Villerville, discovery tour in 1 hour

Pedestrian Circuit

Villerville, a small village full of character, has a rich and varied history that stretches back through time. Originally a fishing village, it grew rapidly with the arrival of the railroad, becoming a landmark for artists. Discover Villerville's artistic and tourist highlights in a one-hour itinerary.


2,5 km


Visit of Villerville - The Calvary
The Calvary of Villerville dominates Villerville and was a landmark for sailors going to sea. It was in 1885 that Abbot Heudier had the idea of building the calvary. Built in 1888, it offers a clear view of the coastline. It has been the subject of many painters such as Valère Lefebvre, Moutier, Daubigny, Butin or Mozin.
Broken in 1928 by a big storm, it was rebuilt in 1930 at the same place where it is still visible today, in front of the Parc des Graves.
Coastal road
Visit of Villerville - The Castle
The castle is at the origin of the village, built even before the church. The first castle belonged to Richard de Villerville in 1195. It was destroyed during the Hundred Years War and rebuilt in the 1450s with turrets and loopholes under the orders of Lord Robert de Grente. This one was destroyed in 1767 by Louis Jacques Labbey in order to rebuild a more modern castle in a Louis XIII style.
Since the death of Lord Labbey, the castle passed into the hands of the Legge, Landal and Nétumières families, related to Richard de Villerville. It has thus remained in the same family through the centuries.
Since 1946 the castle has been renamed La Ferme du Château and belongs to the De la Porte des Vaux family, who produce organic fruit and vegetables in biodynamics.
Castle Road
Visit of Villerville - Le Parc des Graves
Protected and developed, the departmental natural space of the Parc des Graves offers 800 meters of pedestrian paths, benches, picnic tables, games for children and a belvedere that offers a beautiful view of the sea.
There are wild plant species, remnants of former pleasure gardens, as well as recent plantations and ponds. The "Hôtel des Graves" is now home to ducks and moorhens. The park also hosts six goats, known as "ditch goats", nicknamed "bramble eaters" for their ability to ingest all kinds of vegetation. Their objective: to clear the entire area and stop the proliferation of brambles and invasive plants on the site. More recently, five Warré beehives, inhabited by black bees from Calvados, have been installed in the park in order to participate in their repopulation.
Before being a nature reserve, the Parc des Graves was a place of habitation for about fifteen houses. In 1982, a major landslide forced the inhabitants to evacuate the area.
Coastal road
Visit of Villerville - The Washhouse
Today, the Villerville washhouse is a place where everyone likes to meet. It dates back to the end of the 19th century, when the village developed thanks to the arrival of tourists via the rise of the train.
Until the 1830's and 1840's, Villerville was only a small town with half-timbered houses, bordered by a stream called the Douet. There was no running water and it was not until 1892, when the Countess of Landal gave up a plot of land to build the market place and a wash house, that the first hygienic measures appeared.
The washhouse has a modest architecture typical of the 19th century with a slate roof structure resting on large cast iron legs. The roof goes around the washhouse and is open on the central part, allowing to collect rainwater.
Place du Lavoir
Visit of Villerville - Notre-Dame de l'Asomption Church
Built after the Castle, the first church of Villerville dates from the 12th century, of which the massive bell tower, the roof in batière (roof with 2 inclined sides); and the choir of the building, in pure Romanesque style, remain today. This first building was enlarged in 1871 with two new chapels and the sacristy. Further enlargement work took place in 1900, giving it its present particular and unique shape.
The church houses beautiful statues from the 15th and 19th centuries and a wooden statue of the local patron saint, Saint Roch, who, according to legend, healed the plague patients, a particularly virulent disease at the time, before contracting the disease himself, which is why he is regularly represented with his dog licking his wounds.
It also houses the relics of the local martyr Thomas Jean Montsaint, a priest martyred on September 2, 1792 at the abbey of Saint Germain des Prés, for having refused to take an oath to the Republic (which meant no longer recognizing the authority of the pope) during the Terror. In recognition of his courage and faith, he was beatified by Pius XI in 1926. A commemorative plaque in the bell tower of the church recalls his sacrifice and the first part of "bout du haut" was named after him.

The church of Villerville has also known its hour of musical glory. Gabriel Fauré composed the "Messe des Pêcheurs de Villerville" (Mass of the Fishermen of Villerville) which was performed in the church for the first time, without an instrument, in September 1881, then a second time in September 1882.
Church Street
Visit of Villerville - Place du Bouloir
Until 1830 Villerville was only a fishermen's hamlet with half-timbered houses and a single street with no sidewalk or lighting. In 1850 everything changed when the railroad came to Normandy between Paris and Lisieux and then to Trouville-sur-Mer in 1963. It was then easy for Parisians to come and discover the coast and Villerville developed, notably with the opening of the Hôtel des Bains and the sea baths. The typical and authentic side of Villerville seduced many artists, including Ulysse Butin, Charles François Daubigny and Edouard Jospeh Dantan.
All three of them painted many pictures of Villerville with the cliffs, the beach, the fishermen, the Graves or the local folklore as subjects. All three lived in the heart of the village and Dantan lived on the Place du Bouloir.
Place du Bouloir
Visit Villerville - The Crossroads of the Monkey in Winter
In 1962 Henri Verneuil came to Villerville, renamed Tigreville, to shoot the film "Un Singe en Hiver" (A Monkey in Winter) based on the adaptation of the novel by Antoine Blondin. Among the actors Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Gabin and Suzanne Flon play the main roles.
The Cabaret Normand is the café where Jean-Paul Belmondo (Fouquet) orders a Picon bière after his arrival in Tigreville (Villerville). After drinking several he becomes drunk and a conversation begins with the regulars of the café joining in and praising the merits of their village.
Rue Daubigny
Visit of Villerville - The Hotel des Parisiens
Built in the middle of the 19th century by the same architect of the Hotel Flaubert in Trouville-sur-Mer, the Grand Hôtel des Parisiens was a landmark in Villerville. Deauvillais and trouvillais rushed there for the "five o'clock" and sometimes lingered there until dinner, sometimes hoping to run into Mistinguett or the Duke of Windsor. Oscar Wilde also stayed here in 1897.
In the 1920s, Abel Mahu, a villervillais, opened a restaurant in the hotel. Rated two stars in the Michelin Guide, the restaurant was one of the best in the department and the whole of Normandy rushed to its doors. An emblematic figure of Villerville, and also mayor in 1945, the rue des Bains was named after him after his death0
Abel Mahu Street
Visit of Villerville - Le Guettoir
The Place du Guettoir is located at the end of the Rue de la Cabine, it is the place where fishermen's wives used to look out for their husbands when they returned from fishing. An important place in Villerville, it has been featured in several paintings including "Le Guettoir" by Valère Lefèbvre in 1887 or "Pêcheurs à Villerville" by Ferdinand Moutier in 1912 before appearing on the screen in the film "Un Singe en Hiver" by Henri Verneuil in 1962.
Rue de la Cabine
Visit of Villerville - La Digue du Casino
The current dike was built in 1920 in place of the wooden pier, it allows to go along the sea even at high tide.
At the end of the dike is the Petit Manoir, a manor house that belonged to Alexis Godillot in the middle of the 19th century, an entrepreneur and manufacturer known for his military footwear creations known as "godillots". Next to it is the old casino built in 1939 in place of the old wooden casino dating from 1886.
La Digue
Visit of Villerville - Le Pavillon des Flots
At the end of the dike after the old casino is the Pavillon des Flots, also called La Tour. Resistant to all storms and wars, the tower is present on all the old postcards of Villerville. It also appears in flames in the film "Un Singe en Hiver" by Henri Verneuil.
Rue des Bains
Visit of Villerville - The Jardin Madame Alley
When Villerville developed with the arrival of the train, many villas emerged in the city center where artists, men of letters or musicians came to stay every summer.
Gabriel Fauré, Charles Gounod or the Queen of Naples came to the villa "Beauregard", Georges Feydeau settled in the villa "Jardin Madame", Mistinguett chose the villa "des Marmousets" while the actress Paule Andral chose the villa "Les Jasmins".
The Hotel Le Bellevue, located higher up, also emerged at this time, in 1910, more modern and comfortable than the first hotels on the coast. This hotel-restaurant still open today has a clear view of the sea and the coastline.
Allée du Jardin Madame
Visit of Villerville - The Town Hall
The Villerville Town Hall is located in the buildings of the former presbytery of the town. Before 2000 it was located in the current school dormitory.
Rue du Général Leclerc

Contact us:
+33 (0)2 31 14 40 00

Our tourist information offices :

Résidence de l'Horloge
Quai de l'Impératrice Eugénie
14800 Deauville
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Place Jean Mermoz
14640 Villers-sur-Mer
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32 bis avenue Michel d'Ornano
14910 Blonville-sur-Mer
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40 rue du Général Leclerc
14113 Villerville
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20 Place Lemercier
14800 Touques
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Promenade Louis Delamare
(behind the first-aid post)
14800 Tourgéville
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