A captivating day trip from Paris to Normandy to see the D-Day landing beaches
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Normandy D-Day Tour from Paris via Train Itinerary
This Paris to Normandy tour is our #1 bestseller for close to two decades. For good reason: It’s the expert local guide. The comfortable train ride. It’s the small group. More than anything, it’s the uplifting story of June 6th, 1944 that helped free France and end World War II in Europe.
As with all of our day trips from Paris, this is a small group excursion with eight persons maximum per tour. This tour often sells out, so please book early to get your preferred tour date.
Normandy D-Day Tour Overview
Price: $203 per person (tour only), $310 with 2nd Class Rail, $368 with 1st Class Rail.
Departure Time: Before 7:00 a.m.
Duration: 13 Hours
Meeting Point: The main rail station in Bayeux, France
Group Size: 8 person maximum
Availability: Tours run 7 days a week year round except Christmas, New Year’s Day and Bastille Day.
Our Normandy Tour Includes
- Pick-up at the Bayeux rail station in the morning by an English-speaking guide
- A full day touring the main American sites of the D-Day invasion of Normandy (listed below)
- Time for lunch in Normandy
- Drop-off at the Bayeux rail station for the return trip to Paris
Any tour can be made private. Contact us for pricing and details.
Famous Normandy D-Day Stops On The Tour
After a direct early train from Gare Saint-Lazare in Paris to Bayeux, you’ll be met personally at the rail station by your guide. No struggle to find a meeting point. Then it’s off to Sainte-Mère-Église, the site of the pre-dawn parachute drops on June 6th. Next, you’ll visit both Utah and Omaha Beach, then the Pointe du Hoc, site of the famous Ranger climb. After a lunch of your choice (not included) along the coast, you’ll visit Arromanches Harbor. Finally, a solemn stop at the American Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, timed for Taps whenever possible.
Arrival in Bayeux by Train from Paris
Bayeux is a small town that lies on the Aure River in Normandy, France, not far from the English Channel in the department or “county” of Calvados. It is located 16 miles west-northwest of the capital of Normandy (Caen), and roughly 166 miles northwest of Paris. The town is home to the famous medieval Bayeux Tapestry. You are greeted here at the Bayeux station platform and your Normandy D-Day adventure begins.
This lovely medieval town of Sainte-Mère-Église stands right on the N13 road, a crucial link for the Germans to counter the landing beach attacks. The 82nd and 101st paratroopers landed in a first wave, ultimately securing the town for the Allies despite heavy casualties. Many of the first wave were killed when they landed right in the middle of the town square. John Steele was one of the few paratroopers who survived by playing dead after his parachute was caught on top of the church tower. He was captured by the Germans and later escaped to rejoin his unit.
Utah Beach was a critical link between the airborne and infantry invasion forces, combining both. The goal at Utah was to secure a hold on the Cotentin Peninsula (also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula), with the ultimate goal being to re-take the crucial port city of Cherbourg.
Omaha Beach was the code name for the main U.S. landing beach during the Normandy D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. It has been nicknamed “Bloody Omaha” and for good reason. 2,400 American soldiers were killed here on June 6th alone.
Securing the five mile stretch of Omaha was crucial in order to link up the British landings to the east at Gold Beach, with the American landing to the west at Utah Beach. The Allies were up against the Germany 352nd infantry division, a mix of green troops who had never seen combat and experienced men who had served on the Eastern Front.
It took a full day on June 6th, with heavy loss of life to secure just two footholds off the beach along that 5 mile stretch. By night fall over 34,000 Allied troops landed at Omaha Beach.
The Pointe du Hoc
Strategically located between the American landing beaches Omaha and Utah farther west, the Pointe du Hoc remains virtually unchanged from the day American Army Rangers scaled its sheer cliffs under deadly fire to knock out huge coastal guns that Allied intelligence didn’t know had been moved there.
Pocked by huge craters left by naval bombardment, most of the German bunkers remain. The cliff-side battlefield also offers a scenic view of the French coastline that saw some of the war’s fiercest fighting.
The Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer
The most important stop on our Normandy d-day tour is the Normandy American Cemetery. Situated above Omaha Beach, the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer honors the more than 9,000 servicemen who died on D-Day and during the campaign to liberate Normandy throughout the summer of 1944.
The 172 acre site is not technically American property, but is owned and run by the American Battlefield Monument Commission. Graves are carefully noted on a grid map for visiting. Troops unaccounted for are honored on a Wall of the Missing. The opening scene of “Saving Private Ryan” was filmed here at the Normandy American Cemetery, while the fighting scenes were shot in the village of Curracloe in southeastern Ireland due to its geographic similarity to western France.
The Artificial Harbor at Arromanches
The modest fishing and resort town of Arromanches was a key toehold for the Allies on June 6th. Remnants of so-called “Mulberrys” that formed the artificial harbor remain off shore, where the rough seas of the bay were tamed enough to keep ships anchored and maintain a supply chain for the troops.
Visitors to Arromanches, located at what was code named Gold Beach, will appreciate seeing the huge undertaking of the invasion from the cliff top perspective. Interestingly, the town and bay have been important strategically to successive waves of Celts, Gauls and Vikings throughout history.
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Should You Visit Normandy from Paris?
Definitely! A journey to Normandy provides a unique opportunity to delve into the remarkable events of June 6th, 1944. Imagine walking on the very sands of Omaha Beach, paying tribute at the American Cemetery, and immersing yourself in the stories of the intense battles fought by Allied troops. With the guidance of a knowledgeable local expert, history comes alive before your eyes. Adding a Normandy tour to your Paris itinerary is an excellent add-on and our #1 selling day trip from Paris.
How Much Time Is Needed to Visit the Normandy Sites?
Your local guide knows how to pace the tour timing so the full story of June 6th can be experienced in just one day. You’ll get a full feel for each site, with a generous break for lunch. Some time to self tour, especially at the American Cemetery Visitor Center, is built in.
For those wishing to stay overnight or longer we offer a great package with an overnight stay in Bayeux, and the option to visit Mont St. Michel.
What is the best time of year to schedule this tour?
A trip from Paris to Normandy is great any time of year. Normandy is right along the English Channel and has the rainy, windy weather you would expect in the region year round. While summer and fall will be warmer, a late winter visit can be ideal, with fewer crowds.
Paris To Normandy Tour Details – How To Prepare
If available, bringing along a folding umbrella or a light raincoat is recommended. Comfortable shoes for walking that resist water and keep out sand will make your day a lot easier. Unless it’s full summer, wearing layers to keep out the wind is a great plan. A small backpack with your extras is perfectly acceptable in the van.
Folding wheelchairs and strollers can be stored on the van. Some sites require walking to fully appreciate, such as seeing the German gun emplacement, but most sites are reached via easy van ride. Just let us know when booking if you’ll be traveling with a wheelchair.
Rest room stops are available at lunch and select museums at the key sites, and at the American Cemetery visitor center. Both classes on the train to Normandy and back offer restrooms.
Cancellation and Refund Policies
Due to the small group aspect of all of our tours, our cancellation policy is as follows. More than 7 days before tour date – 100% refundable; from 7 to 3 days before tour date – 50% refundable; less than 3 days – non-refundable. If cancelling please contact us as soon as possible to insure we can credit you properly.
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Normandy D-Day Tours From Paris FAQ’s
More About Us and Our Normandy Tours from Paris
We’ve been selling Normandy guided tours from Paris since 2002. Each year, we have the pleasure of connecting families with a loved one’s story, introducing history buffs to the very sites they’ve read about, and making sure all of our clients appreciate the tremendous sacrifice of D-Day and the invasion of Normandy.
We look forward to seeing you on the ground in Normandy.
Read a friendly and informative article about our Paris to Normandy Day Trip.