Pop in to Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme and you will be transported back to the Middle Ages. This village was conquered by the French, the English, and the Burgundians during the Hundred Years’ War, and presents different styles: the Medieval section reveals an extraordinary historical heritage and conserves its medieval character, with narrow alleys, fortified gates, the battlements and Saint-Martin’s church, Guillaume‘s towers or “Joan D’Arc’s towers”, in memory of his passage in 1430.
Here it is also possible to visit the Herbarium, a botanical garden where there are cultivated medieval plants in a jumble of species and colours. In the port, called le Courtgain (meaning “small salary”) the Somme II is docked, categorized as a historical monument but still offering Nautical Tours at Somme’s Bay. The upper part of the village , an extension of the Old Town, has the Abbey (that was built in 622 and is one of the more ancient in Picardie) and its surroundings, in the Picard’s traditional style.
A great activity whilst you visit is the Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme, a tour in a steam train that departs from Saint-Valéry-Sur-Somme and runs the coastline, until Crotoy or Cayeux-Sur-Mer. Tickets have different prices (but are affordable!) depending on the destination. The Baie de la Somme is a natural reserve and offers one of the most beautiful sea views in France.
A good tip is to sleep in a B&B or in Airbnb accommodation and spend at least two days in this amazing environment, to visit nearby villages (Le Crotoy, Abbeville and Ault are just a few to mention) and enrich yourself with the heritage that thrilled during the centuries from the many artists, painters, monarchs and writers who made history here.
Featured Photo Credit: Le Gite des Pilotes