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Day trip to Normandy for D-Day Sites

California
5 posts
Day trip to Normandy for D-Day Sites

The question of the reasonableness of a Paris day trip to Normandy to tour the D-Day sites, in terms of time and logistics has been discussed on occasion on this forum. The premise is that there are those who are staying in Paris and don’t have the opportunity to spend the ideal overnight time in Normandy that would accommodate the best D-Day full day or more experience. As one of those determined to see the D-Day sites while spending a week in Paris, I did my own research here on the Normandy and Paris forums. Great advice here.

I’ve just returned from my week in Paris and the day trip we did to Normandy and the D-Day tour we did with private guide Malcolm Clough, and wanted to suggest that the effort was well worth it and became the highlight of our family trip to Europe this summer. We managed to comfortably and enjoyably do a full day site tour. It was not a half day compromise as sometimes discussed here as the best accommodation of the time it takes to get there from Paris (the Caen Museum tour for Paris day trippers, for instance, is essentially a half day tour). The four of us, my wife and our two teenagers, took the first train out of Paris (6:45 am) from Gare St. Lazare. I used the advice on these forums for figuring out and booking the train trip (Paris to Caen, transfer, Caen to Bayeux). Malcolm met us at the Bayeux station at 9:30 am, and got us back at the station at 6:15 with plenty of time to make our 7:02 pm train back to Paris (Bayeux to Caen, transfer to Caen to Paris) arriving back at St Lazare at 9:30 pm.

Malcolm took us in his SUV on a full day tour of the key sites, and some uncommon sites, with a wonderful picnic lunch on the beach in between stops. He even gave us a souvenir booklet to take home covering the sites and stories we covered during the day. I had discussed the itinerary with Malcolm by e mail before we left for the trip. I could go on at length about those sites, but there is plenty available in these forums about these experiences…exceptionally moving to see and experience the sites and the meaning of the history. It will be a lifetime memory.

Malcolm, a military historian, was a wonderful guide. The point of my posting is to suggest that we were able to experience a complete tour in a full day, an unhurried and relaxed tour, despite it being a day trip adventure from Paris. Having looked at the group tour provider that would pick up at the train station (Overlord is the company that does group tours) and other private guides, Malcolm’s price was quite reasonable, even with the picnic lunch and added food he provided for the train ride back to Paris (and way less expensive and travel time consuming than the bus tours out of Paris).

There are a number of guides who will meet you at the train station. Malcolm can be reached through his web site at: d-daytoursnormandy.com.

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Argassi, Zakynthos
Level Contributor
4,182 posts
33 reviews
1. Re: Day trip to Normandy for D-Day Sites

That's great. Thanks for the information.

Glad you had a great time.

Lords Valley...
Level Contributor
1,915 posts
1 review
2. Re: Day trip to Normandy for D-Day Sites

What was the cost for four?

California
5 posts
3. Re: Day trip to Normandy for D-Day Sites

Approximately 450 US dollars in train fare and guide fees (including lunch and dinner snacks for the ride back to Paris) for the four of us. I priced the Paris bus tours at more than $1,000 for the four of us, with far less time in Normandy.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
3,110 posts
83 reviews
4. Re: Day trip to Normandy for D-Day Sites

>> Approximately 450 US dollars in train fare and guide fees (including lunch and dinner snacks for the ride back to Paris) for the four of us. I priced the Paris bus tours at more than $1,000 for the four of us, with far less time in Normandy. <<

That seems like an incredible bargain. Can you break down the costs a little? I think the cheapest discounted roundtrip train fare for four would have to cost more than 160 euro (US$212). Lunch for four hungry people would have to cost more than 40 euro ($53). Snacks and drinks [water] would have to cost more than 24 euro ($33).

That comes to about 264 euro, or US$347, at today's rate of exchange. How much did Malcolm charge for driving you around for eight hours?

-- Steve

Edited: 16 August 2013, 21:50
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
3,110 posts
83 reviews
5. Re: Day trip to Normandy for D-Day Sites

Sorry about my arithmetic. The cost (excluding Malcolm) would be 224 euro, or US$ 297.

-- Steve

Texas
Level Contributor
6,758 posts
219 reviews
6. Re: Day trip to Normandy for D-Day Sites

Visiting the D-Day sites is a 'must do' for the Mr. & I when we visit London & Paris next summer. I've been thinking we'd do a weekend in Bayeux between our London & Paris stays. You've given me something else to consider!

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience! :D

Little Rock
Level Contributor
626 posts
115 reviews
7. Re: Day trip to Normandy for D-Day Sites

Thanks for the information. I did the Overlord half day tour because I didn't want to spend the night in Bayeux AND nobody in my family was interested in the Normandy trip but me. I'll pass this information along to others who ask so they can have a choice of options.

Le Bugue, France
Level Contributor
14,097 posts
4 reviews
8. Re: Day trip to Normandy for D-Day Sites

That's really good information, CJCalifornia, for a lot of people on this forum. Thank you for sharing that and for doing whatever research it took to figure it out!

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
5,332 posts
1,193 reviews
9. Re: Day trip to Normandy for D-Day Sites

Great information. Thanks for sharing.

Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
22 posts
14 reviews
10. Re: Day trip to Normandy for D-Day Sites

thank you for the information. We are planning to take the day tour of Normandy and were going to use overlord tours. it looks like the tour you took, takes you to more beaches . How much time could you spend at each location? Did you research overlord and what other differences did you find? I sent an email to Malcom as I like the fact that his tour would be more personal . Can't wait for Our trip in October.