Three nights in Trouville

Just two hours from Paris via an air-conditioned train, Trouville was just the cool alternative our hot Paris summer ordered. separated by the River Touques from Deauville, the  site of  international film festivals and G-8 conferences, the  small cities, deemed the Parisian Riviera, offer lively street markets with fresh from the boat succulent fish, narrow cobblestone streets lined with affordable, good dining, belle-Epoque villas, miles of sparkling beaches,  and a crystal blue ocean.  Ooh-la-la. We traveled with friends Dawn and David Fall, plus our little dog Chablis, and all stayed at Trouville’s welcoming Le Fer a Cheval, a two-star Hotel De Charme with comfortable beds and a good French breakfast. We sampled regional snacks and wine at a special intimate spot, rode the petite local train up the steep hills where we viewed colorful villas,  sipped drinks on the family beach,  walked, walked, walked,  around three miles back and forth to Deauville for the packed Saturday market and a look at the Hippodrome. Trouville, France’s first seaside resort, is the carefree sister to Deauville’s glitz and glamour.  Bagpipes led Sunday parades as the weekend featured the blessing of the fishing fleet.

Seeking a vacation escape from Paris and this summer’s stiffling heat, French families as well as many Britons and some Americans flock to the flower coast where huge hanging pots and crafted gardens paint the region with vivid colors for days, weeks and months. To visit as a traveler and not a tourist, venture off into side streets, speak French with other diners at the popular brasserie Les Vapeurs, experience a guided history tour offered by the tourism office,  sample fish soup at the fish market, and wander into a little gallery such as the gallery Van Gogh. Gustav Flaubert, author of “Madame Bovary,” stands as an honored past resident of Trouville-his family began vacationing there when he was 15.

We plan to return to Trouville, and Deauville, soon. Let us baby boomers not forget, Deauville was the site of that so-French romantic movie “A Man and a Woman.” And today early risers can witness horses running at dawn on the Deauville beach.


Le Fer a Cheval, 95 euros- 106, breakfast 11 euros per person


Dining – see photos for our Trouville spots and a terrific Italian find in Deauville.

Direct trains leave from Paris’ Gare Saint Lazare.

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