There is an 18 hole mini-golf course right next to the main carpark on sea front. There did not appear to be much activity there during our mid-week in September visit but it was well laid out and there was a small cafe on the site. I bet it was kept busy the weekend we left -when the Festival of Cidre & Dragon took place bringing more than...more
The Museum on the site has been enlarged but works of renovation are still on going.The first Bunker on the tour of the site that can be entered serves as a memorial to the 9th Parchute Battalion and contains many moving stories, told through original personal letters and official documents. A documentary film shares the reminiscences of survivors...more
The site is way marked and clearly sign posted with useful information boards placed all around.This German site was one of their biggest defences, erected as part of the Atlantic Wall . Located at the eastern end of the wall designed to protect the occupied teritory from Allied invasion. If the Allied Landings planned for June 6th 1944 were to...more
Merville-Franceville is a small town and the Thursday morning market is quite small but sells a bit of almost everything from mattresses to handbags and lots of the excellent local produce - cider, cheeses and butter, fish and vegetables.As always John made a bee-line for the well stocked cheese stall. I was a few paces behind but noticed at once...more
Immediately behind the Information Office there is a pleasant green area in the centre of the square. In the middle is a "kiosk" it looks to me like a small band stand. This one was erected to commerorate the centenary of Merville-France Ville Plage. The space is used for gatherings and celebrations and when we were there preparations were underway...more
This has to be one of the prettiest located information offices I have seen ! Set in its own miniature park complete with a tiny pond and goldfish and surrounded by lovely planting arrangements . An information board at the side of the pond provides information about the various plants and details of some of the birds and wild life to be seen in...more
This little restaurant is recommended in the guide "petit futé".
It overlooks the beach and there is plenty of parking opposite.
The food is simple and unpretentious - good local French cooking with an emphasis on seafood and fish dishes but a good range of meat dishes too.
We went to eat there twice - on a Wednesday evening in mid September it was very quiet, on the Friday we were lucky to get a table as we had not reserved.
On both occasions the service was excellent.
Madame, who we thought must be the owner, assisted by two young waitresses kept the ball rolling and created a warm,welcoming atmosphere with no sense of rush or fluster.
We tried the magret de canard, cod in a leek sauce and brochette of lamb with herbs from the 17.50 euro 3-course menu not including coffee and wine.
Favorite Dish: We enjoyed all that we had there including tasty starters of smoked salmon, mussels, and terrine; a standard range of deserts but I tried a "Norwegian omelette"an interesting concoction with meringue and and egg - a bit on the sweet side for me.
Hands up those who never had an imaginary friend, did not love tales of witches and fairy godmothers, heroes and monsters.
And who still read Tolkien, tales of the Nibelung or the knights of the Round Table and the holy grail.
Throught out the few days we spent in Merville a sense of mystery and magic was being created as preparation for the 3rd biannual festival were being made.
This 2-day event event caters for all ages. It is about fantasy and imagination and draws upon literature, the visual arts and crafts, music and pageantry, medieval traditions and folklore and all other sources of fertile minds.
Held on the 3rd weekend in September it only started in 2006, but already the festival attracts tens of thousands and requires a massive input of planning and cooperation as the web site explains.
Entrance is free to all the public grounds and events but tickets for the concerts on Saturday night have to be booked. The stars this year were Omnia and Stille Volk.
We were sorry to be leaving town just as the action and fun were beginning. From an early hour people in fantastical dress and carnival mood passed our gate on the way to the the town centre. Our charming young land lady was planning to be there too.
Merville-Franceville is one of the five towns that make up an important area of protected coast in the bay and estuary of the River Orne. The others are Sallenelles, Amfrenelles, Ranville and Ouistreham.
Such an area is always likely to have experienced human occupation and activity since time immemorial - archeological evidence exists to support this.
But such activity - on land and along the river - is damaging to the river banks, salt marshes and sand dunes that provide the natural habitat of over 100 species of birds - resident and summer and winter visitors, and the coastal flora.
From Merville Franceville Plage you can follow the coastal path towards Sallenelles, passing on the way the way the Vauban styled defensive installation - Le Redoute - until you reach Sallenelles and La maison de la nature et d'estuaire.
This centre provides information and educational opportunities about the Association and its work and from it there are clearly marked pathways.
In the bay at Sallenelles you will find a small cafe/bar/restaurant -
Cafe de la Baie - a convenient watering hole or lunch time stop.at 1 Boulevard Maritime, Tel.02 31 78 80 45
The village of Sallenelles impressed us, when we first drove through, as a well kept, pretty location. It was only later we found out the part it played in the D-Day Landings. A number of plaques commemorating Belgian servicemen who died there can be seen in the village.
For active holiday makers almost every kind of opportunity for activity can be found here.
Cycling and walking - major past times in France.
Sailing and other sea and beach activities including kite fling - and sailing!
Horse riding - this is horse country!
Equipment: Our rented holiday accommodation provided several bicycles for both adults and children.
The tourist office will advise on other facilities.