Villers-sur-Mer, the Côte Fleurie coast epitomised!
Located in the very heart of the Côte Fleurie coast, the seaside resort of Villers-sur-Mer offers a subtle medley of Pays d’Auge and Normandy bocage charm and the elegance of the fine sandy beaches so characteristic of this part of the coast. A resort you cannot miss when travelling between Houlgate and Deauville, Villers is a concentration of Normandy in one resort, and a pleasant surprise for many visitors.
Also a splendid natural site.
Easily accessible at low tide, the famous 110 metre-high Black Cow Cliffs stand proud yet vulnerable against the Channel waters. A genuine open-air museum, these naturally friable clay and chalk cliffs gradually erode to unveil millions of years of natural history. Indeed, a great many fossils have been, and continue to be revealed after successive rock falls. Most of these fossils, essentially marine mammals, can be seen at the Paléospace visitor centre, a Museum of France also located in Villers-sur-Mer, in the heart of another natural protected area, the marshes.
Rehabilitated in 2010, the Villers-sur-Mer marshes offer walking trails in a surprising and totally relaxing setting. The contrast between the coastal landscape, the beach and this natural site situated just a few dozen metres inland offers a genuine surprise to all who come here. As the seagulls and other birds glide above the sands, ducks, swans and moorhens happily paddle their way across the artificial pond. Accessible to all, on foot or by bike, the site offers that precious tranquillity that certain holidaymakers long for, just a stone’s throw from the beach.
Surrounded by the Black Cow Cliffs to the west and the low coast to the east, the beach offers a strikingly contrasting panorama. The waves and the swell form characteristic lines on these sands that are home to a wealth of shellfish varieties, much appreciated by shellfish gatherers and fishing enthusiasts, in particular during spring tides. A genuine hive of activity in the summer season, the beach is also appreciated for its calm and its range of water sports all year long.
A land of culture and entertainment.
Just like many other resorts along the Côte Fleurie, Villers-sur-Mer boasts heritage that reminds us of the rapid development of seaside tourism and sea bathing in the 19th century. During the roaring twenties, Villers-sur-Mer’s former emergence as a seafront destination in 1856 spurred the Parisian architect Felix Pigeory to design the very first sumptuous villas you can still admire today to the west of the Black Cow Cliffs. The resort then saw the construction of infrastructures such as the casino, swimming pool and promenade.
The most extravagantly designed villas came around the year 1870. Of varying styles and sizes, from a simple chalet to sophisticated Neo-Louis XIII style properties. In the town centre, the first villas were built in the marshy zone.
With the arrival of the railway line in 1882, their construction was further developed to the east of the resort.
Villa Miramar, once named the ‘Chalet Haret’, which overlooks the line of villas on the promenade, is recognisable thanks to its rectangular tower and white and dark red woodwork. The property was built to serve as the pavilion of the Imperial Commission on the occasion of the 1878 World Fair in Paris. It was then dismantled and brought from Paris to Villers-sur-Mer by train.
Villers-sur-Mer also hosts a vast programme of events. Via a yearly programme, the resort proposes a choice of highlights to suit all tastes. Families are, of course, the first to be catered for, but visitors of all ages can come to Villers to enjoy the Sable Show music festival, ‘New talents’ and invited guests chamber music festival, the giant picnic and the book fair, to name but a few.
In the vicinity of the Black Cow Cliffs, on the edge of the Blonville-Villers coastal marshes and barely a few seconds from the Greenwich Meridian, the Paléospace ‘Museum of France’ visitor centre offers an initiation into the town’s natural and scientific heritage over a journey back in time…
Pets allowed :