Tourism in Normandy: Dieppe

Discover the oldest seaside resort in France and the country’s kite capital

Dieppe is a charming seaside resort on the English Channel, located just 90 minutes from McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Paris-Giverny. The town’s cultural significance stretches from the literary to the historical, as the hometown of famous French writer Guy de Maupassant and the setting of many of his novels, as well as the site of the first unsuccessful attempt of D-Day in 1942, during the Second World War. Today, Dieppe is one of the jewels of the ‘Opal Coast’.


Dieppe became a famous seaside resort at the beginning of the 19th century, when aristocrats flocked there to bathe in the sea water on the advice of their family doctors. Over time, the seafront has become home to a multitude of luxurious hotels and beautiful villas near its baths, which are now the city's casino. Located on the seafront, it is only separated from the beach by an impressive heated outdoor seawater swimming pool. For a truly special experience, we recommend that you swim a few lengths there in the shadow of Dieppe’s 14th century castle, which towers on the cliff overlooking the pool.

Dieppe’s historic relevance doesn’t end there, as the town is also marked by history in a more tragic way. During World War II on August 19 1942, 6,000 soldiers, including 5,000 Canadians and 1,000 British, attempted a first landing on Dieppe’s shores with the aim of destroying the German coastal defences. Between the high cliffs putting them in sight of German soldiers and the pebble beaches making their machines less mobile, the operation was ultimately a disaster for the Allied forces. However, the failure eventually led to the successful D-Day landings on the sandy beaches of the south of Normandy a few years later.

Today, Dieppe is an essential city on France’s northern ‘Opal Coast’. The town boasts the closest beach to Rouen and Paris and is now a popular destination for city-dwellers to get some fresh sea air on sunny weekends, enjoying the beach but also the town’s main pedestrian street and its many cafes and restaurants.

As the only deep-water port in the Channel, accessible even at low tide, Dieppe is the most popular marina in Upper Normandy.

Famous for herring and scallop fishing due to its ‘herring and scallop’ fair which takes place every November, Dieppe is also well-known for its International Kite Festival, a major and magical event which takes place every two years on the lawns at the seafront. The next edition will take place this year, from September 10 to 18, offering an additional opportunity to discover Dieppe with even more colour!

To learn more about Dieppe, visit:

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