Barfleur, Val de Saire in the Cotentin

Alexis de Tocqueville described the Val de Saire area as “a long meadow that ends with the sea on the horizon”.


Here, world-renowned sites such as Tatihou, the Vauban towers (listed World Heritage), or the Gatteville lighthouse (second highest in France) stand side by side with lesser known sites such as the “valley of 9 mills”. Gourmets will of course have heard of Saint-Vaast oysters and mussels from Barfleur. Val de Saire is also the first producer of vegetables in Lower-Normandy, and the unforgettable golden Brioche of le Vast, a delight that attracts many regular customers!

From le Vast, drive towards Quettehou, pronounced “Quet’hou”. This charming village is worth a stop before reaching the port de Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue, or you can make a small detour and drive to Saint-Pierre-Eglise – where you will see menhirs – and then on to Barfleur. Wherever you go in Val de Saire, you will enjoy its wealth: its “terroir”, its history, its people.



Gatteville Lighthouse


Gatteville has the second highest lighthouse in France: 74,85 metres. When you climb to the top, do not forget to count the steps: the lighthouse has as many steps as there are days in a year and as many windows as there are weeks...



View-point at La Pernelle


The belvedere in the small village of La Pernelle really is worth a detour. From there you can enjoy stunning panoramic views: the bay of Saint-Vaast and the “baie des Veys”, and from Gatteville lighthouse to the cliffs of Grandcamp-Maisy, in Calvados.


The waterfall of Le Vast


The river Saire flows through the little village of le Vast and offers a captivating spectacle as it turns itself into a cascade. The artificial waterfalls were used in the 19th Century to operate the old cotton mill.




Barfleur is one of “the prettiest villages in France”. Take a walk along the quays of Barfleur, at the end of which you will reach the church and the lifeguard station on the shore. Do not miss: the medieval “cour Sainte-Catherine”, the garden of the Augustins, the house of Julie Postel, and the Sainte Marie Madeleine chapel… And of course, do not forget to sample Barfleur mussels, lobster and other local seafood!



Don't miss in Val de Saire...

Tatihou and La Hougue


Tatihou Island can be reached from Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue at high tide as well as at low tide aboard an amphibious boat. A bird’s paradise (ornithological reserve), Tatihou is well known for its garden, its maritime museum, its casemates and its Vauban tower, listed World Heritage by UNESCO (as is its continental twin in Saint-Vaast).


The port of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue


The shopping streets all converge to the port, where many yachts and fishing boats are tied up. In the 19th Century, the port of Saint-Vaast was visited by sloops, schooners, brigs, and “bisquines”. If traffic is not what it used to be in the port, the quays are always bustling with life, to the delight of holiday makers!