What to see, what to visit, what to do in Veules-les-Roses

Cottage in Veules-les-Roses
Cottage in Veules-les-Roses

Veules-les-Roses, in Normandy, is one of the most beautiful villages in France. It is located on the Côte d’Albâtre, 21 km west of Dieppe, and 52 km north of Rouen, in the Seine-Maritime region.

This charming village of 550 inhabitants offers pretty thatched cottages typically Norman and several mills along the Veules. This is the shortest river in France, barely one kilometre long! It flows into the Channel in the middle of the beach.

What to see and do in Veules les Roses? What are the best activities? What to do in Veules-les-Roses?

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Map of Veules-les-Roses

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How to get to Veules-les-Roses

House in Veules-les-Roses

Getting to Veules-les-Roses by car

From Rouen, take the A 150, then the D 20 towards Saint-Valéry-en-Caux.

Then turn right onto the D 925 (coastal road) towards Dieppe. Another 8 km and you arrive directly in Veules-les-Roses!

The village has four main car parks: the cressonnières and the springs, on the road to Saint-Valéry, and one on each cliff overlooking the beach. Notice to the peeing mice: there are free toilets there 😉

But it is also possible to park for free in the village of Veules-les-Roses, without difficulty out of season.

Getting to Veules-les-Roses by train and bus

It’s not easy! By train, the nearest station is Dieppe, 21 km away.

Then you have to take the bus 61 (Dieppe – Saint-Valéry-en-Caux), with a frequency of 3 to 4 buses per day and a journey time of about 50 minutes. Please note that there are no buses on Sundays, except during the summer holidays!

Visit the village of Veules-les-Roses

The village of Veules-les-Roses attracted artists and writers during the 19th century.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Russian painters even came here to learn about Impressionist art! A passage recalls this historical fact.

Veules-en-Caux became Veules-les-Roses in 1897. And it is especially… advertising! Because the region does not produce roses at all, but rather linen…

The church of Saint-Martin dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries, but its lantern tower dates from the 13th century.

The interior is notable for its beautiful wooden framework. In the nave there are also five sculpted sandstone torso columns dating from the 16th century. Note the decoration: scallops and other marine motifs 😉

Walk along the Veules: the shortest river in France

Cottage in Veules-les-Roses

The Veules is the shortest river in France! It rises in a valley on the Caux plateau, upstream from a watercress farm.

The mini river runs for 1149 m through the village before flowing into the Channel. It is one of the few that you can walk from the source to the estuary in less than 30 minutes!

You will find here the detailed map of the circuit of the “smallest river of France” (PDF)! 🙂

Along the bucolic 3.5 km route (about an hour) through Veules-les-Roses, explanatory panels tell the story of the river and its mills.

You can follow most of the route of the Veules in the village, by following the Champs-Élysées path! It is much narrower… and much cleaner than in Paris… 😉

The Veules in Veules-les-Roses, France's shortest river!
The Veules, in Veules-les-Roses, the smallest river in France!

River in Veules-les-Roses

The most interesting and charming part of the Veules circuit is located upstream.

I’m content here with a few characteristic photos of Veules-les-Roses, not wanting to spoil the discovery for you! 🙂

You can admire thatched cottages and old mills, drowned in the greenery. One of them, the Moulin des Aïeux, still has all its interior mechanism on three floors.

Paddle wheel on the Veules in Veules-les-Roses
Paddle wheel on the Veules in Veules-les-Roses

Continuing towards the centre of the village of Veules-les-Roses, the timber-framed houses give way to flint and brick buildings, characteristic of the Caux region.

Beach of Veules-les-Roses

Veules-les-Roses is also a small seaside resort, with its beach huts in season, characteristic of the Channel shores.

You can taste the Veules oyster, produced at the foot of the cliffs.

The pebble beach of Veules-les-Roses reveals sand at low tide. In the middle, next to the paddling pool, the Veules River flows into the English Channel.

To the east, just past the beach huts in rows, don’t miss Victor Hugo’s little cave! It is said that the writer admired the sea there…

A street in Veules-les-Roses
A street in Veules-les-Roses

The Cérons Memorial

Above, a path, interspersed with stairs, leads to the Cérons Memorial, with its cannons.

It is a reminder of the Battle of France in June 1940, when the cargo ship Cérons, which had come to embark Franco-British troops, fell victim to German shelling.

On 11 and 12 June 1940, the village suffered heavy destruction, particularly on its waterfront, which explains its relatively modern appearance. The wreck of the Cérons can still be seen at low tide.

The memorial offers a beautiful view of Veules-les-Roses and the Alabaster coast.

What to see around Veules-les-Roses

View of the Upstream cliff at Fécamp
View of the Upstream cliff at Fécamp

8 km to the west, Saint-Valéry-en-Caux was – alas – ravaged by the bombing in June 1940 and has a modern face.

Varengeville-sur-Mer, 17 km to the east, is worth a visit for its church, with its stained glass windows signed by Georges Braque, and its magnificent park in the Bois des Moutiers.

Dieppe is a stone’s throw away and offers the liveliness of its port, with its restaurants, its seafront and its old town.

ESTRAN - Cité de la mer in Dieppe
ESTRAN – Cité de la mer in Dieppe

The ESTRAN – Cité de la mer, which explains the maritime environment of the Channel, and the Dieppe castle-museum, which presents a rich collection of carved ivories, are especially worth a visit.

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