Deauville

Normandie Tourisme

An internationally renowned resort, Deauville oozes style. Glamorous events abound, from prestigious horse races and polo to the annual Deauville American Film Festival. Golf and thalassotherapy sea-water pamperings are easily to hand. Enjoy the elegant hotels, boutiques and restaurants, not forgetting Deauville’s greatest pull, its magnificent beach.

Internationally famous

Deauville

Deauville was conceived for fashionable pleasures. It emerged from the dunes in the 1860s, thanks to the vision of one Dr Joseph Olliffe and his close friend, Emperor Napoleon III’s half-brother, the Duc de Morny. At the end of the 1850s, marshes lay between the sea here and a little slope-side village above.

Dr Olliffe convinced wealthy backers to invest in a major scheme to drain the marshes and create a resort from nothing. The resort was designed by architect Desle-François Breney, inspired by Baron Haussmann’s redevelopment of Paris. Aided by an all-important, brand-new railway line, the resort came into full bloom within just four years. Grand hotels in the Anglo-Norman timber-frame style, smart bathing facilities and a stylish racecourse catered to elegant Parisians.

Further chic additions followed through time. In the Belle Epoque before the outbreak of World War I, more sumptuous hotels went up, along with a major casino. During the Great War, Deauville’s big hotels were turned into hospitals for wounded Allied soldiers. Between the wars, Deauville developed a grand new station, iconic galleried bathing facilities and its wooden beach boardwalk.

After World War II, the resort’s international reputation grew. A cluster of marinas beside the Touques estuary added to the permanent attractions, while the American Film Festival, inaugurated in 1975, began drawing stars and fans of the silver screen each September.

All told, in recent years, Deauville has greatly increased the cultural events on offer year-round, to accompany its well-established pleasures of horseracing, polo, golf, art galleries and upmarket shopping. The historic Presqu’île de la Touques area beside the marinas is undergoing an exciting renovation. As to the glorious, wide, sandy beach, peppered with colourful parasols in summer and backed by a long boardwalk and the changing booths, it remains a joy for all to enjoy.

 

Practical information

Deauville Tourist Office

Deauville American film festival