Cotentin: unique and atypical landscapes
Cotentin in Normandy is a land of exceptional landscapes. The sea gives the coastline a certain wild appearance. There’s so much to see in the natural environment here: cliffs, long sandy beaches, lush green valleys.
…Thanks to the “Syndicat Mixte Espaces Littoraux de la Manche” (SyMEL) and the “Conservatoire du Littoral”, 2 organisms working to protect the most remarkable coastal areas, and the SyMEL also manages the protected coastal area.
A team takes care of the maintenance and monitoring of the natural spaces that are accessible to the general public.
Lose yourself in the dunes
Between the Cap de Carteret and the Cap du Rozel, the Hatainville dunes are over 80 metres high, and cover the ancient cliffs that are over 70,000 years old. From the sea to the highest point of the dunes, there is a wide variety of vegetation, producing a mosaic of colours that change depending on the tides, the sea spray, the winds and flows of freshwater. There are also some rare species thriving in these dunes that change colour throughout the seasons.
Explore the marshland
Vast meadows criss-crossed with ditches where race horses and cattle graze, with rivers crossing through and flowing into the huge estuary, the Baie des Veys, home to a colony of grey seals. Traditional Normal “bocage” on the higher ground and polders near the sea. This is the Cotentin Marshland.
In the winter, the sky and waters blend together and the marshes fill with water. It is said that they “whiten” and we understand why the locals of Cotentin call this the “marais blanc” (white marshland).
Landscapes shaped by the winds and waves, from dunes to cliffs, from heathland to pebble beaches.
Vast stretches of beaches, just for you
From the huge sandy beaches to the small coves of the Val de Saire, there are some unique landscapes in Cotentin. Some of the beaches of Cotentin have been awarded the “Pavillon Bleu” (Blue Flag) label, a guarantee of the top-quality of the natural environment in Cotentin.
The heathland and its legends
Across the heathland, there are characteristic shrubs such as gorse, brooms and heather. This area was devoted to cattle for a long time, and then was abandoned. Countless species have adapted to the difficult living conditions of the heathland, and now thrive here.
Explore the Norman "bocage"
Inland, we cross through the Norman “bocage”, a hilly area of fields and meadows, surrounded by embankments. On these mounds of earth, hedges have been planted, to mark the borders of different farming plots of land. There are usually farms and grouped together houses here.