20 Mar Visiting Deauville: what’s not to be missed.
Deauville is one of the most emblematic cities on the coast of Normandy. Synonymous with escape for Parisians, it shines internationally through its American film festival, its typical architecture or even its horse racing. Popular destination since the 1800s, Deauville continues to make visitors dream. Whether you wish to take a breath of fresh air and nature or indulge in chic boutiques, the seaside town of Normandy will satisfy all desires. We have uncovered for you the essential visits in Deauville!
The Deauville beach and its famous parasols
You will admire, all along the walk, the famous colourful parasols that are the charm of the beach. These parasols have a history! Installed by the city from 1875, every year they are made in the workshops in the city. Tirelessly photographed by the walkers, but also by big names in photography, they appear now as symbolic elements, inseparable from the famous Normandy beach. This immense strip of sand close to 2 km long offers enthusiasts the opportunity to practise sports like land yachting. If you are brave, because even in the height of summer the water temperature rarely exceeds 20 degrees, and depending on the tide times, you may be able to swim.
The legendary Promenade des Planches
No matter which season you visit Deauville, check out the “Promenade des Planches” a true symbol of the city. Bordering the bathing center “Bains Pompéiens”, the promenade is pleasantly lined with 450 Art Deco cabins. Since 1990, the decks list names of the greatest actors and directors of American cinema. Created in 1923 to avoid women from dirtying the bottom of their long dresses, the promenade, 656 meters long, has been listed as a historical monument since June 2019.
The American film festival
Every September since 1975, the eyes of the whole world are on Deauville which hosts the American film festival. For ten days, around sixty short and feature films are screened at three venues: the International Center of Deauville, the Casino Barrière and the Cinema le Morny. The screenings are open to all, a chance for movie-lovers to discover films in competition and to meet the biggest stars from American cinema.
The city center: a typical architecture
Embodying the beating heart of the city, the Morny square expresses the very essence of Deauville, around its Norman architecture typical of the Belle Epoque and its magnificent fountains. After stopping for a coffee at a terrace cafe, go to the market, located under beautiful half-timbered halls, to stock up on local products. Then continue along the streets of the center and discover chic boutiques, beautiful restaurants, or shops for Norman specialties. Admire the villas on the Cornuché boulevard and the alleys dressed in half-timbered facades.
A dream evening at the Casino Barrière
The famous Casino Barrière was commissioned by Eugène Cornuché and inaugurated on July 11, 1912. Located on the seafront, it is now a part of every visit to Deauville. If you are not tempted by one of the 293 slot machines, take the time to admire its baroque architecture and the conspicuous luxury of its features. Crystal chandeliers, gilding, velvet and marble adorn its interiors worthy of a palace. Dine at one of its three restaurants, watch screenings of the Deauville American Film Festival in its cinema, and end the evening by dancing at the Brummel Club, the casino’s nightclub.
A horse race at Deauville’s racecourse La Touques
Deauville is famous among horse racing fans. The Calvados region has thriving, beautiful stud farms, working to produce the most suitable equestrian sports horses. Deauville’s racecourse La Touques is worth a visit. It was inaugurated in August 1863 by the Duke of Morny and now hosts some of the most prestigious horse races in the world. Use the opportunity of your stay to attend one of them!
Visit the Strassburger villa
Close to the racecourse, you cannot miss the huge and picturesque Strassburger villa. Built in 1907 on the request of Baron Henri de Rothschild, it has been listed as a historical monument since 1975. Ralph Beaver Strassburger, an American billionaire, bought it in 1924. His heirs bequeathed it to the city in 1980. Besides its splendid neo-norman style, and its vintage furnishing, the villa hides a mysterious underpass. Built in 1942, this 45-meter long corridor was built in a U-shape, both its entrances lead to a single room. Visits are by appointment, from June to September.
Summer and winter, Deauville offers visitors a pleasant stay around well-protected nature, varied activities and typical architecture.