Visiting Normandy and touring the D-Day battlefields and beaches is easy to do as a day trip from Paris. The journey by train from Paris to Bayeux takes about 2 hours, so it's eminently doable!
First up, visit the Pointe du Hoc, perched on top of the high cliffs and nestled between Utah and Omaha beaches. Ally forces scaled the cliffs to storm this on June 6, 1944. It had been one of the major fortified German strongholds and, at that time, was heavily defended.
Move on to the famous Saint Laurent American Cemetery. You'll find this overlooking Omaha Beach. Spanning 170 acres there are 9,387 graves with white headstones stretching in lines. From here, you can walk down to Omaha Beach and stroll along the shore. The stunning ocean views today conceal the bloody events of the past, which now seem so far from this tranquil site.
Move on to the historic town of Arromanches with its artificial port, critical for bringing in war equipment and reinforcements. You can still see the remnants today as a testimony to D-Day when around 10,000 tons of equipment was unloaded here.
While you're in Bayeux either at the start or finish of your day trip from Paris, visit Bayeux War Cemetery. On the town's outskirts, this is the largest burial place for commonwealth soldiers. It has 4,144 graves, 338 of which are unmarked. These graves are of Soldiers who died during the Normandy landings and heavy fighting.
Of all the day trips from Paris, this Normandy tour will be one of the most moving, interesting, and heartfelt experiences you'll ever have.