From Trouville-sur-mer to Villerville, 4 km of clay cliffs, formed around 160 million years ago, border the coast, alternating gentle slopes and vertical walls, culminating at 60 meters above sea level. Called "the Black Rocks", these geological formations owe their name to the large dark blocks scattered on the beach which come from the limestone layers of the cliff and which have been covered by algae. This 135-hectare area is partly classified as a "Sensitive Natural Area" by the Calvados department. It is also a paleontological site where you can find fossils dating back several million years. 

Subject to numerous landslides and landslides, the area of ​​the Roches Noires cliffs - Pointe du Heurt, going from Trouville-sur-Mer to Villerville, forms a constantly changing landscape. The seaside cliffs are in perpetual motion. This instability is due to the attacks of the sea and to the phenomena of "solifluction" which correspond to the sliding of the clayey layers of the basement after rainy episodes. Due to these landslides, pioneer vegetation is often encountered on the scree of the cliffs.

A multitude of natural environments follow one another from the sea to the top of the cliffs: beach, reefs, more or less steep cliffs, scree, thickets, dry lawns and wooded areas. 394 plants have been identified on this site, or nearly a third of the flora of the Calvados department. There are also rare species such as the Fuchs Orchis, an orchid on dry lawns or the Cabbage, a nationally protected species, settling at the top of the beach. Rocky plateaus also shelter numerous species of birds (Oystercatcher, Curlew, Sandpiper, Gravelot, etc.) making this site a privileged stopover for migration and wintering.

InDeauville nature tours and walks

The agenda here

Since 2007, the Department of Calvados has been managing the site for its preservation and the restoration of its natural heritage. A “natural” public park, the Graves park, a descent to the sea and a network of trails have been developed.

On the beach side, the site is discovered by taking the seaside at low tide (caution is necessary not to be blocked at the foot of the cliff by the rising tide).

An exceptional geological interest

The Black Rocks constitute an excellent natural section of the geological formations of the Upper Jurassic period (160 million years ago) of the Pays d'Auge. Following the bottom of the cliffs we can observe the successive formations: the oldest whitish and grayish limestones, visible in Trouville-sur-Mer, succeed more recent marls in Villerville. These formations show a wide variety of traces of biological activity. 


And a paleontological excavation site

You can also find fossils dating back millions of years while wandering at the foot of the cliffs. At the time of the Jurassic, 160 million years ago Normandy was covered by a tropical sea and today we can find fossils of dinosaurs, shark teeth, marine crocodilians and many marine species. Excavations are regularly made by enthusiasts along the beach. 


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

Our tourist information offices:

Residence of the Clock
Empress Eugenie wharf
14800 Deauville
See opening hours

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 Toques
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Louis Delamare Promenade
(behind the aid station)
14800 Tourgeville
See opening hours