On camping holiday in Calvados? Take the opportunity to visit Port-en-Bessin-Huppain, just a few kilometres from Bayeux and close to the D-Day landing beaches. From the fishing port to the shipyard, via the Vauban Tower, immerse yourself in Normandy's maritime traditions.
The leading small-scale fishing port in Calvados
Port-en-Bessin-Huppain is the leading small-scale fishing port in Calvados and Lower Normandy. Its motto: "Res nostra mare" (the sea is our law). This natural harbour wedged between two cliffs was the "Port of the Bishops" of Bayeux until the Revolution. Today, the port is home to one of the most modern fish auctions in France, with over 9,000 tonnes of fish landed every year. The town is particularly famous for its scallops.
Fished since the Middle Ages off the coast of Bessin in the Bay of Seine, the scallop is the pride of Norman fishermen. The scallop has been awarded a Label Rouge for its freshness and flavour. Every year in November, an emblematic festival marks the start of the scallop fishing season and celebrates the Normandy scallop during the Le Goût du Large festival.
Discover the heritage of Port-en-Bessin
Founded by the Dukes of Normandy over 1,000 years ago, Port-en-Bessin has a rich heritage and history. In the heart of the town, the church of Saint-Pierre de Huppain is dedicated to the sailors who died at sea. Inside, you can see many ex-votos, models of boats donated by sailors who have escaped shipwreck.
On the cliff at the entrance to the port, the Vauban tower is also well worth a visit. It was built in 1694 to keep an eye on English and Dutch ships. Every Friday in summer, it hosts the Vauban Tower Fireworks display.
Nearby Port-en-Bessin, on the route to the D-Day landing beaches, the museum of underwater wrecks brings together all kinds of military objects and vehicles found under the sea after the war.
Photo credit: Jean-Michel Gatey / Calvados Attractivité