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.
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
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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