The Bay of the Somme visitor guide

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Visit The Bay of the Somme, France

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The Bay of the Somme is France's largest estuary, and this wetland location is home to a wonderful range of birds and also to colonies of seals.

Explore Somme Bay

The Bay of the Somme is one of France's "Grand Sites of France" due to the richness of the flora and fauna. The bay includes a number of different habitats including stony beaches, wet-meadows and dunes. At low tide the sand stretches out as far as the eye can see and is very beautiful, especially at sun rise and sun set.

The bay stretches from Le Hourdel to the south round to Saint Quentin-en-Tourmont to the north.

More than 250 different species of birds spend a part of their year at the bay and there is also a colony of seals. Indeed the largest colony of seals in France live here.

It is of course possible to visit towns like Saint-Valery-sur-Somme and Le Crotoy and admire the views over the bay from the town but to really appreciate the bay you need to take an outing onto the sand flats. Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is one of the best places to organise this.


Every day at low tide a guide takes out a walking group to discover the estuary and the flora and fauna, including usually a sighting of the seal colony. You will often be wading through sea-water and but wellies are provided by the guides.

The Maison de la Baie de Somme is another good place to learn about the Bay and set out on a walk. This is located at Lancheres.

The Parc du Marquenterie is a large protected park covering the northern edge of the bay and the sand dune landscapes beyond. It is home to 300 species of migratory birds and you can do a seven kilometre trek through the park to catch a glimpse at first hand of some of these beautiful birds.

Bay of the Somme

As well as walking in the bay you can also go hot air ballooning over the bay, kayak in the bay or cycle or drive around its edges. Horse riding trips can also be arranged.

Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is a very pretty town and makes a good base for organising these activities and exploring the bay in general.

Yet another way to explore the bay is by steam train. The "Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme" travels from Cayeux-sur-Mer to Le-Crotoy stopping at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme and Noyelles-sur-Mer. You can get on or off at any of these towns. The railway line hugs the bay and gives you some great views over the fields and marshes of the bay.

Places to visit nearby

As well as the towns on the bay itself such as Saint-Valery-sur-Somme and Le Crotoy, the beautiful village of Montreuil is well worth a visit.

See more scenic highlights in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Somme guide and the Picardie guide.

See also: 

Photos of The Bay of the Somme

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Map of The Bay of the Somme and places nearby


Visit near The Bay of the Somme with France This Way reviews

Le Crotoy

Le Crotoy

The long sandy beach is the main attraction in Le Crotoy, and the town is also very pleasant to explore

Le Crotoy guide


Saint-Valery-sur-Somme is one of the nicest towns in the region, especially the area around the harbour with the old fishermen cottages

Saint-Valery-sur-Somme guide


Both the beach itself and the resort of Fort-Mahon-Plage are among the most popular coastal destinations in Picardy

Fort-Mahon-Plage guide


Ault is a small seaside town near the chalk cliffs of the Opal coast.

Ault guide


Abbeville makes a pleasant detour when you are exploring the Baie de Somme region, in particular to see the Collegiale Church of Saint-Vulfran

Abbeville guide
Valloires abbey

Valloires abbey

Valloires abbey is an 18th century Cistercian abbey with formal gardens to explore

Valloires abbey guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Somme

The French version of this page is at The Bay of the Somme (Francais)