Are you planning to organize a small stay on the Côte Fleurie in Normandy?
Obviously, it will depend on how long you want to stay there, between a few days, a weekend or two or three weeks. The way you will apprehend your stay (lazing on the beach or discovery tour, sightseeing or gastronomic stops, etc.). Below you will find not a guide but some ideas not to miss the main sites. 10 destinations that are not necessarily to be done in the order indicated, this is not a ranking in descending order of curiosity or other.
The Côte Fleurie in 7 destinations
That’s practically 7 days of walking, at least 4 in express visits!
Because between the lively seaside resorts, some of which are world-famous, the long sandy beaches and the calm of the surrounding countryside: Visiting the Côte Fleurie is above all a digest of Norman beauty. Located in the department of Calvados, 1H45 from Paris, 2H30 from Rennes, 2H30 from Lille… , the Côte Fleurie stretches from Cabourg to Trouville and brings together the most emblematic places of the Norman coast.
1- Discover Deauville
An international resort renowned for its many festivities and obviously for its prestigious establishments, Deauville is now a reference that has largely crossed our borders. With its large hotels, its beautiful and many luxury boutiques, and of course its casino, the small town is one of the must-see places to visit the Côte Fleurie. Isn’t she said to be the 21st arrondissement of Paris?
The resort knows how to receive its visitors with a lot of class. 650 meters of decks on the surroundings 3km of beach will allow you to admire the multicolored umbrellas as far as the eye can see, lined up like soldiers on this beautiful beach of Deauville, facing the Casino Barrière, the Barrière Le Normandy hotel, the C.I.D., the Olympic swimming pool, at the Barrière Le Royal Deauville Hotel, the Thalasso Deauville by Algotherm… When the time comes for the American Film Festival in September, Deauville then rolls out its most beautiful red carpet.
Passing through Deauville, you will not miss a visit to Villa Strassburger. Emblematic building of the Belle Epoque villas of Deauville. This Strassburger Villa is located right next to the Hippodrome Deauville-La Touques.
2- Houlgate, the well-named posh resort
Between villas, manors, mansions and castles, there is much to discover in Houlgate! Its rich and original heritage reflects the architectural eclecticism that reigned around 1900. Contemplate the New Norman style villas: with their pointed roofs and brick walls, they give the city charm and character.
Houlgate has become a very lively resort in season. Its long beach of about 1.6km includes: Casino beach, Houlgate beach and Temple beach. At the end of the Temple beach is the Port Guillaume with its entrance on Cabourg. Houlgate is a very popular seaside resort and therefore essential to visit the Côte Fleurie.
3- Cabourg, romantic seaside resort
Known as one of the most romantic cities in the world (a bit of Norman chauvinism all the same), Cabourg has retained its charm of the Belle Époque at least in its hyper-center and beachfront villas. Between its prestigious architecture, its Greco-Roman theatre plan and its gardens, Cabourg attracts tourists from all over the world.
Visit the Grand Hotel in Cabourg.
Between 1907 and 1914, Marcel Proust had his habits (In search of lost time, Pleasures and days, Swan’s side, In the shade of young girls in bloom). Cabourg is also a unique setting to fully enjoy the benefits of the sea. In short, this small town has more than a string to its bow to seduce you.
4- Villers-sur-mer, the flowering resort
Villers-sur-Mer remains a subtle mix between the charms of the Pays d’Auge countryside and the elegance of the long beaches of the Côte Fleurie (beach of more than 2km). Villers-sur-Mer concentrates with character all the authenticity of Calvados. This very quiet destination has the particularity of being bordered by two protected natural areas: the cliffs of the Black Cows in the West and the marsh of the Natural Reserve of Villers-Blonville in the East. A must-see: early in the morning at sunrise, discover the marsh and the many species of birds that live there. In addition to the fine sand of the beaches are 700 hectares of surrounding countryside. Facing the sea, the city center, coquet and friendly, depicts a typical seaside architecture, of those that characterize so well the Côte Fleurie. For information, the seaside resort of Villers-sur-Mer was created in 1856, three years before that of Deauville!
A dive into history, or rather the pre-history with the Odyssey Palaeospace
With the Palaeospace Odyssey of Villers-sur-mer, it’s a real dive into pre-history. Imagine the world 160 million years ago, in the time of the dinosaurs. It’s a great idea to go out, whether it’s with big or small children! It is also in Villers-sur-Mer that the Greenwich meridian passes (towards the Casino Tranchant on the seafront), making Villers-sur-Mer the «center of the world». This is where the Greenwich Meridian meets the European continent.
The planetarium of Villers-sur-Mer
And even more since next door is the planetarium of Villers-sur-mer. A total immersion among the constellations, planets, nebulae, the Milky Way, and the 360° projection of the animated film «Polaris: the space submarine and the mystery of the polar night», awarded several times at festivals.
5- Blonville-sur-mer, the discreet green seaside resort
A special location on the Côte Fleurie!
Blonville-sur-mer is located in the heart of the Côte Fleurie, with its three large sandy beaches and beautiful green countryside. Deauville 5 minutes, Villers-sur-mer 2 minutes by car. Some of its beaches are only accessible at low tide. Blonville is at the foot of the cliffs of Mont Canisy. Moreover, the latter overlooks the coast and offers extraordinary views of the sea, Deauville, Trouville, Cabourg, Dives-sur-mer… Whether you are looking for cultural or sports activities, Blonville will punctuate your stay!A nice place to stay during your discovery of the Côte Fleurie, the Camping de la plage de Blonville-sur-mer
The Blonville-Villers Nature Reserve
A must for visiting the Côte Fleurie: The Marais de Blonville Nature Reserve, a completely man-made space, with playgrounds, benches, a cycle rental service and nearly 5 km of trails welcome walkers and riders. Today, this area is classified as a Natural Area of Faunistic and Floristic Interest. More than 150 species of birds are permanently or simply passing through. Some protected species of reptiles and amphibians have also taken up residence there. This sensitive site of 110 hectares of wet meadows -including 40 hectares protected by the Conservatoire du Littoral, canals and ditches is of great ecological wealth. Although it is right next to the sea, it is indeed a freshwater swamp, fed by the surrounding streams.
6- The Black Cows, a classified heritage
Natural Area of Ecological, Faunistic and Floristic Interest” (ZNIEFF) the Falaises des Vaches Noires are located west of the beach of Villers-sur-mer. More than 100m high, they stretch for 5km between Villers-sur-Mer and Houlgate. Unfortunately, access to these cliffs is forbidden to the public in order to preserve flora and fauna from the incessant passage of visitors. It is also for safety reasons, landslides are always possible. It is from the beach and only from the beach, and only at low tide, that we can discover this exceptional site.
The name «Black Cows» does not come from the cliffs themselves but from the large boulders of black rocks at their feet, which in the distance when you are a sailor, can be thought of herds of cattle grazing quietly by the sea.Source site de la mairie de Villers-sur-mer
7- Trouville, between sea and countryside
If you go to Deauville without going to Trouveille, you are making a serious mistake. There are a thousand good reasons to come to Trouville-sur-Mer. The beach, surfing, the sweetness of life, seafood… And so many others! Trouville seduces today travellers in search of inspiration and art of living. This is an authentic destination in Normandy, far more authentic than Deauville its neighbor.
Coming to Normandy, you can’t decide between land and sea? By choosing Trouville! You will have the luxury of both. Nicknamed the «Queen of the Beaches» of the Côte Fleurie, Trouville is a perfect combination between sea and countryside. You will discover the architecture of the early hours of the Belle Epoque by strolling on the beaches, in the alleys…
The fish market of Trouville, a must!
The authenticity of Trouville certainly comes from its fish market. You can buy fish and seafood every day, in every weather. You can even taste them on site, freshly caught, freshly prepared, accompanied by a good bottle. 100% authentic 100% Trouville! Did you know that you can even buy these fish and shellfish directly from boats that come home from fishing?
Marcel Proust and Trouville
A little thought for Marcel Proust. Still today, the writer’s soul is present. A Marcel Proust street, a Marcel Proust bench is dedicated to him on the beach… And if you pass by the hotel des Roches Noires, imagine it with its famous old-fashioned whiskers, on its balcony looking at the sea in the distance.
Many artists stayed in Trouville
How can we not talk about Marguerite Duras, Eugène Boudin, Gustave Flaubert or Raymond de Savignac? As Marguerite Duras said, having stayed almost every summer for more than 30 years: Trouville has a very violent charm. Immediate. I don’t know anyone who, from the first visit, doesn’t dream of coming back.”