This historic little town on the estuary of the river Dives can trace its history back to pre-Roman days but its modern history began when, in 1066 William the Conqueror, Duc de Normandie, chose to set sail from here in his mission to invade England and, at the Battle of Hastings, gain the English Crown.
There were to be further conflicts between the two nations – up to the naval battles of the late 18th century which included fierce action and burning of ships in the Port.
Less than a century later seafaring and fishing industries developed to include seaside bathing and tourism, particularly with the coming of railways.
In 1895 major industrial develoment took place when a metal factory, eventually employing 1200 people, was established along the estuary.
It remained in business until 1985 when it was closed down, mainly due changes in the world demand for the metal pipes produced there and, as serious concern about the effects of asbestos were being raised.
The site remained an eyesore until it was developed as a holiday resort including a marina (opened in 1991)and surrounded by residential and holiday accommodation, finally completed in 2005.
So today Dives-sur-mer attracts visitors to enjoy the boating and sailing opportunites here as well as the excellent beaches at Cabourg (reached on foot by a bridge) and a short walk along the coast to Houlgate.
In the old medieval town itself there are many historic treasures and examples of Victorian architecture to explore .