Head to Normandy to discover Dieppe, a coastal commune in the Seine-Maritime department, that’s just 2 hours from Paris and a quick ferry journey from Newhaven, England. Here are ten great reasons to visit Dieppe from its delicious seafood to one of the best markets in France and a beautiful coastline.
There are many brilliant places to eat in Dieppe, serving the freshest fish caught and sold in the markets that day. Scallops are the star of the show in Dieppe — the perfect ingredient prepared wonderfully by Dieppe’s chefs. A retro atmosphere, intimate bistros, chic, friendly or romantic, the city offers a wide range of tasty options… What menu will you choose?
2. The Coast
When you come to Dieppe, it’s also to enjoy a breath of fresh air. On the programme: walks on the shore and sea bathing! For even more sea spray, there’s nothing better than strolling by the sea. Aboard a boat, head along the coast and enjoy a unique view of the chalk cliffs. The 1.5 km promenade along Dieppe’s seaside is also a great place to walk.
Dieppe is surrounded by lovely natural spaces. Follow the GR21, which the French chose as the best walking route in France two years ago. The GR21 hiking trail follows the coastline and leads you to natural lookouts offering you breathtaking views of the sea. Several protected areas give you access to wildlife and the flora and fauna of the region. Magnificent gardens, created thanks to the coastal climate, are worth visiting.
Dieppe is a city of art and history. The best way to discover the area’s history is to attend one of the city tours. You will hear many anecdotes about the maritime history of the city. Its castle, its turrets, its churches, its crabs, its bridge… And the surrounding communes are not ignored: castles, manors, dovecotes… There’s plenty of heritage to discover!
5. Nautical Activities
Have you ever steered a sailboat? At Dieppe, professionals will take you on board a sailboat and, if you feel like it, you can even take the helm for a few hours. In high season, make the most of the many water sports on offer: canoeing, catamaran, rowing… what do you prefer?
6. Dieppe’s market
In 2020, Dieppe market was officially voted France’s finest market on French national television and every Saturday when the clock over the Café des Tribunaux strikes eight, you’ll find the streets are already packed. With a vast array of treats from land and sea, this market is a must. The lines of stalls run the entire length of the Grande Rue, right up to the Place du Puits-Salé, and into the side streets as well. Altogether it comes to over a mile of stalls, so it pays to take your time, cover the ground, soak up the atmosphere and fully appreciate the wealth of produce on display.
7. Culture and Tourism
Dieppe is a lively city. The year is busy: urban trail, Canadian film festival, medieval festival, ancient music… Not forgetting the two great festivals: Herring and Coquille Saint-Jacques Fair and the International Kite Festival. To this brilliant program, add the Scène Nationale, an arthouse cinema, a cabaret… many memorable memories to make.
8. Surrounding Villages
Varengeville-sur-Mer is the golden nugget of the coastline. With a rich heritage, nice shops, beautiful gardens, and great restaurants, this village, just 15 minutes from Dieppe, has much to offer. It is not the only stunning village in the area. The villages near Dieppe are definitely worth a visit: peaceful atmosphere, half-timbered houses, rolling valleys, limestone hillsides… These charming villages are ideal for a weekend escape in the countryside.
Nothing like ending your day with a sunset and, on the Alabaster coast, they are always unique. As the sun descends below the horizon, get your camera ready. The colours change from red to orange to yellow with shadows lengthening on the beaches and the chalk cliffs sometimes covered with a pink-purple haze. An open-air work of art…
10. Easy to get to
Dieppe is the closest station to Paris. From Saint-Lazare, in just 2 hours and 20 minutes, you will find yourself in Dieppe! From Newhaven, England, it’s 4 hours to get to Dieppe. From Rouen, it’s just 45 minutes by train to Veules-les-Roses, the prettiest village in France and then 1 hour and 15 minutes drive to Étretat. Ideal!
Find out more: uk.dieppetourisme.com
Lead photo credit : The handsome town © Teddy Verneuil – Dieppe-Normandie Tourisme
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