Situated in the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel, Granville is a seaside resort that’s very popular with families. It’s perfect for strolling through the cobbled streets, lazing on the huge beaches, trying watersports or eating ice creams with sand between your toes! The town has a lovely holiday vibe all year round.
What to see in Granville, suggestions for activities with children, events and recommendations: all our tips for exploring the old privateer town and its surroundings.
A family holiday in Granville: things to do
A guided tour of the Haute-Ville
Granville is a walled town built on a rocky outcrop. With its old townhouses, cobbled streets and ramparts, a visit to the Haute-Ville is a must. From the historic centre of Granville, a lovely walk takes you to the Roc headland, where you can visit the Roc des Harmonies aquarium and the semaphore. To learn the secrets of the Haute-Ville with your family, opt for a guided tour, a police investigation game, a treasure hunt or an adventure walk. Guided tours
Granville is known for Plat Gousset beach, which is very popular with locals. It has a pretty promenade with beach huts and a very distinctive casino. At the end of the promenade, steps lead up to the Dior museum and gardens. The view from there is gorgeous, and served as inspiration for the famous fashion designer Christian Dior.
Every year for the five days leading up to Shrove Tuesday, more than 130 000 colourful carnival-goers and around 40 floats parade through the streets of Granville. With cavalcades, concerts, a confetti fight, a children’s ball, as well as the famous “Bal à Papa” (Dad’s Ball) and the “intrigues”, Granville Carnival, which is now UNESCO-listed, is a fabulous event! The Carnival
Granville harbour is the ideal starting point to discover the islands. Whether you choose Chausey, with its picture-perfect setting just an hour away by boat, or the Channel Islands with their unique atmosphere, you’re guaranteed a complete change of scenery.
Sand yachting, catamaraning, sailing, paddle boarding, kite surfing, sea wading: there’s something for all tastes and all levels. To try one of these activities during your stay or to book a course, contact the watersports centres.
The Marité is the last remaining wooden “terre-neuvier”, or cod fishing boat. Once used to fish off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, the Marité has now dropped anchor in Granville. After serving as a coastal trading vessel, a pleasure boat and even a travelling television studio for the French programme Thalassa, the old wooden ship underwent several years of restoration. You can now hop on board for a visit or even a trip out to sea. The perfect adventure for little sailors!
Seven of the beaches in the Granville Terre et Mer destination have received a Blue Flag, reflecting their exemplary environmental quality. Granville, like all of the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel, is the setting for the biggest tides in Europe. When the tide goes out, it reveals sea pools that are ideal for outdoor swimming enthusiasts. You can use them all year round at any time of day. You’ll find one of these pools on Plat Gousset beach in Granville, another in Donville-les-Bains and one in Saint-Pair-sur-Mer. While you wait for the tide to come back in, why not have fun with your children making sandcastles or shellfish gathering
And a bit further on, you can enjoy the view of Chausey Islands from the beach in Saint-Martin-de-Bréhal. Its promenade stretches for 2 km, the perfect setting for a family day by the sea.
The most beautiful kilometre in France
Just a few kilometres from Granville, you’ll be enchanted by the breathtaking landscapes of the cliffs in Champeaux. With turquoise seas, Vauban guardhouses and incredible views across the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel, what’s not to love? Paragliding, horse-drawn carriages, cycling or nature outings: here are our suggestions for activities. Cabane Vauban and cliffs at Carolles
The tourist information office recommends circular walks to enjoy with your children. Along the coast, down sunken lanes or in valleys, follow the yellow markers. These walks are all between 3 and 8 km, making them perfect for younger hikers. The “Balade en famille” topoguide is available from the Granville Terre et Mer tourist information office for 6 €. Family walks
A listed historical monument, La Lucerne d’Outremer Abbey is situated on the edge of a forest in the heart of the Thar Valley. With a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles, the Abbey is a wonderful example of Anglo-Norman architecture. Guided tours, activities for children, building and stone masonry workshops: plenty of ways to enjoy this unique natural setting with your family. La Lucerne d'Outremer
Events, eateries and accommodation: our favourites
Lively events throughout the year
Granville is famous for its carnival, but the whole destination comes alive with events of all types throughout the year. There are two fun festivals for children every year: “Festi Récré” during the spring holidays and “Ferme en Folie” in autumn. In July for theSorties de Bain festival, the streets of Granville fill with crowds come to watch the different performances: theatre, circus, dance, music, magic and more. In August, Voiles de Travail festival takes over the port, with five days of events and activities connected to Granville’s maritime heritage.
A celebration of seafood
Take a stroll along the quayside in the fishing harbour and admire the boats as they come and go. Scallops, whelks, crabs, lobsters, clams, oysters: the harbour in Granville is a hive of activity and supplies the whole of Europe with its seafood. But the real stars here are the whelks from the bay of Granville, which have a protected geographical indication, guaranteeing their quality and the expertise of the sector. They are typically eaten with home-made mayonnaise for the traditional “Apéro-Bulot-Mayo”. If you fancy trying them, head to La Citadelle or Le P’tit Mareyeur on Rue du Port. Seafood restaurants
Eating an ice cream by the sea is the quintessential holiday experience! The whole family will love a trip to Yver, the go-to ice cream parlour in Granville. If you want to walk and eat, they also have a stall by the promenade at Plat Gousset beach. Or if you prefer to chill on a terrace, try “A la Marquise de Presle” on Rue Lecampion. Yver shop
You can get to Granville by train from Paris in three hours: a good way to enjoy a relaxing weekend by the sea and to recharge your batteries. You’ll love the vibrant atmosphere in Granville all year round, not just in summer.