Seaside resort

Barneville-Carteret: activities, must-see sites and recommendations

A dynamic family seaside resort
Photo, © Best Jobers

Welcome to Barneville-Carteret, a seaside resort that’s full of charm. Situated in the heart of the Côte des Isles and to the south of la Hague headland, this seaside town on the Cotentin Peninsula is the perfect place for a holiday with your family. On the programme: water sports, relaxation, shellfish gathering, discovering the dunes in Hatainville, exploring the headland and cliffs in Carteret, and much more. Good restaurants and suggestions for activities: here are our tips for your next holidays by the sea.

What to do with your family in Barneville-Carteret?

A family-friendly resort with lots of activities

Huge sandy beaches ideal for lazing in the sun

Bathed by the Gulf stream and sheltered by Carteret headland, the beaches in Barneville-Carteret are the ideal spot for holiday fun!

The huge Barneville, Carteret and Vielle Eglise beaches stretch for 6 km, opposite the islands of Jersey and Guernsey. They’re a great place to build sand castles, to take a dip or to just chill out. The beaches and the harbour in the seaside resort have been awarded a Blue Flag, guaranteeing the quality of the water and an active approach to environmental protection.

Photo, © David Daguier - CD50

In Barneville-Carteret, the old sea bathing tradition is ever present

On the heights, the sumptuous townhouses and Belle Epoque villas look out over Carteret beach. A legacy of bygone days, whose elegance lives on, they now watch over the holidaymakers. The pretty blue and white beach huts at La Potinière beach are a reminder of the town’s glamorous past and contribute to its picture-perfect setting!

Watersports for everyone

The watersports centre in Barneville-Carteret and the sailing school in Portbail run courses and activities for all ages and levels. Do you fancy trying paddleboarding or having a go at windsurfing? Barneville is a top spot for boardsports. At high or low tide, the resort has different activities for anyone wanting to learn something new, to test their limits or to simply have fun.

For a unique experience, try sand yachting on the huge beach in Portbail (activity available from eight years of age). At high tide, why not paddle along Portbail inlet in a kayak?

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

A festival dedicated to boardsports

Every summer, Barneville hosts the Gliss’festival, an event dedicated to boardsports. With demonstrations by international riders and opportunities for all the family to try skimboarding, skateboarding, rollerblading and more, Barneville is transformed into the capital of boardsports for a whole weekend.

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    Photo, © David Daguier - CD50
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    Photo, © Estelle Hertault
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    Photo, © Estelle Hertault
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    Photo, © David Daguier - CD50
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    Photo, © David Daguier - CD50

Hop aboard a train from the 1950s

This train runs along 10 km of the former Côte des Isles railway line between Barneville-Carteret and Portbail. Sit back and enjoy the scenery as you chug through lovely bocage countryside and inland marshes. The train runs from April to October, and can be privatised at Christmas.

The volunteers from the Tourisme et Chemin de Fer association run different themed outings: night-time trips to watch the fireworks in summer, a market train taking you to the markets in Portbail and Carteret on Tuesdays and Thursdays in July and August, the Little Monsters’ train for Halloween, and the Santa train at Christmas.


A “Famille Plus” labelled resort for a great holiday with your family

Barneville-Carteret and the whole of the Côte des Isles are the ideal destination for families. The “Famille Plus” label is awarded to towns that have special facilities to welcome families and children.

The Côte des Isles has a varied “children and family” programme: craft workshops, shellfish gathering, nature outings, a boardsports festival, different sporting events, beach games, children’s clubs and much more.

What to see in and around Barneville-Carteret?

The headland and cliffs in Carteret, and the dunes in Hatainville

The headland and cliffs in Carteret:

a breathtaking panorama

Carteret’s special situation means it’s protected from the wind by a headland and cliffs. The best way to explore is to follow the customs officers’ path, either by yourself or accompanied by a guide for a rock scrambling experience with Randocaminante. On this part of the GR®223 hiking trail, drink in the views of the vast sandy beaches and reconnect with nature between land and sea.

Test experiences with Randocaminante

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Carteret lighthouse

Visit by night

A lighthouse, standing 80 m above the sea, watches over Carteret headland. You can visit it at night with a guide and watch as it’s lit up, with the lighthouses on the Channel Islands flashing away just opposite.

Book with the tourist information in Barneville-Carteret on 02 33 04 90 58

Others litghthouses in la Manche

Photo, © Estelle Hertault

The dunes in Hatainville

one of the most spectacular sites in Europe

To the north of Carteret, the stunning dunes in Hatainville are miraculously preserved from urbanisation. These huge dunes, shaped by the wind, stretch for 5 km and culminate at 80 metres. If you want to explore them, follow the GR®223 hiking trail between Hatainville and Carteret headland, which takes you right through this natural site. Don’t forget your binoculars, as 1 400 different plant and animal species have been identified between Carteret headland and the dunes in Hatainville.

Stage Hatainville - Carteret headlang

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Set sail for the Channel Islands

From the Port des Isles marina, sheltered by Carteret headland, head off for a day or more in Jersey or Guernsey. The islands are just an hour away by boat from the Normandy coast, and you can head there to enjoy the pubs, shops and gorgeous landscapes.

The Channel Islands

Photo, © Andy Le Gresley - Jersey

Beaches, more beaches

And some fishing too!

To the south of Barneville-Carteret, the beaches in Portbail and Denneville stretch for several kilometres all the way to Saint-Germain-sur-Ay. These wide-open spaces, far from the hustle and bustle, are the perfect place to unwind!

Here, you can try shellfish gathering with an expert on the marine environment, who will explain everything about the shoreline, fishing techniques, regulations and how to protect this fragile environment.

Book with the tourist information office in Portbail on 02 33 04 03 07.

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Where to eat in Barneville-Carteret? Our top picks

Take some souvenir biscuits home with you

Calling all foodies! Don’t miss the Maison du Biscuit in Sortosville-en-Beaumont. Any visit to Barneville would be incomplete without stopping at this temple of goodness! They’ve been making delicious biscuits here for five generations. From father to son, the unique know-how is passed on and tasty treats leave the factory in Sortosville daily to be sold in the on-site shop.

La Maison du Biscuit

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Try lobster in La Marine

The chef of the restaurant “La Marine” serves a contemporary and refined cuisine.
Facing the sea, try some delicious seafood, such as the famous blue lobster caught not far from Carteret.

La Marine

Photo, © Alice Bertrand

Enjoy a drink
with a sea view

La Potinière is the spot for a relaxing drink in Barneville-Carteret. Picture yourself chilling on the terrace at the water’s edge, watching the sun set over Jersey, with a nice glass of wine in your hand! La Potinière is open all year round and has a great atmosphere, whether you want a coffee in between two sand castles or an aperitif at happy hour, or maybe to sample some locally fished oysters and whelks.

La Potinière

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Friends, table football and oysters

You can do all of the above at Le Terminus! Richard and Renaud have carried off the extraordinary feat of transforming the old station in Barneville-Carteret into a gastronomic food hall with a similar vibe to the Time Out Market in Lisbon. The food trucks and converted containers here serve up delicious dishes, including vegetarian and Asian food, pizzas, burgers, seafood, cheese, ice creams and lots more.

Le Terminus

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Where to stay in Barneville-Carteret ?

Close enough to the sea to hear the waves...

There are a number of campsites to choose from for your stay in the seaside resort of Barneville-Carteret. 

Camping l’Espérance, which is just 400 m from the huge sandy beach in Denneville, will be a hit with the whole family with its eco-friendly Sahari Lodge tents and Coco Sweet tents.

Just 3 km from Barneville-Carteret, your kids will love Camping Capfun Vikings, which has a heated water park and lots of slides.

Do you want to try some completely natural accommodation? Then the Cabane Wooden is made for you! Just 50 m from the beach, this log cabin is the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy a relaxing break.

Photo, © Camping L'Espérance

Family holidays Barneville-Carteret : recommendations

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