: Awesome Normandy Day Trip from Paris

Thanks for posting back,, I agree many pooh pooh the idea of a daytrip, and I totally understand being able to stay a few nights would be BETTER ,, but, I also understand its just not possible for everyone, and that a day is better then nothing to some of us. Glad you had such a good experience.

Illinois
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3. Re: Awesome Normandy Day Trip from Paris

Thanks for posting. I'm sure it will help others. The D-day sites are very moving. When I went last year with my mother, sister, and daughter, my mother and sister were not really interested, but they also said it was one of the highlights of the trip. (We also did a private tour but with Ellwood von Seibold, but he starts our of Ste Mere Eglise, although I think he will meet you in Bayeux for an extra fee.)

Manchester United...
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4. Re: Awesome Normandy Day Trip from Paris

Of course Americans will most interested in the two American beaches but a nod in the direction of the men who landed at Sword, Gold, and Juno might be nice?

Lords Valley...
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5. Re: Awesome Normandy Day Trip from Paris

We did a day trip to Bayeux a number of years ago and took a 1/2 day D-day tour. It was not the ideal way to do it but the experience was totally "awesome." If thats all you can do I encourage you to do so. This past October we did it again. This time we did an overnight at the Churchill and took the Battlebus American Highlights tour. Both experiences were very moving and I would rank them at the very top of my 28 years of visiting Europe.

Panora, Iowa
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6. Re: Awesome Normandy Day Trip from Paris

My husband and I are travelling to Paris in mid-Sept. The D-Day tour is at the top of our list of day trips from Paris. Roughly how many hours is it by train?

And, should we book the tour prior to arriving in Paris? Would you use Victory Tours if you were to do it all over again?Thanks in advance for the assist.

Illinois
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7. Re: Awesome Normandy Day Trip from Paris

It's about a 2 hour train ride from Paris to Bayeux. I would definitely book in advance as soon as you know your date. I booked my Battlebus tours (we did Band of Brothers and British Highlights) in 2/10 for our trip this past June, and some dates were already filling up. Sept may be better than the summer for availability, but it would be a shame to not be able to go because you didn't book in advance.

Lords Valley...
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8. Re: Awesome Normandy Day Trip from Paris

Iowa123

If you plan to tour the beaches as a day trip, you will have to use a company other than Battlebus. They require that you stay in the area, or within 50 minutes of Bayeux the night before your tour. They do not run 1/2 day tours and their full day tour leaves at 0830 which is before the arrival of the first train from Paris. I don't know anything about Victory tours, but if you check on line there are any number of companies that run private tours or 1/2 day tours. Also check the Bayeux message board. They recently had a posting about tours and tour guides.

iowa
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9. Re: Awesome Normandy Day Trip from Paris

Iowa -

I would go with Victory Tours again. I picked them because we didn't need to stay in Normandy the night before the trip but I can't imagine how any tour would be better. We saw a couple of the Battlebus tours and they also looked good but bigger groups. I like the intimate type of tour Victory Tours runs but I did a Private tour. It is a 2 hour train ride to and from Paris. On the way home we grabbed a couple loaves of bread, meat, cheese and a bottle of wine. It was a great day.

ddj

Panora, Iowa
3 posts
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10. Re: Awesome Normandy Day Trip from Paris

Thanks everyone for your insights. These forums really do take the headache out of travel planning!