Deauville is famous for its boardwalk with beach huts showing the names of famous film stars – a nod to the annual American Film Festival held here.
It’s a swanky town with high end shops housed in half-timered buildings. There are plenty of cafés, bars and restaurants and its a great place for people watching. The beach is vast and sandy and in summer months full of Parisians who flock here from the city for fresh air, sea, sun and sand.
It’s a genteel sort of place, charming to look at and promenading is popular so you can oggle the gorgeous houses and villas. If you want to see inside one of them, head to the Villa Strassburger, built by the wealthy Rothschild family in 1907 (book at the tourist office, guided visits only).
Hire a bike and cycle along the esplanade and to nearby sites of interest like Trouville just across the bridge and picturesque Honfleur.
A stone’s throw from Deauville across the river Touques lies the traditional fishing town of Trouville-sur-Mer. The town’s wide sandy beaches, winding streets and Belle Epoque architecture have inspired French artists and writers from Flaubert to Boudin who spent every summer in Deauville for the last 14 years of his life.
The beach at Trouville right next to Deauville was the first in Normandy to have a boardwalk in 1867 and the town has been attracting sea bathers since the 19th century. Today Trouville is a favourite family seaside resort offering a range of water sports, guided boat trips and an activities club for children.
Head east along the coast from Deauville and in less than 30 minutes (or 15 minutes from Deauville airport) you’ll arrive at the picturesque harbour town of Honfleur. Favourite subject of the Impressionist artists, this charming fishing port looks much as it did when Monet was a frequent visitor. With streets lined with quirky little shops, galleries and restaurants you can while away the time just taking in the splendid views and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.
A few miles inland from Deauville will bring you to Normandy’s picture-perfect countryside of the Pays d’Auge. The area is a food lover’s paradise and is where three of Normandy’s A.O.C (controlled designation of origin) cheeses originate – Camembert, Pont l’Evêque and Livarot.
It’s also where you’ll find most of the region’s distilleries. The 24-mile Cider Route signposts 20 distilleries that open their cellars, share their production secrets and offer visitors a tipple of their cider, calvados, a fortified apple liqueur or pommeau, an alcoholic apple juice. The route takes you through pretty villages of half-timbered houses, Norman cattle grazing amongst the apple orchards and impressive châteaux.
For more information please visit: www.normandy-tourism.org