Normandy: Two Day Itinerary

Travelling by myself, I would not dedicate two precious vacation days to Normandy.  I am neither a history buff, nor a fan of the road trip. But, with a husband and two boys – it seems no trip to Europe would be complete without a little war (literally, historically, & metaphorically) of various interests.  So, I’ve tried to build out an itinerary that combined things I enjoy – quaint villages, wine, charming architecture – with things they’ll enjoy. Normandy will keep off our European adventure with a day of beaches and Mont-Saint-Michel, followed by a day of Memorial Museums and the charming city of Rouen.

Day One: Paris to Normandy

After an overnight direct flight from Salt Lake City, Utah, we’ll arrive in Paris at 11:15 AM. Customs at Charles de Gaulle can take takes 60 – 90 minutes (although I’ve breezed through with no wait at all).

From Charles de Gaulle Airport, the best way to get into the city is the RER B train to Les Halles (Notre Dame). If we arrive in time for the next train to Bayeaux, we’ll head strait to the Saint Lazare train station, otherwise, we’ll stop for a quick lunch in Paris before heading into Normandy.

The quickest & least expensive way into Paris from CDG is with the RER B city train leaving from either CDG Terminal 2 or Roissypole (for  Terminal 1 and Terminal 3). Delta flights typically land in Terminal 2E.

Cost = 10€ (adult fare for all passengers over age nine)

Take the RER B – Direction : Robinson. St Remy les Chevreuse
Runs every seven minutes

Option: stop and grab lunch at Au Chien Qui Fume (the smoking dog), open 8:00 am – 1:00 am, 33 rue du Pont Neuf, Phone: +33 1 42 36 07 42


Getting to Normandy

Paris to Normandy Afternoon Train Service

Option 1: If out of the airport by 12:00
1:45PM Paris St Lazare 2hr8min
3:53PM Caen Intercités 3343
TRANSFER: 8 mins
4:01PM Caen 0hr21min
4:22PM Bayeux TER 52729
Option 2: Eat lunch on the train, get to Bayeux fastest
3:10PM Paris St Lazare
5:18PM Bayeux 2hr8min
Option 3: Eat lunch in Paris, most relaxed itinerary
5:10PM Paris St Lazare 2hr9min
7:19PM Bayeux Intercités 3315

Rental Car

Pick up rental car at Hertz Bayeux
Total Petrol Station, Route De Cherbourg, Bayeux, +33 2 31 92 03 26
Hours: 8:00 AM – 19:00 PM (weekdays), 8:00 AM – 17:00 PM (weekends)

The rental car location is ten minutes from our Normandy hotel, just outside the city of Bayeux.


Hotel

Résidence Pierre & Vacances Le Green Beach
6 Rue Abbé Lemazurier, 14520 Port-en-Bessin-Huppain
+33 2 31 51 36 50
8301840

Hotel Résidence P&V Green Beach, Port-en-Bessin-Huppain

Located 4 km from Port-en-Bessin and 9 km from the landing beaches and Bayeux train station, the Green Beach Residence is located on the Omaha Beach golf course and offers holiday homes and apartments, with balconies,

The Green Beach has an indoor swimming pool which is heated all year round and a free-access sauna. The outdoor pool, also heated, is open from May to September. Courts for practising volleyball

HOW TO GET THERE

  • Once on the ring road (périphérique) around Bayeux, turn right towards Port en Bessin on the D6.
  • In Port en Bessin, at the Montgomery roundabout, continue down the Rue de Bayeux towards city centre, “centre ville”.
  • Then at the first set of traffic lights, turn left onto the Avenue du Maréchal de Tourville, then at the second lights, turn left into the Rue du Bourg and finally, after 300 metres, turn right into a small road, “Rue Lemazurier” leading to the Pierre & Vacances residence.
  • Note that the Pierre & Vacances residence is located in immediate proximity to the Omaha Beach Golf course; Just follow the “Omaha Beach Golf Course” signs.

Day Two: Normandy Beaches & Mont St. Michel

32933646367caffd576a5ef7a7b72335

Map of Normandy Beaches

Morning – Normandy Beaches

normandy_reflecting_pool

Omaha Beach Memorial, Courtesy American Battle Monuments Commission

Omaha Beach: 14710 Colleville-sur-Mer, Tel 02 31 51 62 00
Featuring the Normandy American Cemetery, open daily from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Five miles west of Omaha Beach, see the cliff-top Pointe du Hoc
kelemen-utah-beach-238-p53-vf_ok1

Utah Beach Museum, Courtesy Utah Beach Museum

Utah Beach: 50480 SAINTE-MARIE-DU-MONT
Museum open from 9:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Cost: Adults : 8.00 €, Children under 15 :4 €, Guided tours: 12.00 €
Make Reservations Online
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mont Saint Michel, Courtsey Travel by Anna

Afternoon – Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel:  50170 Le Mont-Saint-Michel
Hours: Open from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Cost: Adults : 10.00 €, Children under 15 with paying adult – Free
Mass is offered at 6:30, arrive at the Abbey entrance by 6:20

Reports indicate that the best way to avoid crowds at this highly visited site is to arrive after 4:00 PM when the tour groups leave. Mont St. Michel is a two hour drive from Bayeux.

Parking for Mont Saint Michel

The parking area can be accessed via the following roads, with a cost of 11.70 €

  • A11 towards Le Mans/Laval, exit at Fougères head towards Mont-Saint-Michel
  • A13 towards Caen, then A84 towards Mont-Saint-Michel

A Passeur shuttles guests from the parking lot to the Mont-Saint-Michel end stop, located 350 metres away from the city walls. It runs non-stop from 7:30am to 12:00pm. It takes about 12 minutes for the shuttle to drive from the hub to the end stop, located 350 metres away from the city walls.


Day Three: Normandy Memorial Museum & Rouen

footer2

The D-Day Museum, Courtesy Normandy Memorial, Caen

Morning – Normandy Museum

Le Memorial de Caen Normandy Memorial Museum:
Hours, 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Cost: Adults : Family Pass 51.00 €, Two adults and unlimited children
The website suggests planning three hours for a visit

Visit the Caen Memorial World War Two Museum then head to Rouen to return the rental car, explore the old quarter, then train into Paris.

Afternoon – Road Trip to Rouen

rouen-photos-4

Medieval Rouen, Courtesy To Europe and Beyond

Rouen: Explore the Cathedral and Plaza where Joan of Arc was martyred
Drop off the rental car, 43 Avenue de Caen, Rouen before 12:00 pm or after 2:00 pm

Rouen is the historic capital of Upper Normandy 81 miles north west of Paris and one of France’s top visited sites outside of Paris. On the way to Rouen, pass through the coastal town of Hornfleur then drive over The Gustave Flaubert Bridge.

“Head to the medieval center and park in the underground garage below the Place du Vieux Marché; you’ll emerge right into the farmers’ market (open daily except Monday) and near the Joan of Arc memorial. Meander along the pedestrian-only cobblestoned streets to Notre-Dame Cathedral, the massive 14th-century clock known as the Gros-Horloge, and La Chocolatière—the local specialty is a layered praline paillardise.” Travel & Leisure

If time is going well, consider a stop in Giverny or visit Hornfleur in the morning, before Rouen.


Getting Back to Paris

Rouen to Paris Evening Train Service

Option 1: For an early evening in Paris
4:59 PM Rouen 1hr11min
6:10 PM Paris St Lazare Intercités 3124
Option 2: Enjoy an afternoon in Rouen
5:59 PM Rouen 1hr11min
7:10 PM Paris St Lazare Intercités 3128
Option 3: Stop in Hornfleur/Giverny
6:59 PM Rouen 1hr11min
8:10 PM Paris St Lazare Intercités 3130

Things to Know:
  • Normandy is famous for Creme, Camembert, Calvados, & Cider
  • Normandy is famous for the Breton striped shirts of the French fishermen
  • The Gustave Flaubert Bridge, has the highest vertical lift in the world, rising 55 meters above the water allowing large vessels to enter the city
Resources:
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s