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Situated on the northern coast of France, the Baie de Somme is a haven for cyclists craving an immersive experience with nature. This expansive estuary captivates with its tidal flats, verdant marshlands, and a coastline that merges the blues of the sky and sea. As you pedal along the cycling paths, the bay unfolds its myriad wonders. From the charming medieval town of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme to the fishing village of Le Crotoy, every stop promises rich history and picturesque wievs. The bay is also a sanctuary for diverse bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. And as the tides go by, they reveal a dynamic landscape that constantly reshapes itself. End the ride with the sight of seals basking on sandbanks or the iconic wooden beach huts lining the coast, cycling through Baie de Somme offers an ever-evolving and tranquil escapade.
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5 REASONS TO VISIT BAIE DE SOMME
Located in northern France, the Baie de Somme is a natural haven brimming with diverse landscapes, wildlife, and cultural gems. Here are five must-discover attractions :
This bird sanctuary is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Guided tours provide an insight into the park’s rich biodiversity.
Wander through the medieval streets of this charming town, exploring its ramparts, towers, and the church that once saw Joan of Arc imprisoned. The town offers panoramic views of the bay.
This picturesque fishing village boasts beautiful sandy beaches and a rich history. It’s also known for its seafood, particularly mussels and salicornia.
The bay is home to a significant population of seals, both common and grey. Guided boat tours or walks along the beach during low tide provide opportunities to observe these creatures basking on sandbanks.
Dive deep into the ecology of the bay at this informative center. Exhibits focus on local birdlife and the unique tidal environment of the Baie de Somme.
As every French region, Baie de Somme boasts several delicious local products. A great exemple are Moules de Bouchot, which are mussels cultivated on wooden posts (bouchots) submerged in the sea. They are usually prepared in a creamy white wine sauce or simply steamed with herbs.
Another specialty of the region is the “agneau de pré-salé”: thanks to the unique salty meadows where the sheep graze, the lamb meat from the Baie de Somme has a distinct, delicate flavor.
Last but not least, salicornia, often referred to as “sea asparagus”, is an edible salt-tolerant plant growing in the marshes of the bay. It can be consumed raw in salads, pickled, or cooked as a side dish.
You won’t find wine in the Baie de Somme, but do not worry! Local cider is a delicacy: made fresh with local apples, it is less fizzy than its counterparts from Normandy or Brittany. The region also as its own brewing traditions, and you can find local artisanal beers with unique flavors.
The Baie de Somme, located on the northern coast of France, is one of the country’s largest estuaries, spanning about 70 square kilometers. Nestled between the Picardy and Normandy regions, its diverse geography comprises marshlands, dunes, and tidal flats. As the Somme River meets the English Channel, it creates a dynamic landscape that shifts with the tides.
Inhabited since prehistoric times, the Baie de Somme has been the site of Roman settlements and Viking invasions. Medieval trade flourished in its ports, especially in Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, from where William the Conqueror embarked for England in 1066. Throughout the centuries, the bay’s abundant resources and strategic location led to territorial disputes, notably during the Hundred Years’ War. Its natural beauty later attracted 19th-century artists and writers, establishing the Baie de Somme as a treasured blend of history and scenic splendor.