A Weekend in the low season in Granville

Nautical activities and seaside walks
Photo
Photo, © Captain Yvon

How about a trip to Granville in the winter? This charming seaside resort is very popular in summer, but is just as lovely, if not more so, in the low season. With fewer tourists, the beach to yourself, plenty going on in town but without the crowds, get ready to explore the Monaco of the North, with a programme of nautical activities, walks and top foodie spots!

Day 1: sand yachting, prepare to be blown away!

Jullouville: the best spot for sand yachting

With its long sandy beaches and westerly winds, La Manche is the ideal place to test sand yachting. From Sciotot on the Cotentin Peninsula to Jullouville, via Utah beach, there’s no shortage of great spots to try this wind sport.

In Jullouville, between Saint-Pair-sur-Mer and Carolles, there’s a vast 2 km long stretch of beach where you might find yourself racing horse riders on their sulkies! In the low season, the beach is all yours and the few walkers on the promenade will have a great view of the sand yachts racing along, with the Chasey Islands as a backdrop. Open to the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel and its winds, the beach at Jullouville is ideal for getting up speed. Prepare for an adrenaline-fuelled ride!

Photo
Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

An introduction with the watersports centre

Granville

The summer is over and the huge beach at Jullouville is all yours for a sand yachting session. Whether you're a novice or a pro, the Centre Régional de Nautisme de Granville (CRNG - regional watersports centre) offers two hour long, adrenaline-filled sessions. Your instructor will go through all the basics and show you how to handle the yacht. An exhilarating experience!

Sessions depend on the tide times. Contact the CRNG to book a day and a time slot.

 Book

Photo
Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

What to wear:

  • Closed toe shoes or boots
  • Warm, waterproof trousers and coat
  • Gloves

High tide means no sand yachting

If it’s high tide but you want to get some fresh air, we have the solution! The CRNG also offers catamaran, dinghy, kayak and paddleboard sessions. You can try these watersports at the beach in Granville with a qualified instructor.

 Book

Photo
Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Is surfing or wingfoiling more your thing?

Grab your board and hit the surf at Carolles in the low season. Autumn is the best time to catch some waves here, where the beach breaks can reach 2 metres. You probably won't be the only one's enjoying the good swell and cooler water.

Surfing in La Manche

Photo
Photo, © Alex Strohl

If you're well equipped, you can wingfoil all year round in La Manche. In the low season, challenge yourself with the testing conditions produced by the biggest tides in Europe. You’ll need some experience.

Photo
Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Do you fancy a dip but you’re not keen on waves?

Head to the sea swimming pool in Donville-les-Bains. Open all year round (no lifeguard in the low season), you can take a dip or swim lengths here whatever the weather. As a bonus, there's a great view of the Pointe du Lude.

Time for a well-earned treat: discover the brewery L’Écume des Falaises

Jullouville

When a Belgian chemist living in Normandy fulfilled her father’s dream, a micro-brewery was born on the cliffs in Champeaux. In 2017, Adèle joined forces with Martial and together they moved the brewery to Jullouville, close to the sea.
Wheat, tripel, Indian pale ale and seasonal: all of the beers produced are unfiltered, unpasteurised and hand brewed.

On Saturdays you can visit the micro-brewery by appointment. Information and booking on 06 48 04 52 06.

The taproom and shop are open on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The brewery is closed every year in January after the Christmas holidays.

L’Écume des falaises

Photo
Photo, © Ecume des falaises
Photo
Photo, © David Daguier CD50

Day 2: the old town, brunch and a walk

After your sand yachting session, head off to explore Granville. Wander through the shopping streets of this seaside resort on your way to the distinctive casino, reminiscent of Indian palaces. Then decide where to go next:

  • walk along the Plat Gousset with its little beach huts before climbing the steps up the cliff to the Christian Dior Museum gardens;
  • climb the 180 Moulin-à-Vent steps or walk up Rue des Juifs to the Haute Ville, Granville’s old town.

A walk with a view 

From the rocky promontory with its fortifications dating back to the Hundred Years’ War, the view is breathtaking: the streets of Granville, the Chausey Islands, the fishing port, the marina, and the sea stretching to the horizon. Feast your eyes with every step!

This small granite outcrop, measuring 400 metres in length, is packed with treasures: a drawbridge, cobbled streets, small squares, a church, ramparts and much more. If you want to see more, carry on to Cap Lihou headland where you’ll discover a World War II battery, a lighthouse and a semaphore.

Photo
Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

The best brunch spots

After walking round the privateer town, it’s time for brunch, a tradition you can’t miss when in Granville!

Dame Gourmande

Step into foodie heaven: Dame Gourmande has a chic and cosy atmosphere, and everything is homemade. Whether you fancy sweet or savoury, there’s a great choice, including tarts, salads and cakes. Sunday brunch is a real institution here!

 

Dame Gourmande

Photo
Photo, © withaxie

Avant l’heure café

Welcome to Australia! Granola bowls, avocado toast, sausage rolls, breakfast rolls, cheese and truffle toasties, matcha lattes, smoothies and much more. The menu is bursting with tasty treats and you might struggle to make up your mind!

 

Avant l’heure café

Photo
Photo, © Avant l'Heure Café

Hiking along the cliffs in Carolles and Champeaux

After a hearty brunch it’s time to stretch your legs on what was described as “the most beautiful kilometre in France” by the politician Édouard Herriot.

Starting in Bouillon (not far from Jullouville), follow the GR®223 hiking trail for 19 km to Genêts. This stage of the coastal path promises a breathtaking adventure. From the clifftops between Carolles and Champeaux, you'll have a spectacular view of the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, with its migratory birds and unique heathland plants, including heather, gorse and broom. Next, the path takes you to the unspoilt Lude valley and it's natural harbour, where a small stream flows over the pebbles to the sea. Further on, you'll go past the Cabane Vauban, with Mont Saint-Michel as a backdrop. From there, the path flattens out, taking you along the beach to the finish in Genêts.

If you're not sure about a 19 km walk, there’s a 6 km circular route starting in Carolles. It follows the GR®223 hiking trail towards the Lude valley and the Cabane Vauban. Take in the panoramic view of the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel before looping back to the headland in Carolles and the Vallée des Peintres (or Painters’ Valley).

See the loop

Photo
Photo, © Best Jobers

If you’re not keen on walking, why not contact the CRNG to organise a second nautical activity? Depending on the tide times, they’ll suggest sand yachting or an activity in/on the water.

Centre régional de nautisme de Granville

Recommendations in Granville

Where to stay, eat and have a drink

Accommodation in and around Granville

Hotels, gîtes, B&Bs: see a selection of places to stay between two sand yachting sessions.

Photo
Photo, © Labels Manche
Photo
Photo, © Hôtel des Bains
Photo
Photo, © Labels Manche

Great restaurants in Granville

Le Restaurant du Port

As you can guess from the name, this restaurant is located at the port in Granville. The chef cooks up delicious fish dishes for you to enjoy, including choucroute, paella and tartare. It's also the perfect spot to enjoy a seafood platter.

Restaurant du port

La Table de Louis

Just a few steps from Plat Gousset beach and the casino, La Table de Louis is the perfect spot for lunch or dinner, with a great choice of inventive or more traditional dishes in a cosy setting.

La table de Louis

Parfum Poivre

Parfum Poivre is renowned for its quality local meat, coal-seared to perfection over the fire, which also gives the place a really cosy feel.

Parfum poivre

Loca Café

Local, seasonal food, short supply chains and responsible gastronomy: the chef, who has several stars elsewhere in the world, now welcomes you to his own restaurant to share his values with you.

Loca Café

and for a final drink…

A short walk uphill, but well worth the effort! Beers, cocktails or coffee depending on the time and your mood, this lovely intimate bar is the place to be in the old town.

By the seafront, this is the perfect spot for a relaxed drink, with a holiday beach vibe all year round.

How to get to Granville

Granville is less than 3.5 hours from Paris thanks to the direct train from Paris Montparnasse. Once you get here, from Monday to Saturday free urban buses run regularly between Donville-les-Bains, Granville, Saint-Pair-sur-Mer and Yquelon. The regular line Nomad 308, from Granville to Mont Saint-Michel, serves many of the surrounding villages, including Saint-Pair-sur-Mer, Jullouville, Carolles and Genêts.

You may be interested in