Come and explore Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, a charming medieval town in the heart of Maritime Picardy in the Hauts-de-France. Saint-Valery-sur-Somme lies at the southern mouth of the Somme, is one of the Baie de Somme's three ports (with Le Crotoy and Le Hourdel) and is first and foremost a town of art and history with exceptional architectural heritage and a prestigious maritime history! Follow in the footsteps of William the Conqueror and Joan of Arc and visit one of France's unspoilt gems dazzling with Roman history. On the agenda: take a trip back in time on the floral cobbled lanes in St Valery's pretty neighbourhoods, visit the ramparts, Guillaume towers and Saint-Martin Church, stroll along the quays of the little marina and fishing port 's bordering the Baie de Somme, visit the sailor's area with its colourful fishing huts and so much more.
A jaunt to the medieval town
Make the most of your time in Saint Valery sur Somme to soak up this amazing medieval town's history and cultural heritage. You'll see the Nevers Gate or "Porte du Bas" whose façade still bears the two bays which the drawbridge drew back onto. One of Saint Valery's oldest relics is the Guillaume Gate flanked by its two 11th century towers. On the way you'll see the Stone Tower where Joan of Arc was briefly imprisoned before returning to the Rouen jails as well as the Harold Tower where Harold the Earl of Wessex was confined in 1053. To cut a long story short, William the Conqueror set sail to conquer England from Saint-Valery-sur-Somme in 1066. Then he defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings! Continue your trip back in time with a stroll through the fortified old town's lanes. Venture to the top of Saint-Valery to see the château which, after being demolished during the French Revolution, was turned into a manor house in the 19th century (now private property). Time permitting, pay a visit to Saint Martin Church whose checkerboard pebble walls are traditional in Picardy coast buildings...
A walk in Le Courtgain, Saint-Valery's sailor's area
Wander past the colourful narrow blue-shuttered houses down to the port and you'll reach the sailor's area, an incredibly pretty place dating back to the late 18th century. Climb to the top of Les Marins Chapel and you'll be treated to amazing views of the Baie de Somme! Be sure to visit the Calvaire des Marins memorial at the top of Saint-Valery-sur-Somme. This is where the wives of fishermen would wait for the boats to return to the docks. You can see the rock statue of Madonna, the patron saint of sailors and fishermen, near the sailor's area. In summer the area sets the stage for the Sea Festival that pays tribute to sailors lost at sea as people decorate their houses and there's a host of entertainment for visitors to the port.