Published January 24 2022

Reading time: 5 min

Along the Dives estuary, Belle Époque villas or across the Pays d'Auge, lovers of the little queen will have plenty to do in Cabourg and the surrounding area! Get on your bikes, we give you great routes to crisscross the territory by bike.

On a stroll along the beach

Femme à vélo devant le Grand Hôtel

Start your excursion with a short warm-up to the west of the Promenade Marcel Proust. This walk will take you along the sea, framed on one side by Cabourg beach, on the other by a row of cafes, restaurants and Belle Époque villas. Going up the promenade, you will surely pass by the Meridian of Love. This cousin of the Greenwich Meridian is an ode to universal love. It contains no less than 131 telegrams and fiery declarations in its five columns. Its presence is reminded of you by the 104 nails that line the promenade, in reference to the 104 official languages.

Continue on your way and slowly go up the promenade until you see the Casino which is next to the Grand Hotel. It was in one of its rooms that the famous Marcel Proust found inspiration for his novels.

Please note: the promenade is only suitable for cycling between the first two aid stations, to the west of the Grand Hôtel. To admire the Grand Hotel, Casino, and seaside villas, you will have to set foot on the ground.

High places of Cabourgeois good society during the Belle Époque, the Grand Hotel de Cabourg and its gastronomic restaurant Balbec, are still part of the iconic places of the station.

After this warm-up, set off, pedal to toe, to meet the villas of the city center.

Side villas in the city center of Cabourg

Stroll through the fan-shaped avenues of the center, and discover villas with evocative names: Villa Marie-Antoinette, Villa Coquette, Villa La Baigneuse… Each has its own history and its own architectural characteristics. You will be able to discover them by obtaining the plan of the villa tour at the town's tourist office. A great way to combine culture and sport!

Did you know?

At the end of the XIXe century, the city of Cabourg is adorned with sumptuous villas, vacation homes for the wealthiest Parisians, delighted to escape from the capital to get some fresh sea air. If some of these buildings are on the Promenade Marcel-Proust, like Villa Kerneva or Villa Shamrock, most of the Belle Époque villas in Cabourg are nevertheless concentrated in the town centre. 

Discovering the Dives estuary

Estuaire de la Dives

Finish your circuit of the Villas by returning by the East, towards the footbridge of the Dives. This passage connects Cabourg to its neighbor Dives-sur-Mer, and takes you directly to Port-Guillaume, the marina of Dives-Cabourg-Houlgate. Seeing this port protected from the winds in the hollow of the estuary, you will surely better understand why William the Conqueror came to anchor there in 1066 to arm his fleet, before leaving to claim his crown from England!

If you feel like it, you can continue your walk to Moulin Landry. This former wheat mill of the Landry family, which became a Norman cottage in the 20s, is located in Houlgate. This domain is private but you can admire its romantic garden and its park in the undergrowth from the street.

Day trips

From the Côte de Nacre to the Côte Fleurie

For those who wish to go on a day trip, the Vélomaritime linking Courseulles-sur-Mer to Dives-sur-Mer offers superb panoramas along the Coast of Nacre and Côte Fleurie. On your way, you will retrace the history of the Landings, passing by emblematic places such as the beaches of Juno Beach and Sword Beach, but also by the Pegasus Bridge, à Ranville.

Passing through Caen

Another option is also to go through Caen, by taking one of the loops that connects the city to the Coast. You can then go up to Ouistreham or head towards Cabourg, passing through Sallenelles and the Gros Banc ornithological reserve. More than 400 species of birds hide there according to the seasons. You can observe them from the observatories installed along the path that goes around the reserve. Do not hesitate to stop at the Maison de la nature et de l’estuaire (nature and estuary interpretation centre) , which will provide you with many tips to better appreciate the surrounding nature.

In the lands of the Pays d'Auge

If you are more villages than beaches, the Pays d'Auge cycle route is made for you! From Cabourg, the track will take you either towards Mézidon-Canon, where you can visit the remarkable gardens of the castle, or towards Beuvron-en-Auge, a village with typical Norman charm!