Getting back down to earth, or rather, to the sea, fishing was the mainstay of the Fécamp community down the centuries. This was one of France’s main cod-fishing ports, expeditions heading off as far as Newfoundland. The port today caters as much to yachts as to fishing boats. However, Fécamp remains proud of its fishing tradition.
So too does it of its production of an exotic liqueur, Benedictine, produced here in the most elaborate of factories imaginable. A 19th century businessman,
Alexandre Le Grand, rediscovered a herbal liqueur recipe left by a Venetian monk who had served at Fécamp Abbey in the 16th century. Claiming medicinal properties for his tipple, he turned it into a bestseller. He was also passionate about art and left extraordinary collections for visitors to his Fécamp palace of industry.
In July and August, the town offers guided tours in English on a Monday afternoon, Thursday morning and Thursday afternoon. The Monday morning tour is on the theme of Viking Legends and Stories. Rendezvous outside the Fécamp Tourist Office at 3pm. Cost 5€ or 3€ for reductions. Under 18s are free. On a Thursday morning, the 1 hour 30 min tour covers the role of Fécamp during WW2 and includes a visit of the bunkers on the cliffs. Rendezvous at the semaphore, Cap Fagnet at 10am. Cost 3€ per adult; children are free. In the afternoon, the guided tour is of the Holy Trinity Abbey. Rendezvous at 3pm outside the Abbey of the Holy Trinity, Place des Ducs Richard. Cost 5€ or 3€ for reductions. Under 18s are free.