Deauville: the queen of Norman seaside resorts

Sladjana Perkovic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Only two hours by train from Paris, Deauville is a seaside resort also known as the Parisian Riviera. Parisians just adore this place where they can come quickly for a weekend and get the necessary dose of vitamin D. This city has beautifully wide sandy beaches with its famous colorful umbrellas, and it is called for a good reason - the queen of Norman seaside resorts. Deauville is a city where you can assist in many horse races, or you can spend a day playing golf or polo. You can win (or lose!) some money in the amazing Deauville’s Grand Casino built in 1912, or you can just have a relaxing day in the spa. This seaside resort is also a place where you can walk around the city, visiting its many beautiful villas, art galleries and enjoying its numerous delicious restaurants. Every September, Deauville hosts a worldwide known - American Film Festival.


The Duc the Morny, a half-brother of Emperor Napoleon III, decided in 1860 to transform a little seaside village in Normandy into the high society seaside resort. For this reason, he hired Desle-François Breney, a French architect who was much inspired by Baron Haussmann and his restructuration of Paris. Only a few years later, Deauville has become a fashionable place that was attracting rich Parisians but also the international high society. At that time, many beautiful buildings were made, such as the Villa Strassburger from 1907, listed as a French historical monument in 1975. But, it was in the period between the two World Wars that Deauville evolved into a flourishing seaside resort. The new Deauville train station was opened as well as its iconic wooden beach boardwalk and even new bathing facilities. In 1975, the annual American Film Festival was inaugurated, and Deauville's reputation just kept growing.

American Film Festival

Since 1975, every year in September, Deauville hosts the Deauville American Film Festival (Festival du cinéma américain de Deauville). This film festival, dedicated to the American cinematography, values especially the American independent cinema. Many movie stars were guest of this festival such as Clint Eastwood, Sharon Stone, Al Pacino and Julia Roberts. But Deauville cherishes cinema even beyond this festival. If you go for a walk at the famous Promenade des Planches, you cannot miss the beach closets named after famous actors, and filmmakers who had visited  Deauville.

Photo Credit © iStockphoto/Jorisvo

Movies and literature

Deauville, the queen of Norman seaside resorts, is a place that inspired numerous writers and was also used as a set in many movies. Deauville has an important role in “In Search of Lost Time” (“A la Recherche du Temps Perdu”), a famous novel by the French writer Marcel Proust. An American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald also mentioned this city in his novel “The Great Gatsby”. And as Coco Chanel, a French fashion designer, was also very fond of Deauville, where she even opened her second shop, the French movie “Coco Before Chanel” from 2009, by Anne Fontaine and starring Audrey Tautou and Alessandro Nivola, was partly filmed in this seaside resort.

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