By far the best beach we’ve found so far is at St Germain sur Ay (although it must be said they’re all pretty amazing in the region, with golden sand stretching as far as the eye can see).We’d been told by friends that the beach there was amazing, but the first time we visited we made the tourist’s mistake of just assuming that the beach was the first bit of sand we arrived at in St Germain sur Ay Plage, and to be honest, we were a bit disappointed. It’s ok, but not all that. However, we’ve since learned our mistake… on arriving in St Germain sur Ay Plage on our next visit, we turned left, and headed through the town and out into the dunes along a little dirt track.
The road quickly leaves civilisation behind, and either side of the track are towering grass covered dunes, and ‘les mielles’, much-demanded sandy farmland where the horse-mad Normans put their horses for the winter. A bit further and you’re in the grass covered car park, and a quick hike through the dunes brings you to one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever visited. There was a bit of a hop down from one of the dunes when we visited onto the actual beach, so if you struggle with hops down, you might decide this isn’t the beach for you, or to find an alternative route down.Once you’re there, it’s vast, and it’s wild. Not for the first time, we couldn’t see another soul in any direction, but then we’re english, and it was February. Mad dogs and all that. As with most of the beaches on the peninsula, when the tide goes out, it really goes out as far as the eye can see, but there’s also a huge cove round the corner which causes the waves to hit the beach from a variety of angles making for beautifully rippling formations. There’s also an old concrete structure embedded in the sand which we assume is something to do with the Normandy landings / defences but not really sure, if you know or find out, let us know in the comments below.
We took the kids down there and Oscar, our 3 year old, hit the beach running, and just took off. That’s one of the beauty of these beaches, your kids can rome for hundreds of meters and you can still see them with ease. And when the tide’s out, there’s little risk of them reaching the sea without you noticing.
We’re told that one of the beaches around there is a nudist beach, although nobody was braving it when we were down there. A point worth noting whether that’s your thing or not, but rest assured there’s enough space to cater for all bathing tastes down there.
I’ve included a map below showing how to get to St Germain sur Ay plage from the town center (use the controls to zoom in a bit), but it really is pretty simple. The beach is about a 10 minute drive from our Normandy gites, and guests bringing dogs or children will love the ease of access to such spectacular beaches.
View How to find the best beach in St Germain Sur Ay Plage in a larger map