The Coasts of Normandy
A Touching Meeting with History
The coast of Normandy stretches across almost 640 kilometers of shoreline, in a series of beaches with evocative names: the Côte d’Albâtre, Côte Fleurie, Côte de Nacre, and more. From Tréport to Cancale, the coast of Normandy is a long line of low-lying beaches and spectacular cliffsides. The Côte d'Albâtre spreads from the charming station of Tréport to the grand port of Le Havre, whose postwar reconstruction earned it a place on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites. Its cliffsides form an imposing wall of chalk reaching points of 100 meters tall. Rolling valleys find themselves home to a number of ports and tourist stations, including Etretat, known across the world for its monumental arch on the Aval Cliff; Dieppe, an important port on England's doorstep; and Rouen, the City of a Thousand Bells.
From the Seine to the Orne, a succession of prairies and apple tree orchards of the Pays d'Auge find their place among a rivers, flowerbeds, shaded alleyways, and elegant villas. The Côte Fleurie offers more than 40 kilometers of fine sand beaches, cliffs, and rocksides. Charming permanent seaside stations share the spotlight. Amongst these magical sites with their own distinct personalities are Deauville, Trouville, Honfleur, and Caubourg, the "Beach of Romantics."
D-Day Landing Beaches: the Côtes de Nacre et du Bessin
Beaches in the Canadian and British sectors (Sword, Juno, and Gold) and the American sector (Omaha and Utah) can be found between Ouistreham and Sainte-Marie-du-Mont. Some have even kept their wartime code names.
Arromanches and its artificial bridge; American military cemetaries; the Pointe du Hoc, a symbol of the courage displayed by young American shoulders; museums, monuments, distance markers, artillery machines, and tanks all bring back the memories of combat. These sandy beaches are simultaneously memorial sites as well as vacation destinations with a wide variety of seaside activities.
Caen is located on the Orne River, just a few kilometers from the Landing Beaches. The day after the Allied storming of the beaches, the city became a symbolic turning point in the battle to win back France from Nazi cintrol. The famous Mémorial de Caen, an impressive museum dedicated to the history of the Second World War, is a touching stop on your trip through Normandy. The museum also focuses on the general history of the 20th century and the need for peace.
La Manche (50)
The Cotentin Peninsula
Following the Bay des Veys, the rocky overhang of Nord Cotentin projects out over the water. This "edge of the world" is teeming with wild cliffs and pebble beaches surrounded by heather and wildflowers. The Jobourg Cliffs reach 128 meters tall, some of the highest in Europe. Further away, in the north, experience a gentler coastline, the signal of the large beaches on the west coast. Over its 355 kilometers of coastline, to the west of Cotentin, La Manche offers a series of islands (Anglo-Norman islands - Jersey, Guernesey, Aurigny, Sercq, Chausey, etc)., in an enchanting landscape.
Cherbourg, ideally located at the end of the Cotentin Peninsula, is an oasis in the middle of La Manche. Sheltered from the eastern and northern winds, the western coast benefits from warm Gulf Stream currents and spreads its long ribbon of sand 100 kilometers along the shoreline, occasionally interspersed with rocks and charming harbors. It officially and dramatically ends in front of Mont Saint Michel, the Wonder of the West. Here, the beaches are sunny and the tides are some of the largest in Europe.
Discover the coasts of Normandy, and then - naturally - all the coastlines of France!