Villers-sur-Mer, Normandy: tourism & sightseeing
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The town and coastal resort of Villers-sur-Mer is one of several popular resorts found in the Calvados region of Normandy near Trouville, on the Cote Fleurie in the part of Normandy known as the Pays d'Auge.
Like many of the resorts here it has its roots in the growth in popularity of coastal resorts during the second half of the 19th century, and there are various 'belle epoque' villas in the town that bear witness to the period, most notably behind the beach.
There is a popular beach in Villers-sur-Mer itself which is family friendly and backed by a pleasant promenade. The two kilometre long sandy beach extends the length of the town, and continues to the east as the beach of Bonville-sur-Mer. The beach is sandy, has a shallow entry to the sea, rolling surf and patches of stones which may contain fossils. What more could you want!
The two principal parts to the beach, Plage Jean Mermoz and Plage Jean Moulin, each have a dedicated car park and you can rent a beach cabin on Plage Jean Mermoz.
France This Way comment: the beach and town at Villers-sur-Mer are quieter than Deauville and Trouville, but it is still a popular and pleasant beach destination
The dramatic cliffs of the 'Falaises des Vaches Noires'* are to the west of the town centre and beach. These cliffs, that continue as far as Houlgate, are accessed at low tide. Very popular with fossil hunters, note that you can keep any fossil you might find in the sand but you are not permitted to hammer rocks out of the cliffs in search of fossils!
*The Tourist Office in Villers-sur-Mer told us that the cliffs take their name, which translates as Cliffs of the Black Cows, from the large black rocks at the bottom of the cliffs looking like a herd of cows.
You can learn more about the fossils found in the area, including a fossilised sea crocodile at the Paléospace l'Odyssée. The museum also has information about the Greenwich Meridian that enters Europe in Villers-sur-Mer.
Away from the seafront you will discover that Villers-sur-Mer has a pedestrianised town centre offering all facilities, with plenty of cafes and shops. Among the notable sights are:
- a pair of dinosaurs (!), essentially in topiary but several metres high - is a bit of a trademark in the town and celebrates the large number of fossils discovered in the region, especially at the 'Falaises des Vaches Noires'
- the cast iron market hall where markets take place on Tuesdays and Fridays, with markets held more frequently in summer, is in the centre of Villers-sur-Mer
- the Church of Saint Martin was built in the 19th century, and is in the gothic style with impressive and substantial stained glass windows, also 19th century
- the tourist office is behind the dinosaur! The tourist office have a map which shows the position of all 80 of the elegant villas in town but appeared unable to tell us which were the best examples or the best streets to admire a selection!
- near to the dinosaurs on the seafront is a marker showing the location of the Greenwich Meridien - the point wher the longitude is 0.
On the edge of town is the "Marais de Villers" an area of protected wetlands which is nice for a walk or a short bike ride.
There are several other popular coastal resorts close to Villers-sur-Mer including Deauville and Trouville (our personal favourites) just a little way to the east and Houlgate and Cabourg towards the west.
If you want to explore away from the coast we especially recommend Beuvron, a very picturesque village to the south of Villers-sur-Mer and a good starting point for the Normandy Cider route that pases through a great deal of attractive villages and countryside in the Pays d'Auge region.
Map of Villers-sur-Mer and places to visit
Visit near Villers-sur-Mer with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Calvados
Address: Villers-sur-Mer, Trouville-sur-Mer, Lisieux, Calvados, Normandy, 14640, France || GPS: latitude 49.321389, longitude -0.005
Plan your visit to Villers-sur-Mer, Normandy
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Touques: ville fleurie 4* (8km)
- Cabourg: ville fleurie 4* (9km)
- Beuvron: most beautiful village (15km)
- Le Havre: town of art and history (20km)
- Honfleur: recommended detour (20km)
- Pegasus Bridge: site of natural beauty (21km)
- Boutemont: remarkable garden (23km)
- Parc zoologique de Lisieux: zoo or wildlife park (28km)
- Abbaye de Caen (Caen): religious monument (30km)
- Jardin des plantes de Caen: site of natural beauty (30km)
Market days in Villers-sur-Mer, France
Regular market(s) are held in Villers-sur-Mer each Tuesday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Villers-sur-Mer (Francais)