Approximately 8 kilometres north of Le Havre, Octeville-sur-Mer, as its name suggests, is a coastal town located on the cliffs of the Alabaster Coast where village life has been preserved.
There is no supermarket here, but small shops and a pleasant Sunday market where you can find dairy and market garden products from the surrounding farms. Shops and markets bring the town centre to life and preserve its rural identity.
Unmissable, the Church of Saint-Martin, with its twisted slate-covered bell tower, dominates the centre of the village. Typical of the region, it deserves a visit in its own right. The white and black flint ensemble has been recently renovated. The interior contains a beautiful group of statues from the 17th century, including a Pietà and a confessional from the 18th century. The stained-glass windows represent Saint Peter and Saint Paul accompanied by Saint Supplix and Saint Barthélémy, the symbol of the old parishes that have now disappeared and are attached to the village.
Lovers of old stones won’t want to miss, in the commune of Octeville-sur-Mer, in the locality of Saint Barthélemy, the church with the appearance of a chapel containing several jewels, either. Passing through the wooden porch, we discover a large altarpiece surmounted by a painting of Christ on Calvary signed Chateauvieux and two polychrome statues from the 17th century, Saint Barthélémy on the left and Saint Clair on the right. Also from the 17th century, the small chapel of the Virgin with its magnificent altarpiece bears in its centre the Virgin Mary in gilded wood surrounded by cherubs crowning her.
However, this little gem is only open to visitors from time to time, during Heritage Days, or as part of visits organised by Pays d’Art et d’Histoire.
Sportsmen and women will appreciate its 18-hole golf course or the cycle route starting from Le Havre, passing by Octeville-sur-Mer to reach Cauville-sur-Mer, Etretat and the other coastal communes up to Le Tréport by way of the smaller roads.
The marked hiking trails are another option for combining sport and discovery.
As for the more daring, they can head down the valley of the former NATO base with its steep staircase, to go fishing or swimming at the foot of the cliffs.
It is also here that the Aquacaux marine farm site is open to visitors, which organises, on specific dates, collecting shellfish, discovering the cliffs where goats have been used to graze the area, in a spirit of natural protection of the coastline.
And to discover Octeville-sur-mer in a different way, head for Le Havre-Octeville airport, to take a seat on board one of the small planes and fly over the coast, the chalk and clay cliffs and discover a unique nature.
Curiosity! At the exit from the village, on the road to Etretat, at the centre of the roundabout, a statue of a fisherman often makes people want to stop to photograph this curiosity and hashtag it.