Overlooking the English Channel, Deauville is an upmarket seaside resort on Normandy’s picturesque Côte Fleurie that’s closely associated with Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time”. It has been nicknamed the “Parisian Riviera” due to its prestigious reputation and proximity to the French capital, with the town emerging as a popular holiday destination for the upper classes in the 19th century.
Things to do in Deauville
Spend a day relaxing on the wide sands of Plage de Deauville, which is dotted with colourful beach umbrellas and rental deckchairs. The beach is backed by a 1920s boardwalk lined with Art Deco bathing cabins, many of which bear the names of the famous actors and directors who have attended the Deauville American Film Festival. Behind the bathing cabins, you’ll find several ornate fountains, mosaics and pools designed by the architect Charles Adda.
Marvel at the Belle Epoque architecture of Villa Strassburger, which was built in 1907 by Baron Henri de Rothschild and was purchased by the American tycoon Ralph-Beaver Strassburger in 1924. It features a chequered stone-and-brick ground-floor facade that is topped by a half-timbered first storey and is beautifully decorated with original furnishings, artwork and decorations.
A highlight on Deauville’s annual calendar is the Deauville American Film Festival, which takes place at the state-of-the-art Centre International de Deauville. This striking complex is unique in that it’s partially buried underground, with around 18,000 square metres of exhibition space and a 1,500-seat auditorium.
Getting around Deauville
Deauville – Normandie Airport is a 15-minute drive from the city centre and has flights to destinations across Europe while trains connect from the Trouville-Deauville railway station to Paris. Buses travel throughout Deauville, although the city centre is compact enough to explore on foot.