Varengeville-sur-Mer is the loveliest of secret beaches in Normandy! We wanted to take our youngest daughter Gabriela on a family outing for her 10th birthday and we debated going to Cabourg, but when we saw how congested the routes would be with vacation departures, we knew we’d have to find a beach off the beaten path. I asked a friend and she suggested Varengeville (but the last time we tried to go to this beach, we ended up in Sainte-Marguerite-sur-Mer. My friend also explained that the beach was just at the foot of the Hôtel de la Terrasse….When we checked on Google maps we saw that it was possible to use back roads to get there in just an hour. Perfect! We wouldn’t be sitting in traffic for hours on end. We decided to punch the hotel’s address into our GPS and give it a whirl…
We drove past the hotel, found the tiniest of parking lots leading into the forest and lucked out when a car was pulling out…. We were a little dubious at this point! We had a short hike through some woods that merged into chalk cliffs and then a steep set of stairs that we climbed down until we came into this spectacular view. We were all smiles at this point. The low tide revealed a beautiful sandy beach filled with mossy rock formations, warm pools of water and all this against the breathtaking backdrop of the cliffs.
The beach is completely secluded. There are no beachfront shops, restaurants, or bathrooms. Just the wildlife and small groups of people (mostly young families) taking walks, frolicking in the water or picnicking on the sand.
Also to see in Varengeville-sur-Mer:
- The Manor House
- The Church of St. Valery
- The Chapel of St. Dominique
- Two châteaux
- The sixteenth century hunting lodge of King Francis I.
- The cemetery, by the sea
- The Bois des Moutiers which is a 12-hectare park with over 1,000 varieties of hydrangeas!
- The ‘Maison du Bois des Moutiers’, near the church
We look forward to some more exploring of our beloved Normandy, especially additional trips to this beach! To see more posts about beach side towns to visit in Normandy, click here: