Rendezvous with the Atlantic

Hiking Collection by
komoot

Almost 150 years ago, while capturing the colorfulness of the Normandy in his famous paintings, Claude Monet stated, “Every day I discover more and more beautiful things. It’s enough to drive one mad." And all it takes is a quick visit to understand why.

Today, the Cotentin Peninsula is still regarded as one of France's most fascinating regions. As you hike along the coast, the views are truly spectacular, dominated by high cliffs, pristine marshes, natural rock formations and wide, open meadows. In fact, it's not without reason that the city-dwelling Parisians consider the Cotentin Peninsula their favorite weekend getaway. So you can experience the best of this region, we bring you the top Highlights of the region.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

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    Die Grotten von Jobourg

    Hiking Highlight

    At Cape Nez de Jobourg you not only have a magnificent view of the 3 Channel Islands. Here you can also penetrate into the caves below the rock and immerse yourself in a completely different world. You can tell immediately that the tours are not designed for the mass tourism, but for nature and landscape lovers. One should therefore not expect a typical cave visit, but let the purity of the air and tranquility of this area on itself. Instead, the motto is: the journey is the goal. The names of the caves are based on legends and have names such as Faerie or Lions Grotto. Another legend says that some grottos once served as a favorite hiding place for smugglers.

    Website: aladecouvertedelahague.fr
    Costs: 5 euros adult, 2.50 euros children (10-16 years)
     + 0,50 Euro for possibly shoe rental
    Reservation by phone is essential:
    Tel .: 0233538612 [Yves Cottebrune]
    Email: aladecouvertedelahague@gmail.com
    Start at the kiosk "buvette de la Falaise" at the Nez de Jobourg
    Date and time are dependent on the tide and can be found on the website
    Duration: 5 - 5.5 hours
    for those not suitable: children under 10 years and people with health restrictions

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    The massive dunes in this area cover an area of ​​200 hectares. If this number does not mean anything, you can imagine 280 soccer fields. The whole area is a protected area and is home to countless species of birds, plants and toads, which with a little luck you will also see. In this landscape, however, one can also easily lose the orientation, which is why you should often orientate yourself on the Atlantic. If you are more adventurous, you can just drift through the beautiful landscape and see what awaits you. With this tactic, we discovered not scrapped tanks and other military vehicles not far from the beach, which brought a very curious sight with it.

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    Here in northeastern France, not only fishermen and boaters should watch the changing tides. Especially at low tide is worth a trip to Morsalines in the Val de Saire, which is made to collect fresh shells. Once you have found the right technique, finding the delicatessen is really fun. The cockles (French: Coques) can be found in the silt of this area. Once you have discovered two small bubbles in the sand that serve as air holes of the shell, you can easily collect the closed shell with a spoon. On the oyster beds there is also the possibility to collect mussels. These hang like threads on the racks. We simply steamed the mussels in water and ate them with salt and butter. Joie de Vivre as you imagine!

    Utensils: spoon and bucket / bag
    Cost: none
    Time: All year at low tide

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    Entlang des Zöllnerpfades

    Hiking Highlight (Segment)

    The GR 223, commonly called "Sentier des Douaniers" or "Sentier du Littoral", is a coastal path that connects Carentan with the Mont-Saint-Michel. Starting at the gateway to Brittany, the "Grande Randonnee 223" meanders over a length of 430 km. Previously, it was considered as a coastal surveillance route to prevent smuggling with the Channel Islands. Today it attracts hikers, tourists and surfers alike. Bay after bay, the trail leads through one of the most beautiful Breton landscapes. You are constantly accompanied by fjord-like bays, meter-high cliffs, hidden karst caves and majestically towering lighthouses. The stiff sea breeze is reflected in the sometimes whipping waves, which is a surfer's paradise.

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    This place is special. We were swimming in the morning at high tide and in the afternoon we used the section at high tide as a trail. Our destination was the island Île de Tatihou. The path leads through muddy passages, rocky sandbanks, flat rock formations and even oyster farming benches. The island is a really cool destination on which we visited the Maritime Museum and then explored the various gardens of the reserve. If the tide is not strong enough, you can also travel with the amphibious vehicle. Get in at Saint Vaast La Hougue and enjoy the approximately 5 minute crossing. Another small detail: Every year in August, the two-week music festival "Les Traversées Tatihou" is organized for more than 20 years. Absolutely worth seeing!

    Cost of the crossing: round trip about 5 Euro
    Crossings of the amphibious boat: times must be requested on site
    Maritime Museum: April to September

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    Just behind the campsite of Vauville begins the marked path through the 60-acre nature reserve. With calmness, attention and patience one can observe beautiful plants and the variety of exotic animals. Colorful iridescent dragonflies, green frogs - as small as a fingernail, huge spiders and lots of birds. The latter can be observed especially well if you go to the bird observatory on the way and look over the marsh pond.
    In order to continue to protect this beautiful area, one should really stick to it, not to leave the trail.

    Cost: none

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    A fantastic beach invites you to swim. But not only swimmers will enjoy this place. There is a surf school in Siouville, where you can book courses and rent surfboards. And when the wind blows across the Atlantic Ocean and the waves pile up, there are plenty of people in the wetsuit in and on the water. But even for quiet times can be found here a job on the sea. In stormy wind paragliding, no wind fishing. Very relaxed!

    Leisure: fishing, paragliding, sailing, paddleboarding, surfing, kitesurfing, swimming

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    On the coast of Néville-sur-Mer are the ruins of the German "Battery Blankenese" from the Second World War. The bunkers scattered in the sand are constantly weathering. Nevertheless, the shooting ranges, flaks, a guard house, ammunition rooms and casemates offer an interesting insight into the wartime. Many artists have used the remnants as works of art. Exciting contrast to the beautiful landscape of Cotentin.

    More information on the website:
    bunkersite.com/locations/france/cherbourg/neville.php

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    Der Hafen Jouan

    Hiking Highlight

    There are certainly larger ports in France. Most of the time, you can only see a few small fishing boats here, who are waiting for a fish to finally bite. I have made myself more comfortable, and watched the ocean from one of the quiet, secluded rocks. Perfect for reading a book, getting lost in thought or just enjoying the peace and quiet.

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    Kraftort Brix

    Hiking Highlight

    The place around the spring and around the chapel of St. Jouvin radiates something magical. He seems to have been used for eternal times as a "holy" place. You will find a Christian stone altar and mossy steps, plus lots of nature and tranquility.
    Every year in late May / early June, a pilgrimage to Heilquelle takes place. Many people rely on the water, which is said to have natural healing properties, and bottle them off.

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    The Goury lighthouse was built very early in 1823, when 27 ships sank in that region in just one year. Today, with its sight, it captivates not only photographers but every visitor. Highly recommended especially at dawn or just before sunset!

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