Exploring the Cote Fleurie in Normandy: romantic Cabourg

Sladjana Perkovic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Known all over the world thanks to Marcel Proust and his novel “In Search of Lost Time”, Cabourg is a seaside resort and a pearl of the Norman coast. A simple fisherman village, Cabourg, was transformed at the end of the 19th century in the modern city that attracts wealthy Parisians. Today, this beautiful place situated on the Coté Fleurie in Normandy is worth exploring. With its long sandy beaches, Cabourg is also famous as a romantic place where every year in June, there is an international film festival dedicated to love movies.

History of Cabourg

In 1793, Cabourg was just a small fisherman village with only 165 inhabitants. But in 1850, Henri Durand-Morimbau, a businessman and a lawyer from Paris decided to transform Cabourg into a seaside resort. To attract the wealthy Parisians who were already spending their vacation in Deauville and Trouville, this new seaside resort in Normandy was created as a modern city. It was imagined as a place with a long terrace following the sea and tree-lined streets. A casino was built on a central square as well as a hotel. But the event that brought even more tourists was the opening of the railway line in 1879, connecting Cabourg directly to Paris. Finally, this small fisherman village became a popular place. Many facilities for tourists were built between 1881 and 1936, such as hotels, tennis and golf courts.

The Grand Hôtel Cabourg

A very first luxury hotel in Cabourg named the Grand Hotel was built in 1861. Situated next to the Cabourg Casino, and rebuilt in 1908 by the French architects Lucien Viraut and Émile Mauclerc, this hotel was the central point of the new seaside resort. The Grand Hotel became worldwide famous thanks to Marcel Proust. Between 1907 and 1914, this French writer was a regular guest of the hotel which he even evokes in his novel “In Search of Lost Time” (“À la recherche du temps perdu”). This place was also used as a set in many movies like “Le Boum” (translated as “The Party" or "Ready for Love”), a famous French comedy from 1980, directed by Claude Pinoteau, featuring Sophie Marceau. Today, listed as a French historical monument since October 1993, the Grand Hotel is one of the best-preserved buildings of the Belle Epoque.

Photo Credit © iStockphoto/cavallapazza

The Cabourg Film Festival

Cabourg, a seaside resort situated on the Cote Fleurie in Normandy, is worth visiting and exploring not only for the sea but also for the Cabourg Film Festival. Every June, this annual film festival is dedicated to movies that have passion, love, and romance for a central theme. Founded in 1883, by the French writer Gonzague Saint Bris, the first prize of this festival is named the Swann d’Or (the Golden Swann), in reference to Marcel Proust. This 5-day event is a perfect opportunity to see the most prominent names of the French and international cinema such as Isabelle Adjani and Vanessa Paradis.

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