Located near Deauville, the most famous seaside resort in Normandy, Houlgate is a real treasure of the Norman coast. This paradise for nature lovers is a place famous for its most impressive cliffs named Falaises des Vaches Noires (The cliffs of the black cows). Also, this seaside resort has some great restaurants where you can taste “Belle du nordet”, delicious Norman oysters. So, what are you waiting for? Houlgate awaits you to discover it.
The little seaside village named Beuzeval-les-Bains started attracting tourists from Paris in the mid-19th century. Soon, the first hotel with 120 luxury rooms was open in 1859, as well as the casino. In 1905, Beuzeval-les-Bains changed its name to Houlgate. Thanks to tourism, the population of this village was constantly growing, and more and more accommodation facilities were opened. Many famous and rich people from all over the world started spending their vacations in this charming seaside village. But, World War I will change everything. Many hotels and even some villas were requisitioned by the French army and turned into hospitals for soldiers. After the war, tourists slowly started coming back to Houlgate, but this place never found its pre-war splendor. It was in the 1960s when this seaside pearl started again to be appreciated by tourists. In 1963, the new bathing establishment offering various services was opened, as well as the very first horse riding club in 1967. Today, Houlgate is visited mostly by Parisians, especially during the summer holidays.
Houlgate is a perfect place for every jazz lover. Every August, FestiJazz, a 3-day event, is organized in this seaside resort. Created in 1997, this festival is a great opportunity to attend some incredible concerts played in the streets of Houlgate during the day and on the beach during the night. Also, since 2001, at the end of October, Houlgate houses the European Film Festival. But the best thing that this city has to offer is its incredible nature. If you love long walks and hiking, then you should definitely visit the most impressive Falaises des Vaches Noires ( The cliffs of the black cows). Those cliffs are real fossil necropolis, so you will probably meet many people looking for the remains of a past geological age. I am sure that children will be more than happy to take part in this expedition.
After you spent all day walking around the cliffs looking for the fossils, swimming and sunbathing, it is the time to take a break. Houlgate, the treasure of the Norman coast, has several great restaurants were you can enjoy traditional French cuisine. I suggest you book a table at “Les Halles”. Situated in the city center and facing the market, this restaurant is using only fresh and seasonal products to prepare delicious dishes and has a large choice of wines. Make sure to order “Belle du nordet”, the most delicious Norman oysters.
Cover Photo © Credit to iStockphoto/Delpixart
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