One of the last short trips that we made was to the town called Deauville in France. We chose one of the sunny weekends to visit this famous seaside resort. In this post I want to share some of the photos and information about this trip.
Deauville, the most famous of the seaside resorts of Normandy, is a beautiful, green and well-groomed town on the shores of the English Channel. In the middle of the 19th century it was built by Charles de Morny – a distant relative of Napoleon Bonaparte . This place was originally intended for the holidays of aristocrats and retains this status until now.
It has been a favorite place for vacations for the French movie stars: Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani, Vanessa Paradis, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Gerard Depardieu spent their holidays here. Deauville had a lot to offer for such sophisticated guests: in addition to the beautiful ocean and stunning beach, this resort has a lot of entertainment: casino, an American film festival, a world polo championship and the largest horse auction in France.
Things to do in Deaville
Same as hundred years ago, Deauville today is a popular place to stay for many famous people. Walking along the beach you will find private beach cabanas with names of people who had the right to change clothes here: Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, Elizabeth Taylor, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola and many others. For 10 EUR you can rent a cabana nearby and feel like one of the movie stars.
Holiday makers love Deauville for its luxurious sandy beaches without rocks and stones, but sand was not always here. Initially, this coast was clayey, but one day a strong wind brought sand here, and then the resort authorities brought more to fill the beach. Every morning a car passes along the coast, sifting the sand, so there is never any garbage here.
If you like sea activities, you may rent a catamaran or a yacht. In local restaurants you can try famous French cuisine and delicious seafood. Oysters is one of the delicacies of the region, they are so popular here that are even sold in vending machines:
How to get there
Deauville is located about 200 km from Paris. You can get there by train from the Saint-Lazare railway station in Paris (2.5-3 hours on the way). If you are traveling by car, the easiest way to get there is on the A13 expressway (a little over 2 hours), or on the D613 – the mileage is a little less, but there are toll sections. A taxi will cost 400-500 EUR, and if you have a license, we recommend renting a car – it’s much cheaper.
Where to stay
The local Royal 4 * hotel is one of the ten best hotels in the world, and of course, it is very popular, so it is worth booking a room in advance. In general, the prices for rooms in Deauville hotels can scare even very rich people, but if you wish, you can still find relatively budget accommodation. At worst, you can always look for available rooms in neighbouring villages. That’s what we did: we found a cute family hotel called Auberge de Vieux Tour and were amazed by warm hospitality, delicious breakfast and beautiful rooms.
Visit to Mont-Saint-Michel
Just about one hour drive from Deauville and you will be able to visit famous Mont-Saint-Michel.
Mont-Saint-Michel has a special place among not only French, but also world sights. There is simply no analogue in the world to a lonely mountain in the middle of a perfectly flat plain; a mountain crowned with a beautiful monastery and surrounded by thick walls. Mountain with slopes that sheltered a whole medieval city with tiny narrow streets. Mountain, which the highest tides in Europe twice a day turns into an impregnable island, and the surrounding plain into a raging ocean. The path to it is not easy, but from year to year millions of people flock here to feel at least for a few hours a part of a true miracle.
In Gallo-Roman times there was a dense forest on the site of the current Gulf of Saint-Michel. Back then the future monastery was just a low hill. The first Christian hermits chose it as a place of solitude and prayer. Local residents brought food to the ascetics, and in due time they buried their remains. The previously unnamed hill began to be called the Grave Hill. By the 7th century, the ocean swallowed up the land, and the Mountain took on its modern shape, and in 709 the first monastery was founded on the top.
Over the centuries, it has grown, changed owners several times, survived many wars and sieges, was once burned to the ground and rebuilt stone by stone – until it was closed during the French Revolution. The monks were expelled, their cells turned into cells for political prisoners. The darkest period of Mont Saint-Michel lasted almost 100 years, and only at the end of the 19th century the prison was closed. Mont Saint-Michel received the status of a national museum. In 1966, part of the monastery was returned to the Catholic Church, and now the Benedictine brothers serve daily Mass in the abbey chapel.