Worth a visit - Cabourg

This swish resort vaunts broad sands, a wide promenade and genteel airs. Such elements seduced the famed French novelist Marcel Proust. He enjoyed staying at the majestic Grand Hôtel, from where, still today, you can contemplate Cabourg’s multiple modern seaside pleasures.

Must sees

> Grand Hôtel : Not simply a hotel, but also an iconic French Belle Epoque building. Its grandeur attracted celebrated visitors, most famous of whom was the great chronicler of his era, the brilliant novelist Marcel Proust (1871-1922), who stayed here regularly from 1907 to 1914. During World War II, German forces occupied the hotel. However, its fortunes revived and now tourists flock to the Grand Hôtel, not just to stay, but also to take tea and madeleines, a simple French pleasure that Proust typically turned into a near-magical act that could open the floodgates of memory and the past.

Marcel Proust stayed here regularly from 1907 to 1914.

> Hippodrome de Cabourg: Cabourg racecourse puts on horse races year-round. In summer, the floodlit trotting events have a special atmosphere.

> Casino: This stylish Belle Epoque casino beside the Grand Hôtel also has a long-established reputation as a music venue. It has attracted many leading French singers since it was run by Bruno Coquatrix, manager of Paris’s leading music hall, L’Olympia, from the mid-1950s. Aznavour and Piaf were among stars who performed here. Since the casino’s make-over in 2007, music is high on the agenda again.

> Art galleries: as well as exploring the private art galleries dotted around town, the Espace Bruno Coquatrix in the Villa Bon Abri is run by the town as a centre for changing exhibitions.

> Etablissement des Bains: run by the tourist office in summer, set below the Grand Hôtel, head to the Etablissement des Bains to hire you traditional striped bathing cabin, parasols and sun loungers.


Must-sees around Cabourg

  • An amazing armada of Allied troops, British, American, Canadian and more, landed on Normandy’s beaches on 6th June 1944 to begin the liberation of Europe from years of Nazi occupation. Follow the Normandy coast, going from above Caen in the east to close to Sainte-Mère-Eglise in the west, to learn all about this most daring and world-changing of naval operations.
  • Caen lies close to the D-Day landing beaches, to its own ferry port of Ouistreham (with regular connections to Portsmouth), and to beaches and resorts where you can enjoy traditional seaside fun. Caen even has its own yachting marina, the Bassin Saint-Pierre, reaching into the heart of town.
  • The Cider Route, to the east of Caen, is a 40km (25-mile) marked tourist trail throughout the picturesque area of the Pays d'Auge.