Hi there! Caen and Bayeux are famous places to learn more about the history of William the Conqueror. However, in this article I suggest you discover another town in Normandy, a little more quirky, but just as important during the conquest of England. So I share with you the things to do in Dives sur Mer and its surroundings.
Dives sur Mer an historic town in Normandy
I’m starting by highlighting the part Dives sur Mer played in Normandy so you can understand why it’s so unique.
If Dives sur Mer is famous in Normandy it’s because this is the harbour William the Conqueror left to conquer England in 1066. It’s therefore the starting point of this conquest and there are many symbols in the city. The church Notre Dame which is in the city center, lists 475 names among the 6000 men who followed him to Hastings.
I recommend visiting the Church to discover this detail, but also its impressive architecture. First it was a Roman style church during the time of William the Conqueror (as it was linked with the Men’s Abbey in Caen). Its style is now Gothic, transformed by centuries of history.
Things to do in Dives sur Mer
I walked around town for about two hours to enjoy the atmosphere and visit the historic places. You’ll notice, the centre is quite small, but it’s a real pleasure to stroll in the quiet streets which are a bit of a French cliché: cafe, bakery, local shops, timbered houses…
The William the Conqueror Art Village
The William the Conqueror Art Village is a must during a visit to Dives sur Mer. It’s free and open to everyone (especially the Vikings)!
It’s architecture is stunning with its inn, half-timbered houses very typical of Normandy, and has lots of treasures from local artists and artisans to offer. Please feel free to you to go inside the art galleries to have a closer !
The market in Dives sur Mer
The other building not to be missed is the Market which is open every Saturday morning.
I recommend to go there to find local products and to simply admire the building. It was built in the 14th century an its wooden frame is quite an impressive piece.
Things to do near Dives sur Mer
Dives sur Mer: nearby beaches
If you are looking for a beach in the surrounding area you are spoiled as there are plenty choices.
Cabourg and its beach is just a few minutes away. You can go to the one at the bottom of the Grand Hotel, or walk along the famous Marcel Proust promenade to find a more peaceful place. If you want a wilder beach you can also go to the estuaire de la Dives and its dunes.
Deauville is also nearby if you have your own transport although it will take you longer to reach it. Its parasols and fine sand are waiting for you!
Continue your visit in the footsteps of William the Conqueror
To develop your thirst for history, you should definitely visit Caen. It’s the city where William and Mathilde built their abbeys. You can also visit the castle which is a must in the region.
And of course, Bayeux is quite popular as well as you can see the tapestry and the adventures of William the Conqueror there. A unique piece in the world!
Hotels in Dives sur Mer
An experience, a souvenir, a good tips to share at Dives sur Mer? Thank you for leaving a comment and to share it with the community!
Boujou (the Norman way to say XOXO)