From Trouville-sur-mer to Villerville, 4 km of clayey cliffs, formed about 160 million years ago, border the coast, alternating gentle slopes and vertical walls, reaching an altitude of 60 meters. 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 from several million years ago.

Subject to numerous landslides and landslides, the area of the cliffs of Roches Noires - Pointe du Heurtfrom Trouville-sur-Mer to Villerville, forms a landscape in constant evolution. The cliffs of the seaside are in perpetual movement. This instability is due to the attacks of the sea and to the phenomena of "solifluxion" which correspond to the slippage of the clayey layers of the subsoil after rainy episodes. Because of these movements of ground, one often meets a pioneer vegetation on the screes of 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 grasslands and wooded areas. 394 plants have been recorded on this site, that is to say nearly a third of the flora of the Calvados department. There are also rare species such as the Fuchs' Orchid, a dry grassland orchid, or the Sea Cabbage, a nationally protected species, which lives on the top of the beach. The rocky plains are also home to many species of birds (Oystercatchers, Curlews, Sandpipers, Gravelots...) making this site a privileged stopover for migration and wintering.

Nature tours and walks in Deauville

The agenda here

Since 2007, the Department of Calvados has been managing the site to preserve and restore its natural heritage. A public park "with a natural character", the park of Graves, a descent to the sea and a network of paths have been developed.

On the beach side, the site can be discovered by walking along the seashore at low tide (caution is required to avoid being blocked at the foot of the cliff by the rising tide).

An exceptional geological interest

The Black Rocks are an excellent natural cross-section of the geological formations of the Upper Jurassic period (160 million years ago) of the Pays d'Auge. By following the bottom of the cliffs one can observe the successive formations: the oldest whitish and grayish limestones, visible at Trouville-sur-Mer, are followed by more recent marls at Villerville. These formations show a great variety of traces of biological activity. 


And a site of paleontological excavations

Fossils dating back several million years can also be found by walking 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 crocodiles and many marine species. Excavations are regularly done by enthusiasts along the beach. 


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

Our tourist information offices :

Résidence de l'Horloge
Quai de l'Impératrice Eugénie
14800 Deauville
See opening hours

Place Jean Mermoz
14640 Villers-sur-Mer
See opening hours

32 bis avenue Michel d'Ornano
14910 Blonville-sur-Mer
See opening hours

40 rue du Général Leclerc
14113 Villerville
See opening hours

20 Place Lemercier
14800 Touques
See opening hours

Promenade Louis Delamare
(behind the first-aid post)
14800 Tourgéville
See opening hours