The cliffs of Roches Noires

Roches Noires beach is a remarkable site on the Normandy coast, located between Trouville-sur-Mer and Villerville (4km). It owes its name to the large dark blocks scattered on the beach which come from limestone layers of the cliff and which have been covered by algae and lichens. Alternating gentle slopes and vertical walls, and peaking at 60 meters in certain places, the cliffs and this 135 hectare space are partly classified as a "Sensitive Natural Area" by the Calvados department, because they are of paleontological and geological interest.

Indeed, the cliffs of the black rocks are the result of the erosion of sedimentary layers deposited more than 100 million years ago, during the Jurassic period, when Normandy was covered by a warm and shallow sea. We can observe strata of different colors and textures, witnesses of past climatic variations. You can also find fossils of dinosaurs, shark teeth, marine crocodilians and many marine species.

The Black Rocks beach is also a great place to discover the local fauna and flora. At low tide, you can explore the rocks and ponds, where crabs, shrimps, starfish, anemones, algae, and many other species hide. At high tide, you can observe seabirds, such as seagulls, gulls, black scoters and even oystercatchers. The area is also frequented by migratory birds.

The Roches Noires beach is an ideal place to recharge your batteries and take a stroll. It offers an exceptional panorama of the sea and the cliffs, which change color depending on the daylight. It invites contemplation and curiosity, revealing the secrets of nature.

Since 2007, the joint association “Calvados Littoral Espaces Naturels” has managed the Trouville-sur-Mer/Villerville cliffs site, the objective being the preservation and restoration of its natural heritage. A “natural” public park, the Parc des Graves, a descent to the sea and a network of trails have been created.

On the beach side, the site can be discovered by taking the seaside at low tide. Caution is required to avoid being blocked at the foot of the cliff by the rising tide, the two main access points being at the ends, at Trouville-sur-Mer and Villerville.


  • Sensitive Natural Spaces