Courseulles sur Mer – Festival of the Sea

We were lucky enough to be in Courseulles sur Mer, in Normandy, France, when the Fete de la Mer was going on. The town is next to the sea, as its name suggests, and our apartment overlooked the marina, which linked to the mouth of the river and therefore the sea.

Every morning we walked past the fish market alongside the boats on the river, just after the seafood had been landed.

Crabs at courseulles sur mer fish market

Fish market courseulles sur mer
On Saturday the town threw the Fete de la Mer – Festival of the Sea – and everywhere, including the fish market stalls, was decorated with these crepe paper flowers.

The sun shone, and we had a great time enjoying the decorated boat contest.

I don’t know which boat won, but we appreciated the effort that must’ve gone into tying these paper flowers on to rope lengths with wire, and then hoisting the ropes onto the boats.

Elsewhere there were traditional games like this throw a quoit on to a bottle, and a few water sports like a sport fishing demonstration as well as an introduction to skimboarding.

We waited for a long time next to the face painting for a balloon sculpture. The smile on James’ face when he was given a balloon sword was an absolute picture.

The marching band were excellent. Sorry to say this but French bagpipes seem to be less obnoxious than Scottish pipes.

We had time for a run around the Jardin Public behind the Hôtel de Ville. I say ‘run around’ but James was also a digger in the gravel. “I’m an excavator!” He yelled.

courseulles sur mer fete sea 09 courseulles sur mer fete sea mer


We did not catch the concert in the evening, but the fireworks were fantastic. The display began with one set off from a boat, and the rest were fired from the beach but visible in most of the town, I expect.

We had a great time at the festival and were pleased to have been in Courseulles sur Mer at the right time!




  1. rachelcdailey
    August 21, 2015 / 12:18 am

    This looks so much fun!

    • August 21, 2015 / 7:17 am

      It was, Rachel, it was such a great day! It made a huge difference that the sun was shining; the rest of our holiday was a bit wet!

  2. August 22, 2015 / 9:10 am

    What a fab time to have been able to visit, did you know that the festival was going to happen whilst you were there or was it a lucky coincidence? Those paper flowers all over the town must’ve been beautiful to see, it looks like everyone really got into the festival spirit. James looks so pleased with his balloon sword, it’s lovely to see him running around in the Jardin Public as well, it’s great that there was space for him to run around freely. Thanks for linking up with me on Country Kids.

    • August 22, 2015 / 9:17 am

      It was just coincidence, but I’m so pleased about that!
      The town was really dressed up and it looked great. I can definitely recommend the Fête de la mer to anyone for next year!

  3. August 24, 2015 / 9:28 am

    I love Courselles, it’s near to where my parents live and I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few times. Looks like I really need to time it right next time and catch the festival!

    • August 24, 2015 / 9:33 am

      You know what else they have on? Laughing yoga. We missed out on that, but it looks like it’s super fun and you should try to catch that too!

      • August 24, 2015 / 9:49 am

        And I thought it was a quiet little town! Obviously so much more to it than I thought. Will definitely pop up there next time I’m visiting my folks 🙂

  4. August 24, 2015 / 11:44 am

    You were close to us weren’t you! I’ve not been to Courseulles-sur-Mer so I think I should make the time to go sometime soon. #MondayEscapes

    • August 24, 2015 / 7:44 pm

      You should, Rosie, lots more to do than at first meets the eye, I think!

  5. August 25, 2015 / 1:44 pm

    Courseulles-sur-Mer looks amazing and to enjoy the festival. I love all the paper flowers and decorated boats. How big are those crabs? What a wonderful day, looks right up MTM’s street! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

  6. August 25, 2015 / 4:41 pm

    Colourful and lively – a perfect day out in France! Courselles-sur-Mers – is that where the Canadian D-day cemetary is? I think so – we visited the graves, then had some of the best ice cream we’ve ever had in the town. Perfect memories- just like yours!!

    • August 25, 2015 / 6:28 pm

      Yes, that’s right. I missed out on the best ice cream ever though!

  7. August 28, 2015 / 2:42 pm

    France does local festivals like this so well, I’m a great fan of them. I haven’t been to this particular Fête de la mer, but I have been to others in Normandy, Brittany and the south where I live. This one looks fun! You might like to link this post (or others on France) to my monthly linky #AllAboutFrance which opens next week on Thursday 3rd Sept. You can find out more information if you look on my blog, you’ll find the badge for the linky in the sidebar. #MondayEscapes

    • August 28, 2015 / 2:44 pm

      Sounds great phoebe I’ll join you there! Thanks for tweeting me so I’ll follow you and join in!!

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