Relax on a stylish honeymoon or romantic getaway in Deauville, one of the most fashionable resorts in France – a favourite of the rich and famous since 1859, when the duc de Morny, Napoleon III's half brother, founded the town as an upscale resort.
Today, with its grand casino, two thoroughbred racecourses, sailing regattas, polo grounds, tennis courts, 18-hole golf courses and sumptuous hotels, Deauville offers all the necessary ingredients for a classy seaside break and is a perfect distraction from the rigours of sightseeing in Paris, which is just two hours away by car and train.
Unwind on the golden sand of Deauville’s main beach and perhaps engage in some celebrity spotting – Deauville is a popular weekend and holiday destination for trendy Parisiennes. In fact Deauville is often referred to as the 21st arrondissement (region) of Paris.
Stroll along the elegant Promenade des Planches, a 643m-long wooden boardwalk made of exotic hardwood that faces Deauville’s main beach and is backed by picturesque Beaux Arts and half-timbered Norman-inspired buildings.
Change into a swimsuit in a charming old-world wooden cabin then sunbathe on the golden sands or relax in the shade of one of the brightly coloured parasols that line the wide 1400m-long beach.
While the water is bracing – even in summer – you may, instead, want to engage in some celebrity spotting. Access to the beach is free, as is the case throughout the Normandy coastline.
Facilities include a swimming pool, Thalasso spa, tennis courts and a recreation club for children. The beachfront Centre Nautique – a water sports centre – offers sailboats, catamarans, sea kayaks, surfboards and wind and kite surfing equipment for hire. Horses are available for hire on the beach at the nearby Pony Club.
Away from the beach, Deauville offers a wide range of activities for both honeymoon couples and families. Visit in September for the famous Deauville American Film Festival, where everybody is welcome.
Enjoy a flutter at the Casino Barrière de Deauville, with its slot machines, poker, roulette and Black Jack tables, as well as three restaurants, two bars and a nightclub.
Or take in the bracing sea air at the über-chic Hippodrome de Deauville-la Toques, where you can rub shoulders with the cream of the European racing elite and watch thoroughbred racehorses compete throughout the year. The nearby Hippodrome Deauville-Clairefontaine also hosts racing events during the summer months.
Tee-off year round at one of several golf clubs, including the Golf Barrière Deauville, a par-71, 18-hole course that is one of the largest in Europe, with sweeping views of the Auge Valley and La Manche (English Channel).
For thrills of a different kind, head to the motor racing circuit of Les Circuits de Deauville at Pont l'Eveque. Located around 10km from Deauville, the circuit offers various tracks for go-karting, Formula One and four-wheel drives.
The nearby Parc de Loisirs Normandie Challenge on the lake of Pont l'Eveque offers a range of water sports for children of all ages, including windsurfing, jet skiing, pedalos, sailing, kayaking, paint balling, tennis, mini golf and horseback riding.
The nearby seaside town of Honfleur offers a charming excursion, with its narrow streets, old houses and picturesque harbour immortalised by many painters.
Admire Deauville’s half-timbered Norman-style houses and visit fin-de-siecle villas such as the famous Villa Strassbuger. Browse for haute couture and the latest clothing and accessories along boutique-lined rue Eugène-Colas, on the streets connecting the place Morny (named for the resort's founder) and place du Casino.
The legendary Coco Chanel launched her career in Deauville and famous French fashion designer Yves Saint Larent maintained a home here.
While Deauville offers a range of honeymoon accommodation options to suit all budgets, you may want to splurge at the lavishly decorated and legendary Normandy Barriere, Deauville’s grandest and most famous hotel.
Golfers will appreciate the half-timbered Hotel du Golf Barriere, an English country-house styled accommodation located in the hills above Deauville, with its own 18-hole golf course and children’s centre.
The best time to visit Deauville for warm-weather activities is from mid-July to mid-August, however, anytime from mid-June to mid-September is good for a range of outdoor activities. In July and August the temperature generally rises to 30°C (86°F).
More information on weather in Deauville…
Deauville is located on the Normandy coast in the heart of the Baie de Seine (or Côte Fleurie), between the cities of Le Havre to the east and Caen to the west, and 260km northwest of Paris – just two hours away by train or car.
More information on how to get to Deauville…
Latest update: Deauville : 19 November, 2022