The development of Deauville dates back to 1860, when the Duke of Morny, Napoleon III's half-brother, decided to drain the local marshes. He wanted to create a kingdom of elegance not far from Paris. Soon a port, a railway station, a casino, a racecourse, palaces and ostentatious residences rose up towards the Norman sky, between the beach and the banks of the Touques. Such as the imposing Strassburger villa, built in 1907 in the purest Belle Époque style.
Luxury and glitter
An uninterrupted stream of celebrities, painters and musicians, filmmakers and creators rush to Deauville. On the waterfront, enjoy the Art Deco atmosphere of the Promenade des Planches, made of azobé wood. It is punctuated by 400 bathing cabins bearing the names of American stars and 600 parasols in five unchanging colours. From here, it is easy to reach the lively city centre with its restaurants and upscale shops.
Horses and nature
Deauville is also an international centre for horses, spurring the 75 stud farms in the region, with a multitude of top races and the famous crack sales. On the other side of the river is the seaside resort of Trouville-sur-Mer. Due south, stands Mont Canisy, powerfully fortified by the Germans with about fifty structures. Ideal for walking, this sensitive natural area, fertile with orchids and more than 200 other plants, gives you superb views of all the marine cities of the Côte Fleurie, even as far as Le Havre. Behind it, it is easy to escape to Pont-L'Évêque and the hedged hills of the Pays d'Auge, dotted with apple trees, manor houses and thatched cottages with their characteristic iris-shaped ridge plants.
Heading for Honfleur
Opposite Le Havre, camped on the left bank of the Seine estuary, Honfleur is the star of the Côte de Grâce. You are first attracted by the charm of the narrow, slate-covered facades of the picturesque historic buildings (17th-18th), which are reflected in the waters of the Vieux Bassin. Seagulls, trawlers and old rigging enliven the quays. This decor has served as inspiration for many landscape and impressionist painters, such as Monet, Boudin, Courbet, Signac, Seurat, etc., whose works can be seen in the Eugène Boudin museum.
Nearby is the venerable St. Catherine's Church, made entirely of wood, with its framework in the shape of a ship's hull and its separate bell tower to avoid the risk of fire. Imposing salt granaries were built in the 17th century, first to store the salt of the codfish, then for the tax on the gabelle.
Honfleur is also the birthplace of the humorist Alphonse Allais and the musician Erik Satie, whose eclectic universe is told in the vast museum space of three old houses. The collections of the Musée de la Marine, the Vieux Honfleur and the Musée de l'Art Populaire Normand are just as interesting.
The escape from the Naturospace
Thousands of tropical birds and butterflies fly freely in a huge greenhouse 700 m from Honfleur city centre, accompanied by the warm colours of exotic equatorial plants. An unusual journey of wonder and curiosity that takes place in an atmosphere between 25 and 28 degrees.
A breathtaking view of the Seine
Climb the Mont Joli overlooking Honfleur. From the square in front of the Notre-Dame de Grâce chapel, dedicated to the sailors, enjoy the superb panorama over the Seine and the proud Normandy suspension bridge, which since 1995, has allowed you to reach Le Havre and the Côte d'Albâtre. Under the shadows as well as under the foliage of the nearby forest of Saint-Gatien are hidden a number of manor houses and charming properties. On the west coast you can finally dawdle towards the Conti de Vasouy manor house and the church of Pennedepie.
We suggest you in Vauville, near Tourgéville, the campsite l'Orée de Deauville *** with more than 200 pitches and heated swimming pool. It is located 3.5 km from the sea and 5 km south of Deauville and is open from early April to early November.
A little further on, a dozen kilometres from Deauville, you can choose in Gonneville-sur-Mer, the Camping des Falaises **** overlooking the site of Les Vaches Noires. It offers from April to the beginning of November 450 pitches and nearly 400 mobile home rentals.
In Honfleur, more intimate, the camping du Phare ** has about 80 pitches from April to early October, 800 m from the sea, or 5 minutes walk from the port and the city centre.