Visit Houlgate (Normandy, France)
Originally a quiet agricultural village, the 19th century brought great change to Beuzeval, as it was then known, first with the construction of the Grand Hotel and many other luxury villas and hotels, then later with the arrival of a direct train line from Paris. By the start of the 20th century Houlgate had become one of the most popular resorts along this part of the English channel.
The beach at Houlgate is of course the principal reason that visitors come to Houlgate - it is long, sandy and very popular, with lots of different water and beach activities available.
There is more to Houlgate than just beach however, so while you are here be sure to spend some time exploring the historical heritage of the town.
Houlgate away from the beach
Behind the central part of the beach the first building you will notice is the Grand Hotel. Built in 1859 and central to originally promoting the village to visitors, the development of modern Houlgate is closely tied to the history of the Grand Hotel. An imposing building in brick and stone, the hotel was expanded in the 1890's, and the large domed tower at the right hand end was added 10 years later.
Historical note: during the First World War the Grand Hotel and several other important buildings nearby were requisitioned for use as an army hospital.
Around the same time the Town Hall was also built in Houlgate, and many smaller hotels, along with a casino, always a familiar site in resorts on the Normandy coast. It was also at this time (around 1870-1900) that the many fine villas in Houlgate were built, and it is these that give the resort it's charm and character.
There are also some older medieval buildings such as the Maison des Pecheurs and the lovely Moulin Landry.
Be sure to also visit the covered market in Houlgate to buy your fresh produce, speciality locally caught fish.
A scenic highlight to the east of Houlgate is the coastal section called the 'Falaises des Vaches Noires', where low cliffs and scrub descend to the sea, and fossil hunters scour among the rocks below the jurassic period cliffs.
The Manoir de Beuzeval is an impressive red-brick manor house a few kilometres inland.
Note: photo is copyright
Photos taken within 10 km
Address: Houlgate, Dozulé, Lisieux, Calvados, Normandy, 14510 || GPS: latitude 49.301389, longitude -0.075833
Map of Houlgate & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Houlgate, France
- Cabourg - ville fleurie 4* (3km)
- Beuvron - most beautiful village (13km)
- Touques - ville fleurie 4* (14km)
- Abbaye de Caen (Caen) - religious monument (24km)
- Le Havre - town of art and history (25km)
- Boutemont - remarkable garden (26km)
- Honfleur - recommended detour (26km)
- Parc zoologique de Lisieux - zoo or wildlife park (31km)
- Jardins du château de Vendeuvre - remarkable garden (35km)
- Jardins du château de Brécy - remarkable garden (35km)
Market days in Houlgate: Regular market(s) are held in Houlgate each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Houlgate (Francais)