Deauville beach

Deauville – Introduction

Deauville in Normandy is often considered the 21st district of Paris due to the large number of Parisians who have their weekend home there. Driving through any town in Normandy compared to driving through Deauville is the difference between day and night; average income places versus rich incomes, and it shows.

Deauville is one of the nearest seaside places in terms of distance to Paris (together with its neighbour and less flamboyant Trouville-sur-Mer), hence the popularity with the Parisians, and over the years the real estate prices of this beach resort town have grown to the levels of Paris itself. There are more expensive sports cars and luxury SUVs per square meter here than anywhere else in Normandy, in fact more than anywhere combined in Normandy. In the USA you’d compare it to the Hamptons.

Luxury brand shops in Deauville
Luxury brand shops in Deauville

Shopping in Deauville requires almost enormous bank account balances and unlimited Black American Express cards; every luxury brand doing business in France, from Hermes to Dior to Louis Vuitton has at least one shop here.

Luxury brand shops in Deauville
Luxury brand shops in Deauville

Of course window shopping is free … for the time being. The houses in Deauville are amazing, as you would expect. Well maintained, clean and grandiose. Even new buildings are done up in the same ‘old’ style.

Deauville houses
Deauville houses

At times it’s difficult to distinguish old from new.

Deauville houses
Deauville houses

The houses are discrete from the outside, but well constructed and always properly maintained.

Deauville houses
Deauville houses

But when you travel there, apart from during August and some weekends, you will find most houses closed and boarded up. Remember, the vast majority of these houses are weekend homes for the Parisians, and despite taking only between 2 and 3 hours driving from Paris, the Parisians come here infrequently.

Deauville private marina and yachts
Deauville private marina and yachts

You’ll also find houses and their private marina, with a few yachts moored alongside the houses. These you’ll find at the end of the beach broadwalk.

Deauville houses
Deauville houses

But apart from being the most expensive part of Normandy (probably even France), Deauville is famous for two other things; its sandy beaches and its American Movies Film Festival:

Deauville's beaches and promenade with movie star named changing cabins
Deauville’s beaches and promenade with movie star named changing cabins

The long and wide sandy beaches draw a lot of tourists during the summer months, while the Deauville American Film Festival draws many famous American movie stars in September.

The promenade with its many changing room has its own version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame sidewalks: here, all the changing rooms are named after famous movie stars.

Deauville's beaches and promenade with movie star named changing cabins
Deauville’s beaches and promenade with movie star named changing cabins

And yes, in most cases when a changing cabin gets named after a movie star, the star in question is there to cut the ribbon.

Inner portion of the Deauville beach changing rooms
Inner portion of the Deauville beach changing rooms

Of course that is only the visible part on the promenade. When you go inside, into the inner portion of the changing rooms, it’s a whole other story and it’s not that nice looking or maintained.

On the beach there is a very big, underground, conference centre.

Deauville beach and conference centre
Deauville beach and conference centre

Stretched out, the Deauville Palais des Congres is used almost weekly, hosting large and international conferences and exhibitions, like the World Women’s Forum and of course the American Film Festival.

Beach swimming pool at Deauville
Beach swimming pool at Deauville

On the beach you will also find a big olympic-sized open-air and inside swimming pool.

Deauville beach swimming pool
Deauville beach swimming pool

As you would expect from a upmarket town that sees some of the biggest film stars, there is a very good luxury hotel offer. The most famous hotel is also one of the hotels that merits a visit, even if it’s just for tea:

Hotel Normandy of Deauville
Hotel Normandy of Deauville

The hotel Normandy is famous, you might have seen it in a movie or two (currently it is closed until April 2016 for renovations). Built in 1912, it was used as location for many movies such as Agatha Christie’s Poirot series.

Hotel Royal of Deauville
Hotel Royal of Deauville

A block or two on the same avenue on the seafront, there is another majestic hotel, the Royal.

In between the two hotel, belonging to the same company you will find a very big casino (belonging to the same company as the hotels):

Casino of Deauville
Casino of Deauville

The casino is one of the bigger ones in France, spread out of several levels and rooms.

TIP: If you are going to the casino, like any one in France, be sure to bring a valid id (like a passport).

Deauville and Art

Apart from the famous annual American Film Festival, Deauville is also a place to make paintings.

Deauville was (and still is) a popular place to paint. Here are the artists we found that worked in the city and its surroundings. When an artist’s work is published by us, we’ll show a link (“⇠“) to their works of art. A “*” indicates that the artist did NOT paint directly in Deauville, instead worked in Deauville’s surroundings.

Summary

Deauville is the Northern playing ground for the rich French (in the South it’s the Cote d’Azur). It’s not a touristy town, but it is very pretty and well maintained. You can spend a few hours strolling along the streets looking at the Ferraris and Porsches, the fabulously dressed women and the beautifully restored houses.

The beach is very pleasant and big, big enough not be feel cramped with other sun worshippers. On the other side of the water you can clearly see Le Havre and its magnificent St. Joseph Church tower.

View on Le Havre from Deauville
View on Le Havre from Deauville

NOTE: If you arrive at Deauville by car, expect it to be like driving in Paris; a lot of traffic jams and bad moods.

Related Posts

  • 10000
    Deauville - TipsTransport Getting There Train. There is a train link between Paris and the shared railway station of Trouville-sur-Mer and Deauville. There are several daily direct (and ones where you need to change) trains. Fastest time is 2 hours. Trouville-sur-Mer/Deauville railway station Ferry: Closest ferry harbours from the UK are Ouistreham
  • 10000
    Trouville-Sur-Mer - IntroductionTrouville-sur-mer is a beach resort that is very popular with the Paris crowd, and for a good reason. Big, long and white sand beaches, beautiful mansions, and great food.
  • 10000
    Lisieux - Basilica of St. ThereseThe Basilica of Saint Therese in Lisieux is one of those buildings that is definitely worth a detour, even one of hundreds of kilometres. It is France's second most visited pilgrimage site (after Lourdes), with 2 million visitors per year. It could be qualified in one word: imposing! The Basilica is…
  • 10000
    Honfleur - IntroductionHonfleur is the 2nd most popular tourist destination in Normandy, and for good reason; Although it has become very touristic, it's still a pleasant trip for sightseeing and food.
Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: