Baie de Somme ©B. Bremer
Le Crotoy ©E. Berthier
route blanche © EV4 / Emmanuel Berthier

The Bay of the Somme

Cycle one of the world’s most beautiful bays

The majestic Bay of the Somme, located in the west of the Somme department, is one of nature’s finest treats on the Vélomaritime cycle route. With a footprint of almost 7,200 hectares, it is the largest estuary in northern France, vying in beauty with the likes of famous bays such as San Francisco and Halong. This immense river mouth giving onto the Channel offers an extravaganza of golden dunes, imposing cliffs, wave-polished pebbles, lush green prairies and marshes, all orchestrated by the tides and seasons. It also provides shelter to hundreds of different species of bird on their migratory travels.

Find out more about the Bay of the Somme


The Bay of the Somme – a unique and preserved natural landscape 🌱

The Bay of the Somme was awarded the prestigious Grand Site de France label in 2011, joining the ranks of other iconic sites such as the Grand Site des Deux-Caps and the Grand Site de Cap d'Erquy - Cap Fréhel, which are both on the Vélomaritime cycle route too. This Grand Site de France – one of the largest in France – is a fine example of how conservation and exploration can co-exist. Lying at the heart of the Baie de Somme Picardie Maritime Regional Nature Park, it is home to numerous protected areas, including a national nature reserve, a marine nature reserve and several Natura 2000 areas. Two exceptional sites have even been listed: Marquenterre, in the north of the Bay of the Somme, and Cap Hornu/Pointe du Hourdel, in the south. This emphasis on conservation has preserved the unique natural landscape of the Bay of the Somme, enabling biodiversity flourish in protected surroundings.

A paradise for cyclists!

Welcome to the Bay of the Somme, a cyclist’s dream come true with 160 km of cycling, including 77 km on cycle paths and nine waymarked routes weaving in and out of the coastal and inland areas.

Places to explore

  • The Maison de la Baie de Somme visitor centre, on the road between Saint-Valery-sur-Somme and Le Hourdel, embarks you on a journey through the very heart of this dynamic landscape. Become an explorer and discover the bay, its habitats, its history and what the future holds. Make the moment last by visiting the Grand Site de La Baie de Somme Discovery Centre too.
  • Open in all seasons, Parc du Marquenterre is a paradise for our feathered friends. Encompassing almost 200 hectares of marshland, dunes and reedbeds, it offers a refuge for migratory birds and attracts nature lovers from near and far.
  • The lively seaside resort of Le Crotoy with its port and fish market.
  • Saint-Valery-sur-Somme with its bustling port, fisherman’s cottages and medieval district.

✅ Things to do in the Bay of the Somme

☐ Try the bay’s delicacies at La table du Cap Hornu
☐ Embark on a sea safari in an outrigger canoe to discover the seals
☐ Observe the birds stopping over in the Parc du Marquenterre bird reserve
☐ Take a ride on the small Baie de Somme railway and step back in time
☐ Discover seashore foraging with a qualified guide
☐ Enjoy a slice of gâteau battu, a traditional local brioche-like cake
☐ Go on a shopping spree at Saint-Valery-sur-Somme
☐ Cross the bay with a local guide, like in Mont-Saint-Michel Bay!

The best viewpoints on this section of the route

  • Pointe du Hourdel: this is the ideal place to spot seals in the Bay of the Somme without disturbing them. Observe them from a distance or even better, hire a Qualinat nature guide.
  • The Crotoy belvedere: this place has a viewing table celebrating the painter Alfred Manessier, an artist influenced by light and colours, and part of whose works were inspired by the sand and pebble seascapes of the Bay of the Somme. It offers visitors an amazing view over the Bay of the Somme – you won’t regret stopping here!
  • The Route Blanche belvedere: the Route Blanche is an old road that is now closed to traffic. It was transformed into a path exclusively for cyclists and walkers in 2018. The belvedere offers a fascinating explanation of how the coastline and the pebble spit, or poulier, were formed, and how they have changed over time. It’s a place where history and nature are intertwined, offering visitors a unique panorama of this ever-changing ecosystem.

Parcours à la carte

ℹ️ Practical information

Locating the Bay of the Somme on the map
Two hours by train from Paris, the Bay of the Somme is on the southern coastline of the Hauts-de-France region.

Towns in the Bay of the Somme
The main towns are Mers-les-Bains, Cayeux-sur-Mer, Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, Noyelles-sur-Mer, Le Crotoy, Rue and Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont.

Staying in the Bay of the Somme
There’s a wide choice of accommodation here. Campsites, hotels, B&Bs, gîtes or private rentals – the choice is yours.

🔗 Find cycle friendly accommodation in the Bay of the Somme.