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a VirtualTourist member


Northern itinerary help needed

Dear Friends,

Iwill be arriving in Beauvais airport in mid May and have 2 weeks to explore
Northern france. Mont St Michel, Brittany, Normandy and St Malo have been discussed with me. Could you help me formulate an itinerary. I've never been to Northern France.

Thank you

6 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Paignton


answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Sacramento

"Mont St Michel, Brittany, Normandy and St Malo"

Mont St. Michel is an abbey in Lower Normandy; St. Malo is a city in Brittany. Normandy and Brittany are both regions and rather large areas of France. There is High Normandy and Low Normandy and beside them is Brittany and they cover northwestern France; therefore, you are talking about a huge area in 2 weeks.

I checked your Home Page here on Virtual Tourist and you haven't listed any of your interests so it's rather difficult to narrow all the tourist sites down to a two-week itinerary for you.

How are you traveling? You are flying in to France but then what? Are you planning to use public transportation or are you renting a car? That also makes a huge difference because you have much more freedom with a car so you can see more things. Help us help you by telling us some of these things.

I haven't thought up a Top 10 for Brittany and Normandy but suspect I would narrow it to one of the two regions if I only had two weeks. Of the two, I'd probably choose Normandy and start with Rouen, a fascinating and historic city with a lot to see and do. From there I'd want to visit Giverny and Monet's Home and Gardens which should be lovely in mid-May. In that area you could visit Lyons-la-Foret, a charming medieval village, and the Chateau Gaillard in Les Andelys. There is also the beautiful ruined abbey at Jumieges northwest of Rouen. You can follow the Seine to see the abbey at St. Wandrille then continue on to Honfleur, a beautiful port that is an art center and has many lovely old buildings, an amazing church and the harbor with colorful boats. Follow the Channel on to Trouville-sur-Mer and Deauville, both famous turn-of-the-century resorts and a casino. Visit the "Grand Hotel" in Cabourg and spend at least a day in Caen. Move on to Bayeux viewing the Old Town, cathedral and, of course, the Bayeux Tapestry. If you are so inclined, you are in a perfect position to visit the D-Day Beaches northwest of Caen. You can continue on to Mont St. Michel and you would be lucky to get all this in within your two-week limit although I suppose you could end up in St. Malo after visiting Mont St. Michel.

You might type some of these places into the VT Search Window above and see what VT members have written about them. There will be Travel Pages with photos, reviews, things to do and web links for more information. You can also click on the names of anyone who answers you here and go to their Home Page. Click on their Travel Pages to see what they have written about the places they suggest. It's a terrific resource here on VT so enjoy it.

Whatever you choose to do, enjoy your trip. Northern France is wonderful, so much to see and do, great food and very friendly people.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Forgive me for being so vague. We will rent a car in Beauvais and set off for our adventure. We naturally want to see the D-day sights. Our other interests are beaches, charming villages and good food. We typically stay in small inns or lately we've stayed in convents and monasteries that rent out rooms.(We did that in Italy last year)
We have 2 weeks any of your help would be deeply appreciated.

Thank you

Margot Laskin

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Sacramento

Perfect. From Beauvais you can drive the D981 directly from there to Gisors. It is a lovely town and would be a good base for visiting Lyons-la-Foret, a charming small medieval village with flowers, a market and many half-timbered houses. You could also visit Giverny from there. Rouen is certainly worth a day with the cathedral, old town area, the stunning abbey of St. Ouen and the market square with the modern Joan d'Arc church with its old, saved stained glass windows.

Then you can continue along the Seine to Honfleur, a beautiful harbor town with museums, a very interesting church and lovely old town beside the picturesque harbor.

Continue along the shore through Trouville, Deauville and you will see miles of lovely sand beaches with restaurants and hotels on the boardwalks. You might consider staying at the Grande Hotel in Cabourg. If not, try to have lunch or tea there.

Visit Caen for at least a day and then move to Bayeux and base yourself there for visiting the D-Day Beaches and historic sights.

Move on to Mont St. Michel and find a nice Logis de France in the area or stay on the Mont to see it in the evening without so many tourists. You can go to church at the Mont; it's an active parish.

St. Malo and Dinard are across the bay from the Mont and Dinan further south on the Rance River is a great visit too.

Type all these places into the VT Search Window and see the pictures and things to do in them to get an idea if they appeal to you.

This should all fit into two weeks and the drive back to Beauvais is not all that bad. You can get an idea of driving times and routes at

You can also check accomodations at the Logis de France chain of small family-owned hotels. We love them and they nearly all have very good restaurants.

Good luck.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Paignton

Great reply Sally,

HA! Allows me to use my set piece: Aujourd'hui cetait un beaux jour de printemps. Le soleil brillait et les oiseaux chantais sur les arbes. Mon vie, verre du vin en place et les fromages en plat, est parfait.

What else does one need in life?

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Sacramento

Obviously, John, you did not have our weather today! We had a major rain and windstorm with blizzard conditions in the mountains. Spring indeed!!!!!!!!!!

But the hope is there . . . 8^)

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