Located by the sea, the cliffs Falaises des Vaches Noires, more than 100 meters high, extend over 4.5 km between the towns of Villers-sur-Mer and Houlgate. These cliffs are distinguished by their geological and paleontological wealth of major interest and by their natural beauty, between a succession of ravines and spurs. the cliffs Falaises des Vaches Noires are part of the sites of intervention of the Conservatoire du littoral and are subject to preservation measures since 2002.

Patrice Le Bris
Julien Boisard

the cliffs Falaises des Vaches Noires come from the accumulation of marine sediment deposits from the Jurassic period (about 160 million years ago). In these alternations of marl and limestone, preserved in the geological layers and reliefs resulting from the various erosion processes, numerous fossils have been discovered: 10-meter long pliosaurs, ichthyosaurs, marine crocodiles, but also ammonites, sea urchins, sponges... The deposit has even yielded remains of dinosaurs!

As far as the environment is concerned, there are three main types of habitats on the cliffs: the marly cliffs, an environment in perpetual evolution with the development of pioneer species developing on the mud scree; at the top of the slope, the plateau woodland made up of ash, maple and oak trees, and a refuge for the animal population; and the plateau meadows.

Guided tours to discover these exceptional cliffs are organized regularly.

Pierre Queron
Isaac Haïk Dunn
Julien Boisard

Nature tours and walks in Deauville

The agenda here

The name "Vaches Noires" (Black Cows) comes from the words of sailors: the presence of large blocks of chalk crumbled at their feet on the beach and covered with seaweed, which would evoke, seen from the sea, a herd of cattle grazing quietly.

The flora
The Vaches Noires site has a high diversity of orchids, seven species have been inventoried including the Fuchs' Orchid.
On the cliff part, we find a remarkable species: the Pea Lettuce.
On the grassy part, several species of interest are observed: the Astragale with leaves of liquorice, the Woolly Cirse and a species protected at the regional level: the whitish Razorwort.



For the amphibian species, typical of bocage and forest areas, the ponds located in the cliffs constitute an interesting zone, in particular for the Spotted Salamander, the Palmed Newt and the Alpine Newt.
Among the mammals, there are three protected species: The muscardin, the squirrel and the hedgehog. These animals hibernate in nests built on the ground in lightly covered areas.
Since 2003, a monitoring of chiropteran populations is carried out on the site. Five species have been identified: the great and little rhinolophs, the great murine, the moustached vespertilion and the red earwig.

The Black Cow Cliffs All practical information here

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
See opening hours