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Anybody know of any inns in the Normandy area?

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Anybody know of any inns in the Normandy area?

Old 12-08-03, 04:55 AM
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Anybody know of any inns in the Normandy area?

Does anybody know of any charming inns or particularly nice/charming lodging in the Normandy, France area?

What will it be like to travel there in June? Is it a busy time with many tourists?

Any advise/suggestions for the trip?
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Old 12-30-03, 08:40 PM
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I would also be interested in knowing a bit more about the Normandy area. We are going in July and plan on trying to catch a stage or two of the Tour.
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Old 12-30-03, 09:34 PM
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We toured Normandy in June 1999. We saw Lance in Vitre,Fr. the day before he won the yellow jersey for the first time ever. One day later and it would have been LA....Not home, can't locate the author, but the book we used to find Bed and Breakfast's freindly to cylists was called "Cycling France." Bought it from Adventure Cycling. There are inns and B& B's everywhere. YOu will have no problems...
ONce stayed at a B&B outside of Baune in BUrgundy...The owner actually rode in the TDF before WWII...Visiting with them was like visiting your long lost Gram and Gramps...It was embarassing when we left. Took over an hour to say goodbye, with the traditional French kissing of the cheeks. Stayed there 3 days. Gave us a bottle of their red wine and casis, when we left....Touring about Baune was awesome... Beautiful hills, villages, vintners. Friendly people. You will have no problem...
Enjoy the Calvados..That merits stops along the tour along with Patasier's..
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Old 12-31-03, 12:58 PM
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You will have a great time in Normandy. Wonderful people and food and sights, etc. We stayed in St. Malo in a B&B. These are easy to find. Just google Normandy and get the official toursit website. There will be good links to places to stay. And don't drink to much Calvados, their local liquor. The stuff we had was 160 proof. Definitely knock your socks off.
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Old 12-31-03, 01:07 PM
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Why inn when u can camp?
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Old 12-31-03, 03:19 PM
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I am home now and found out the complete titles and authors of the two books I have on touring France.
One book is "Cycling in France," published by Ulysses Books. They have a web site under Ulysses. The other is "Cycling France"by Lonely Planet. Look for signs for 'rural gite' they are everywhere...Problem..You want to stay in B and B's...As you head into July/August they can be 100% full. This is not an exageration...Plan ahead. In the south of France it would take hours of going down out of the way places to find a vacancy. Camps can be pretty full to..
In July it is light until 10 pm so you can have long riding days...
We found the price of B and B's, so reasonable, why rough it at a camp..Camping costs about $15 and most B and B's about $25.. Maybe camping you can meet more locals...I liked having a real shower and a warm bed with friendly B and B owners... For $25 breakfast was included.
And yes, go to Normandy,Loire web sites they will lead you to search engines to locate local B and B's...
A hotel chain we found nice and reasonable were the 'Logis de France.' We are envious..Wish we were going this year.
You can now plan ahead. The TDF route has been published so you can locate were your tour will intersect with the TDF.
I highly recommended the books mentioned..Without a little research you will not ride the back country roads where the scenery and pace for cycling is just incredible.
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Old 01-02-04, 02:25 AM
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Also check on Chambres d'Hôtes, the equivalent of B&Bs in the US.

On our trip to France, this past summer, we did not do much planning ahead. We knew when we were arriving in Europe and when we were leaving. We had a place to stay in Southern Belgium to use as a launch point and return destination. Until we hooked up with the TdF, where we also had pre-arranged lodging in the Pyrénées, "we rolled our own" as we travelled.

We knew we wanted to spend time in Brittany and got their by train. We decided not to camp, because the extra gear would be a hassle for us as we planned to use trains several times, too, to cover larger distances than we wanted to ride to get somewhere. We stayed in a Youth Hostel, once. But, since they are in larger cities and we weren't. That was the only one. Beyond that, we made use of maps and whim -- and one of the best kept secrets of touring in the French country side (which, as far as we were concerned was simply terrific wherever we went).

Just about all small towns (larger than village sized communities) will have a Office du Tourisme or Syndicat d'Initiative. They are the same, a tourism info office, and usually located somewhere near Centre Ville. But, the great service for those of use who don't plan their tour in great detail and just go with the flow, is that they'll help you find lodging in the vicinity. We'd roll into a town around 4 PM and decide it was time to find a place to stay for the night. We were always looking for a two star hotel or maybe a Chambres d'Hôtes with room for three people and space to safely store our three bikes. The info office folks will take that info and call around. When they find a place with space, they'll give you the price. If it's OK, they'll make a phone reservation for you. We ALWAYS could find something. And, we got to stay in some really neat lodgings and towns we had not even heard about before we got there. We were able to actively avoid real touristy town for lodging.

We'd usually aim for a town with a tourism office around 4 PM. They do close at some point, and a couple times we only found the office about 15 minutes before closing, so don't wait too late.

Prices, by the way, averaged around 40-50 Euros for three people, but that will vary depending on where you are traelling. Prices were much cheaper in the Pyrenees. B&Bs included petit dejeuner (breakfast), hotels would charge for that. Usually we skipped the hotel breakfast to save money and time.

When we were taking the train and wanted to reserve a room before we arrived, because we'd get to that town after the tourism office closed, we'd get the phone numbers of possible arrival towns from a tourism office we passed by, and call ahead to the tourism office in the town we were going to arrive in, often at a train change layover, and get lodging phone numbers from that tourism office and make our own reservations. Granted, because our daughter is a fluent French speaker, that was not too hard for us. The tourism office folks are multi-lingual. In Normandy, especially, with England just across the water, you can expect, I would think, to get by with minimal French. Though, it is fun and endearing if you try to communicate in French.

We only ate in one restaurant (we were hungry and the stores were closed -- a late train arrival. We got the rest of our food and water from the small groceries (in rural areas, water can be polluted -- even the locals use bottled water -- and, I am not talking "designer water" Bottle water is cheap in France, like 15 cent per liter). We frequented boulangeries (bakeries for bread, and tasty baked goods, and patisseries (pastry shops), too. Cheeses. Wonderful cheeses in France, none of them orange.

We'd go back again in a heart beat, and are tentatively planning on a return in 2005. Since our daughter, who is on her own, might not be able to come next time, we are working on our French.
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Old 01-02-04, 05:38 AM
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In addition to sakarias excellent suggestions, I will add that all towns and villages in France have at least one market day per week. Sometimes two or three. These are open air markets that sell just about everything at most reasonable and negotiable prices. The best thing about them is the fresh fruit, dairy products and prepared meats and other dishes (pate, etc.) that are available. Usually of very high quality and considerably less expensive than in restaurants. If you miss the market day then go to the local grocery and cheese, meat and other food shops. The grocery will have everything in one spot. But some of the shops are just great for the variety and high quality of their offerings.
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Old 01-02-04, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ParamountScapin
I will add that all towns and villages in France have at least one market day per week.
Ah, yes, Market Days. Great fun. Our first crepes on arriving in Brittany were at a market day we accidentally found our first day on the road while looking for La Poste (the post office). Some towns also have occasional or weekly Marché Nocturnes, night markets. The one we got to was more crafts oriented.

When we were in France, white nectarines were in season. Luscious. Living in Alaska, where soft fruit frequently has no taste, being able to buy local fruit in season was heaven.

In addition to Chambres d'Hôtes (which are often part of a loose organization like B&Bs in the US, there are also Gîtes as in https://www.gites-de-france.fr/eng/index.htm (the English version of the site).

Here is the url for Logis
https://www.logis-de-france.fr/uk/

Couldn't find one like this specifically for Chambres d'Hotes.

Make use of Google. We did and got a lot of info through it. Some of that info we took along; but, we didn't end up staying anywhere we knew about before hand. Just knowing about Logis, Chambres d'Hôtes, Gîtes and using the tourism offices was enough.

All of our best trips have intentionally NOT had a specific goal for each day planned out in advance. A schedule can add unwelcome pressure. The feeling of running behind schedule can be stressful to mind and body. A schedule does not allow you to take the time to enjoy some surprise discovery. Each day, we'd have a general plan for the day or the next few days. But, we'd freely take side trips.

The other thing all of our best trips have had in common is that we've had enough time to not worry about the end of the trip catching up to us. We were in Europe for six weeks and on bikes in France for 4 1/2 weeks (happily using up all our cash and vacation time). We easily could have been there longer, but we simply ran out of time to do what we wished we could have -- ah, next time. A long trip (as measured in days) allows bike touring to become a way of life, not just a vacation. Take as much time as you can. I don't think you'll regret it.

Last edited by sakarias; 01-02-04 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 01-18-04, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mike
Does anybody know of any charming inns or particularly nice/charming lodging in the Normandy, France area?

What will it be like to travel there in June? Is it a busy time with many tourists?

Any advise/suggestions for the trip?
I should imagine that you could get info about inns and things from a MICHELIN guide book. In June the weather does what it wants. Last summer June was teriffic, though a number of older citizens died of the heat. The schools usually let out in July, so I think it shouldn't be too hard to find places to stay.
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