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A Weekend In Deauville France

When you choose France for your upcoming vacation, you will definitely consider visiting the capital of lights Paris, or the country’s southern cities on the coast of the Mediterranean.

But for the local French people, other escapades are also part of their vacation destinations. And one of those hidden gems is the glamorous city of Deauville in the Normandy region.

Home of many luxurious and cultural offerings, Deauville has been renowned for hosting the elite of the French society. The city’s beauty has inspired Ms. Coco Chanel to open her boutique in Deauville in 1913, and fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent to become a regular visitor in the 1970s, along with numerous artists in the field of literature and cinema.

Internationally, the Deauville American Film Festival in September invites Hollywood celebrities to reside in the city every year since 1975. Deauville has also become a signature name in the equestrian world for its two global racecourses and yearly horse auctions. So don’t be surprised if you happen to bump into a member of the Al Maktoum royal family during horse season.

Overlooking the English Channel, the most practical way to reach Deauville is by train. A journey of two hours from Paris transports you through the greenest scenery of France. Ideal for a weekend break to relax, connect with the sea and enjoy the countryside, here is our list of must-do activities:

Immerse yourself in the Barrière universe 
Established in 1912, the Barrière Group has become synonymous with the dynasty of Deauville. So start off by pampering yourself at one of the three luxurious hotels, have a tasty meal at the restaurants or try your luck at the Casino. And if you are a golf enthusiast, you can practice your hobby on their golf courses surround by breathtaking views. (Editor’s note: Read all about our stay at the Hotel Barrière Le Normandy here

Head to the seaside front 
With two kilometers of pure white fine sand, the beach is your place for a winter walk or a summer dip. Ride a bike along the infamous Les Planches, France’s version of Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard, where the names of American actors and directors have been inscribed on cabin plaques. Other activities could include swimming at the Olympic pool, playing tennis at the nearby courts, or going on a horseback ride.

It’s all about the horses 
Because Deauville means horses, there will most likely be a horserace to attend at one of Deauville’s historic hippodromes, the Deauville- La Touques or the Deauville-Clairefontaine. Horse races take place both in summer and in winter, and other sorts of equestrian events like the world polo championship, jumping and horse-ball competitions. Deauville’s hippodromes not only attract the best horses and the most prestigious competitions, but are also a place of leisure for your family and friends.

Soak up on the architecture
Walking through the city center your eyes will lie upon the most beautiful Norman houses and villas. One of the most enchanting venues to fully experience the Norman architecture is the Villa Strassburger. Built in 1907, the Villa has become a historical monument and an icon of the region’s style with its half-timbered facades, lozenge-patterned brickwork and multiple roofs. It’s simply an architectural eye candy!

Food and Shopping time
After a long day of new experiences, it’s time for you to do what you do best, and that’s shopping and eating of course. For the shopping part, Deauville has what you need. More than 400 boutiques offer different brands and products. Specifically at the famous Printemps department store and the Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren boutiques, all situated in extraordinary Norman houses. And don’t you worry because stores are open on Sundays too! As for the tasty meal, with all the cuisines in the city, you should try out Deauville’s renowned seafood platters of fresh fish, oysters, lobsters and shrimps.

So if you thought that Normandy is only green spaces and intact nature, then you have to think again. In a city of a population of 4,000 residents, you will have so many things to do, and that’s why we think Deauville is actually a "Do-Ville."

Editor’s Note: To plan your visit and stay informed about the latest events, checkout Deauville’s tourist office website here.