The beaches of the coast in the Somme (north of France) with Visit-Somme
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Sand and pebbles Beachescliffs
© Nicolas Bryant

Our beaches: cliffs, sand and pebbles

  • 70km of coastline
  • 2km of boardwalk at Cayeux
  • 14km of fine sandy beach in the north

The Picardy coast

The most varied coastline in France

From the Bresle Valley (in the south) to the Baie d'Authie (in the north), by way of the estuary of the Baie de Somme, the Picardy Coast forms a variety of distinctive landscapes covering (just) 70 km. You'll enjoy moving from soft golden sand to perfectly round bluish pebbles, from the dizzy heights of immense cliffs to the meeting of land and sea in the estuary of the Baie de Somme.
Along this shoreline fringe are dotted 7 seaside resorts, charming and full of surprises! From north to south: Fort-Mahon-Plage, Quend-Plage, Le Crotoy, Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, Cayeux-sur-Mer, Ault-Onival, Mers-les-Bains.

Saint-Valery-sur-Somme© Alba Bayès
Kitesurfeurs La mollière BaiedeSomme©Nicolas Bryant
Quend char à voile, Somme©ADRTSomme-AB
Plage de Mers-les-Bains, Somme©Nicolas Bryant
Ault falaises, Somme©Nicolas Bryant
Sentier du littoral, falaises, Somme©Nicolas Bryant

The Baie de Somme

From Le Hourdel headland to St-Quentin-en-Tourmont

The river Somme flows into the English channel, forming a broad indentation of 72 sq. km. This estuary extends from Le Hourdel headland in the south to St-Quentin-en-Tourmont headland in the north, at the heart of Le Marquenterre.
•Cayeux-sur-Mer: here you can walk along the longest boardwalk in Europe, bordered by 400 beach huts, just as in the Belle Époque. It's also the place to go for kite-surfing, stand up paddling, surfcasting or the latest trendy activity: 'longe-côte' (paddle walking)!
Le Hourdel headland nearby is the departure point for walks/hikes to observe Baie de Somme seals.
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•At Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, you can wander through the narrow cobbled streets decked with flowers of the medieval town of William the Conqueror. Take a trip in a dugout canoe or sea kayak to observe, from the sea, seals playing in the estuary or basking on the sandbanks.
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•Le Crotoy has a delightful little fishing harbour, a long sandy beach (the only south-facing one), and a fleet of 'sauterelliers' (little boats fishing for shrimps). It is also a paradise for shellfish gatherers - they can find cockles and glasswort on La Maye beach.
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> Saint-Valery-sur-Somme Tourist Information Office: tel 03 22 60 93 50
> Cayeux-sur-Mer Tourist Information Office: tel 03 22 26 61 15
>Le Crotoy Tourist Information Office: tel 03 22 27 05 25
> Quend-Plage-les-Pins Tourist Information Office: tel 03 22 23 32 04
> Fort-Mahon-Plage Tourist Information Office: tel 03 22 23 36 00
> Ault-Onival Tourist Information Office: tel 03 22 60 57 15
> Mers-les-Bains Tourist Information Office: tel 02 27 28 06 46

More about the Somme bay

Le Hourdel: a little port with its characteristic "cordon de galets" (ribbon of pebbles), a great spot for a bit of seal watching.
Le Hourdel phare, Somme©Fred Léonardi
Cayeux galets, SommeCeline François
Pommes de pin, Somme©DR
Quend-Plage dunes, Somme©ML

South and north of the Baie

Starting point of the great Normandy cliffs

The southern part of the Picardy coast, from Ault-Onival to Mers-les-Bains, including the Bois de Cise, is the starting point of the great cliffs of the Pays de Caux. Reaching 80 metres at their highest point, these steep and imposing chalk monuments face out over the English Channel.
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Mers-les-Bains is a feast of Art Nouveau with its exuberantly decorated Belle Époque villas.
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The great belt of sand dunes at Le Marquenterre
In the north, the belt of sand dunes at Le Marquenterre covers 3,000 hectares. It's the largest group of dunes in northern France, with very little in the way of buildings. The variety of landscapes is partly due to the different types of vegetation growing on the dunes: from moss to marram grass, with thorny bushes such as sea buckthorn whose orange berries are rich in vitamin C. Be sure to sample some!
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• At Quend-Plage-les-Pins and Fort-Mahon-Plage there are long sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, with walks through the dunes, cycle trips on safe tracks through pine woods to the Bird Sanctuary at Le Marquenterre. This is the place for sand yachting (beginners or experienced), on 14 km of fine sandy beach - a truly exhilarating activity (!)
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Let's talk ToLouise Bulcourt

Ceramics restorer

"The ceramics on the Belle Époque villas form a wide range of decorative effects: flat tiles, bas-relief, mosaics. They have often suffered from local conditions, eroded by sand, salt, wind, spray ..."