Normandy beaches – where to stay, itineraries etc?

Home Forum Chat Forum Normandy beaches – where to stay, itineraries etc?

  • This topic has 12 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated 3 days ago by  petec.
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  • Normandy beaches – where to stay, itineraries etc?
  • Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Subscriber

    Maybe looking at a cheeky week in Normandy in August.

    We’ve not been in many years, so looking for advice on things not to miss and locations to stay.

    Probaby driving from Scotland using the Eurotunnel as a start, but not sure on the details.

    whaddya recommend?

    Quick reply to remind me to do a fuller one later!

    I used to live on Juno Beach, so will give you a few pointers this evening!

    Premier Icon pyranha
    Subscriber

    We enjoyed Courseulles sur Mer – which is on Juno Beach and has a Canadian D-Day museum.  We stayed on the Aire in our motorhome (having driven from Scotland, too), so can’t comment on any other aspect of accommodation.

    The town was quite attractive as well.

    We enjoyed Courseulles sur Mer

    Me too, that’s where I lived! (And, amusingly, the location for my one and only appearance in a Sunday Times bestselling book!)

    As above, Courseulles is a great little place, lovely beaches and nice places to eat. Sit under the Croix de Lorraine with a picnic. I used to buy fish fresh off the boat at the quayside and BBQ it at home. Lovely!

    The Musée de la Paix in Caen is harrowing, but excellent. As is a trip to some of the cemeteries. Perhaps the most moving for me was the small, Canadian one just to the east of Reviers. It’s not a ‘tourist’ location, and somehow feels all the more emotional for it.

    Can itself is a surprisingly nice little place, despite being bombed to shit during the war. Good cafés along rg28 Quai Vendeuvre and Quai de la Londe. Great kebabs, as in so good people queue up at lunchtime, sober(!) from Chez Aldo on the Rue de Bras (stop sniggering!)

    Luc sur Mer has a whale. That’s about it, really!

    Arromanches is a good spot, amazing beach and the Mulberry Harbour.

    A trip south, in to Suisse Normande, is also highly recommended.

    sharkbait
    Member

    A group of us went to Omaha beach and the American cemetery on Sunday on our way back from Classic Le Mans.

    TBH it was one of the most amazing afternoons I’ve had in ages – nearly cried.  Everybody should go if they get the chance.

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    We stayed in Port En Bessin a few years ago. Really liked that, small authentic fishing port and easy to get both east and west to the beaches etc. Markets a couple of days a week and more of a working/living town than touristy.

    If you’ve not been to Mont St Michel, it’s a bit of a drive and DEFINATELY touristy, but worth the visit. Bayeux bypass was built by the allies during the war because getting a lot of military hardware through the centre of town caused logistics problems. The war memorial museum there was good too.

    Premier Icon stevenmenmuir
    Subscriber

    We went to Bayeux last year. The war museum was fantastic, I could have spent a lot longer there. Also cemetrcies nearby, maybe just over the road.

    Premier Icon smogmonster
    Subscriber

    As above, Arromanches and the Mulberry harbour is fascinating. Omaha beach is bizarrely quiet and a very emotional place..i have the emotions of a house brick but i was definitely affected by it. Mont St. Michel is possibly my favorite building on Earth, its staggeringly good and quite how it was built is a mystery beyond my comprehension. It is a bit of a trek though. We stayed at a beautiful Chateau where Tom Hanks stayed when he filmed Saving Private Ryan (or so the owners say!)…I forget its name but im sure a Google search will give a result. We stayed in the peasants part mind you, the bit he had was £15k a week or something daft. Caen is well worth a look around, just dont take a high vehicle into the underground car park..its VERY low on roofspace! The Bayeux Tapestry is well worth a look too. Its a beautiful area is Normandy..we plan on stopping off next month on our way down to the West Coast.

    imp999
    Member

    I really fancy going over on bikes & doing a bit of a 4 day  tour. British/Canadian / Pegasus bridge one year , American the next.

    Me & 3 not-very-bikey mates, Anyone done similar or have any pointers to info to help me get this going?

    Sorry for hijack – I got a bit excited!

    windyg
    Member

    Point Du Hoc is worth a visit, it’s one of the only places in France that is left how it was once D-Day started, landscape like the moon and makes you wonder how 200 Germans felt when it all kicked off.

    Arromanches is a great place as is Pegasus Bridge.

    Omaha Beach is always worth a look and has a great museum nearby.

    Caen is a lovely place to spend a day loads to see/shop and so much great food choice, agree on the car park i just managed to get the truck in there :though -)

    I wasn’t impressed with Mont St Michel, too much of a expensive tourist trap, Alligator bay down the road from it was good.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    Yes I thought Mont Saint Michel was a bit odd. Looks stunning from the causeway though.

    edit – the area on the mainland with the hotels felt a bit like The Truman Show!

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    Inland between Arromanche and Bayeux is a small cemetery that holds remains from all nationalities involved. Just off a little road in the middle of nowhere. That place affected me far more than the big American cemetery.

    Bayeux tapestry is worth it, get the audio commentary thing as it’s quite interesting and has a Gallic slant on the whole story that is subtly different to the version we accept as true.

    Pont du Hoc is staggering really.

    I think that most of the museums are pretty samey as there’s only so much variation in green vehicles and military relics but the Arromanche one has cool moving diorama models.

    We never did Caen but are going on a day trip with bikes in early September, and particular recommendations from anyone for a classic French lunch?

    petec
    Member

    stayed here one year for a couple of days to show the kids around. We stayed in a gypsy caravan – which was great fun for them.

    Lovely natural swimming pool and if you’re there on a thursday they have the most amazing moules et frites night

    It is a very relaxed spot. We loved it.

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