small village built on the cliffs

Criel-sur-Mer developed on both sides of the Yères valley up to its mouth. The rural hamlets of Quesnay, Mesnil-Val and Mesnil-à-Caux in the hinterland are devoted to agriculture; the center of the town, around rue de la Libération, houses the shops, the main administrations and the church, while the tourist activities of the seaside resort are concentrated around the pebble beach and on the plateau up to the valley from Mesnil-Val.

The highest chalk cliffs in Europe (106 m on Mont Joli-Bois) majestically frame the pebble beaches of Criel and Mesnil-Val and overlook the fishing grounds: at high tides, the fisherman on foot picks mussels and periwinkles, dislodges weeds and cakes from the rocks, and traps shrimp and bouquets in its “push”.

Criel-sur-Mer and the Yères valley… Two hours from the Paris region, on the coast of the Alabaster coast, Criel and its valley offer nature and fishing enthusiasts the exceptional meeting of a still wild coast and preserved green countryside. A hikers’ paradise, away from industrial and commercial nuisances, the Yères valley (first category river) offers striking panoramas in a succession of rural villages and mills.

To do, to see

Pebble beaches and chalk and flint cliffs:

The two beaches of Criel (Criel-plage and Mesnil-Val) made of pebbles whose exploitation contributed to the economic boom a few decades ago, can pride themselves on being framed by the highest chalk cliffs of ‘Europe, overlooking the sea from 106 m at the top of Mont Joli Bois.
From the highest point, in good weather, you can see the Ailly lighthouse to the west beyond Dieppe and the Bay of the Somme to the east…

The Briançon manor:

Built at the end of the 12th century, owned by the lords of Briançon, the manor was bought in 1695 by Anne Marie Louise d’Orléans, “La Grande Mademoiselle”, cousin of Louis XIV. She converted it into a hospice dedicated to the education of sailors’ orphans.
It became the town hall of Criel in 1972, after the departure of the last nuns and currently houses the administrative premises, the library and various activity rooms for associations and receptions…

Saint-Aubin church:

Initially built in the 14th century, destroyed then rebuilt during the 16th century, renovated in the 19th century, the church of Criel keeps vestiges of these different eras.
It is composed of flint, sandstone and white stones.
The adjoining presbytery was recently renovated to become a Children’s Space called “TiTou”.
The old priest’s gardens, also restored, are accessible to the public during the day (enter opposite the cemetery).

Chantereine Castle:

It was built around the 1770s by the Marquise de Reynel, changed owners several times, was requisitioned several times for military purposes, then was acquired in 1930 by the Union of Cooperators (COOP) to make it a colony of holiday which will see up to 2000 children per year.
It was bought in 1984 by the municipality and became an accommodation center (youth hostel and group reception).
In its annexes, it houses numerous activity rooms for local associations and is equipped with a sports hall (gymnasium).
The recent upgrading of its kitchens and the redevelopment of the rooms and premises allows the reception of groups and local events…

Mesnil-Val and its architecture:

Simultaneously with the fashion for sea bathing launched at the beginning of the 19th century, the Normandy coast was enriched with numerous villas of new architecture with complex roofs, overlooking balconies, belvederes, terraces and lodges.
Mesnil-Val brings together near its beach (rue de la mer and adjacent streets) a fine example of these typical properties made of a combination of exposed frames, half-timbered timbers, bricks and flint decorated with facade decorations in ceramics and glazed pottery..

Yères and its valley:

A first-class river, preserved from industrial pollution, the Yères, a coastal river, has its source about forty kilometers from the coast.
It winds between hillsides wooded with oaks and beeches, and is decorated with numerous mills, some of which have been restored.
A place for hiking or horse riding, its valley remains one of the most beautiful and natural in Normandy…