Normandy is one of the most exciting regions in France. Its distinct culture, gastronomy, and architecture set it apart from everywhere else in the country. Normandy has also played an essential role in history, as it is the site of the famed D-Day landings.
When traveling from cities in the south or east, flying is the most convenient option. There are direct flights from most major cities, and they all take less than 2 hours.
If you want to explore this gorgeous region, we would recommend renting a car and setting out from either Paris or Nantes. These are the closest major cities to Rouen (the regional capital) and Caen.
Hiring a private transfer is also a good option, especially if you are planning on having a regional base rather than traveling around. From Paris and Nantes, the journey won't take longer than 3:30 hours.
Train travel from Paris is straightforward, with direct routes to Rouen and Caen in less than two hours.
Duration: 1-1:40 hours
If what you want is efficiency and speed, flying into Rouen might be your best option, especially if you are coming from cities that are far away like Nice and Bordeaux.
Unsurprisingly, the fastest flight is from Nantes, taking only an hour to reach Rouen. Bordeaux and Lyon take second place at 1:15 hours. Montpellier is a mere hour-and-a-half, and Nice is 1:40 hours.
There are no flights from Paris, as there is no demand for it. Other cities offer routes with one or two stops.
Duration: 2:30-3:30 hours
Normandy has so much to offer that many visitors decide to rent a car and travel around. Being able to drive gives you the freedom to decide your itinerary, as well as the possibility of visiting small towns like picturesque Étretat and Granville.
The two major cities in Normandy are Rouen and Caen. From Paris, you can drive to Rouen in a mere hour and 40 minutes. One more hour will get you to Caen.
The second major city closest to Normandy is Nantes, which is three hours to Caen, with an additional 30 minutes to Rouen.
By Private Transfer
Duration: 2:30-3:30 hours
If you would rather choose a base than travel around the region, a private transfer service will save you the hassle of renting and caring for a car.
Due to its location, Caen is the perfect base for exploring Normandy. From Paris, a transfer service will bring you here in 2:40 hours.
Private transfer is also available from smaller towns into Caen or Rouen. For example, you can depart from Rennes and arrive at Caen in 2 hours, or set out from Amien and arrive at Rouen in 1:30 hours.
Duration: 1:30-2 hours
Taking the train into Normandy is convenient from Paris. Direct routes to Rouen take about an hour-and-thirty-minutes, and 2 hours to Caen.
From most other points in the country, you will have to transfer to get to your destination. Of course, this depends on where you are, as some small towns along the border of the region offer direct routes.