Lion sur Mer has been a popular seaside destination since the advent of the railways, yet paradoxically it’s quieter now than it was in its Belle Epoque heyday.

Even on busy hot summer days, you can still find a quiet spot on the huge sandy beach, or enjoy the backstreet architecture, meeting little more than a snoozing cat.

Sadly the narrow gauge railway has long since disappeared, but you’ll still find everything you need within walking distance.

With a vehicle, you’ll have the whole of Lower Normandy to explore, yet you could leave it at home, enjoy the seaside from a peaceful cottage, and take advantage of the regular bus services to and from Caen or Bayeux.

Very Local Services

All the local services and points of interest on this map are within easy walking or a short driving distance. Zoom in or out and click on any icon to see more details.

Emplacement du gîte | Gite Location

Parking | Parking

Restaurants | Restaurants

Bars | Bars

Magasins | Shops

Marchands de vin | Wine Merchants

Tabacistes | Tobacconists

Services publics | Public Services

Tourisme | Tourism

Médical | Medical

An Architectural Amble

Driving Options

These days, many people prefer to use TomTom or similar to negotiate unfamiliar routes. In which case you only need to enter our address (18 Rue Edmond Bellin, 14780 Lion-sur-Mer, Normandie, France), or more accurately one of the nearby car parks (see map above), as there is no parking immediately outside the property.

If you prefer a more traditional approach, the following information should ensure that you reach us without unnecessary detours!

Wherever in mainland Europe you’re coming from, the nearest motorway-linked city is Caen (14000), so head for here and follow the instructions below.

If you’re coming across the English Channel from the UK or Ireland, please refer to the Ferries section as you can probably avoid Caen altogether.

From Caen

Once you reach the Caen ring road (le peripherique) from any direction, you don’t really need to enter the city and risk getting confused in unfamiliar territory. Just follow the ring road in a northward direction and take the exit clearly marked Ouistreham car ferry – just 15km from Caen.

At the end of the dual carriageway stretch, and before you enter Ouistreham, you’ll come to a large roundabout* bedecked with many European flags. Go almost right around this and take the third exit onto the D514 (see picture left). Follow this road until the next roundabout (where you might wish to take the first exit into a large shopping centre to stock up on essentials), otherwise continue along the D514 (via the third exit) and continue straight on across three more roundabouts until you come to traffic lights on a main junction which is the coast road.

Turn left here and keep straight on until you get to the traffic lights at the centre of Lion-sur-Mer in approx. 10 minutes. Turn right at the lights and you’re in Rue Edmond Bellin. Alternatively, use the parking about 100m on the right before the traffic lights, or in the church square on the left at the lights. Both are equally close to the gîte.

*BEWARE! This roundabout is a favourite place for Gendarmerie/Police Nationale spot checks!

From North West & North East France

Again from either of these directions, you can probably avoid Caen if you prefer the back roads to motorways.

From Brittany, the Channel Islands or Cherbourg, we would suggest heading for Bayeux, then taking a country route through some of the pretty Norman villages, either just in the interior or along the coast road. This is a bit slower, but more relaxing, affording you the opportunity to discover some of the places you might like to visit during your stay.

From Nord-Pas de Calais, you might consider heading for Le Havre, then crossing the spectacular Pont de Normandie (tolls apply) before winding your way along the coast road from Honfleur to Ouistreham, via Pegasus Bridge at Bénouville. Again, it’s a more relaxing drive and offers you the opportunity to discover some of the places you might like to visit during your stay.

Ferry Options

Portsmouth – Caen Car Ferry

If you’re visiting us from or via the UK, the simplest port of entry either as foot passengers, cyclists or in your car is via the Portsmouth – Caen (Ouistreham) ferry.

Driving from Caen (Ouistreham)

From Caen (Ouistreham) it’s only a fifteen minute drive along the coast road to Lion-Sur-Mer.

When you get to the crossroads/traffic lights in the centre of Lion-Sur-Mer, turn right and you’re in Rue Edmond Bellin. Alternatively, use the parking about 100m on the right before the traffic lights, or in the church square on the left at the lights. Both are very close to the gîte.

For Cyclists

The safest and most pleasant route for cyclists is via the coastal path. From the ferry terminal to your holiday home doorstep is approx. 6km, so a mere 20 minute ride.

When you see La Fabrique Hotel Bar, turn first left immediately after it and you will be 150m (straight ahead) from your destination.

Please be aware that the coastal path (la digue) is first and foremost a walkway and that pedestrians always have right of way. It is not a cycling raceway, so please slow down and enjoy the sea views and architecture.

For Foot Passengers

There are regular buses from Ouistreham to Lion-Sur-Mer (numbers 12 or 12e – Express), but please bear in mind that the stop you need is not immediately in front of the ferry port, but a couple of minutes walk south (if you go north you’ll end up in the sea!) in the Place du Général de Gaulle.

Since Google Maps passed here, the bus number has changed from 61 to 12 & 12e!

You can’t miss it as it’s right next to the public toilets (always handy) and opposite Les Sauveteurs en Mer – the French RNLI. If you’ve just missed a bus we suggest you note the time of the next one (generally hourly or less at peak times – such as they are) and enjoy a drink in one of the nearby bars.

Don’t forget to flag the bus down when you see it coming!

Up to date timetable for buses 12 and 12e. If this specific link is defunct, just go to the Twisto home page and choose one of the following links (only in French) – each will provide you with details of the next bus:

Horaires | Timetables

  • Dépliants horaires | Timetable leaflets (downloadable PDFs)
  • Horaires en temps réel | Real time timetables
  • Horaires à l’arrêt | Timetable at individual stops (enter Ouistreham Port)

The Direction you want is LION Haut Lion or Lion Plage

The current ticket price is 1.80€ (all journeys cost the same regardless of distance) so make sure you have some loose change handy as drivers are apt to be a bit grumpy if you hand them a large denomination note! When given the ticket you should ‘register’ it using the electronic reader by the bus entrance.

The closest stop (3/4 minute walk) in Lion-sur-Mer is Bas Lion which should take about 13/14 minutes from Ouistreham Port.

Upcoming stops are generally sign-posted or auto-announced on the bus, but you may need to ring the red stop request bell somewhere between the previous stop at Hermanville Plage and Bas Lion 3 minutes away.

When you get off here, all you need do is follow the road back in the direction you’ve just come until you come to the crossroads/traffic lights by the Norman church. Turn left here and you’re in Rue Edmond Bellin.

If you’re uncertain of the language, the correct French to ask the driver to let you know is as follows:

Could you let me know when we stop at Bas Lion please?
Pouvez-vous me faire savoir quand nous nous arrêtons au Bas Lion s’il vous plaît ?

If you’re really nervous with French pronunciation you could copy and print this phrase out and hand the note to the driver.

If you do happen to miss this stop, don’t panic! The very next stop is where the bus terminates, so you’ll only have an extra five minute walk to get to your objective. As you exit the bus terminus, you’ll see the sea on your left – head for it, turn right and continue along the sea wall path until you get to La Fabrique Hotel Bar, turn right just before this and you will be 150m (straight ahead) from your destination.


Taxis generally meet ferry (and airport) arrivals speculatively but can be in high demand outside bus hours.

Alternatively you can pre-book via Taxis Ouistreham on +33 ( 0) 7 65 21 93 98

If you don’t speak French, we can pre-book a local taxi on your behalf (we charge a small admin fee for this), but you’ll need to let us know a name and numbers in advance. They will then meet you (with a name sign) in the arrivals hall, so keep an eye out for that.

If you get held up by customs or immigration for any reason, we cannot be responsible for any additional waiting charges incurred. Also, be aware that taxis are quite pricey in France.

Please Note: All prices stated above are as of January 2024. We will endeavour to update these as and when necessary.


Follow the same direction as for cyclists above.

Alternative Ferry Services

Cross Channel

Newhaven – Dieppe
Cherbourg via Portsmouth | Poole | Ireland
Portsmouth – Le Havre

Channel Islands

St. Helier or St. Peter Port – Saint-Malo
Barneville Carteret (foot passengers only)
Granville (foot passengers only)

Flight Options

Via Paris

The main Paris airports offer services from every corner of the globe, and once again you will need to consult the Train or Driving options above in order to reach Caen, then Lion-Sur-Mer.

Via Caen-Carpiquet

Caen-Carpiquet is the closest regional airport and about 30 mins drive from our location.

Car hire facilities can be found on-site at Sixt.

Transferring by bus is also possible. Just go to the Twisto home page and enter the following details (see screenshot) in the pop up box provided. Click ‘Valider’ and the next few options will be presented to you. Overall journey time is around 1hr30mins but the cost minimal.

Taxis are also an option from any airport. Check under Ferries for further information on our local taxi company.

Direct Flights

  • Ajaccio
  • Calvi
  • Figari
  • Lyon
  • Marseille
  • Nice

Via Lyon

  • Biarritz
  • Bordeaux
  • Brest
  • La Rochelle
  • Lille
  • Marseille
  • Metz-Nancy
  • Nantes
  • Nice
  • Pau
  • Poitiers
  • Strasbourg
  • Toulouse

International Flights

  • Amsterdam
  • Bologna
  • Brussels
  • Milan
  • Nuremberg
  • Prague
  • Rome
  • Venice
  • Vienna

See Caen-Carpiquet Airport web site for full up-to-date details.

Caen Railway Station

A regular service runs from Paris St. Lazare to Caen and takes around 2 hours.

SNCF Caen is served by various French cities (and intermediate stops) including:

  • Cherbourg
  • Rennes
  • Rouen Rive Droite
  • Lille
  • Le Mans

Check full details at SNCF (web site also in English and German).

To get a bus from Caen Railway Station to Lion-Sur-Mer, got to the Twisto home page and enter the detail in the screenshot in the pop up box for up to the hour details.

The bus station is immediately on your left as you exit the front of the railway station.

You will also find several car hire agencies immediately opposite the railway station. Taxis also ply their trade outside the station, but from here to Lion-Sur-Mer will be pretty pricey!


Eurostar is also an option from the UK via Paris or Lille. In this instance you’ll either need to follow the instructions for Train passengers above, or Driving as applicable.

Click for full size.

Useful French > English translations:

Arret de bus > Bus stop (closest)

Portail en bois > Wooden gate

Par ici > This way

Jusqu’au bout d’allée > Right to the end of the alley (almost!).

Precise Location of Gîte

This what3words address refers to a 3 metre square location. Tap the link or enter the 3 words in the free what3words app to find it.

Map Co-ordinates

49.301302, -0.31506500
49°18′4.6872″N, 0°18′54.2340″W


Please park sensibly and thoughtfully

There are four car parks within very close proximity (see Precise Location Tab on this page or Very Local Services Map), the closest and most secure of which is the Aire Camping-Car Park, just 200m by foot via a little alley.

In addition to dedicated facilities for motor-homes, this has 60 (check) car parking spaces as well as a few for coaches. Please do not use the latter for your car, even if others appear to be doing so. This car park is covered by CCTV security cameras, but the nearby alternatives are just as safe as there is virtually zero crime in our small community.

We can take no responsibility for theft of or damage to vehicles. In the unlikely event of either happening, we will be happy to help you contact the Gendarmerie (see also Translation Fees).

Please do not leave your car parked in the courtyard entrance, other than for briefly loading and unloading your luggage. To speed this up, you’ll find a baggage trolley in the garden shelter. If you text/call us on arrival, your hosts will come & meet you with it if required and we are available. If not available, we will make other arrangements with a neighbour.


If you are holidaying with bicycles, you are welcome to store your bike(s) under the garden shelter. Please ensure you walk your bikes(s) in the courtyard and along the alley to the house.

Although there is virtually zero crime in Lion-sur-Mer, we strongly recommend that you securely lock bikes at night or if left unattended. We will take no responsibility for their theft or damage, but in the unlikely event of either happening, we will be happy to help you contact the Gendarmerie (see also Translation Fees).

Speed Limit

Both motorists and cyclists should be aware that the speed limit in the Rue Edmond Bellin is 20 Km/h (that’s 12.5 mph), and that pedestrians always have right of way. Parents with children will be pleased to hear this, but should also ensure that children do not run into the road – there is always a chance that an idiot is out and about.

If we see or hear of our guests flouting these simple rules we will regard such anti-social behaviour as a breach of our Terms & Conditions.

Like reinventing the wheel, it’s pointless our repeating the extensive information you’ll find (in several languages) in the many tourism related web sites devoted to Normandy.

Instead, we’ll simply offer you an extensive list of links to the best of them via the Normandy Tourism & Very Local Tourism menus below. Each opens in a separate tab.

We regularly add new ideas in the form of blog posts, so be sure to check our Updates section for more great attractions and seasonal events.

D-Day Tours

Sword Beach, Lion-sur-Mer – 6th June 1944

One of the main reasons many people visit this part of Normandy is its connection with the D-Day landings, subsequent battle of Normandy, and indeed the liberation of France as a whole.

Given that le Gai Séjour is just 200m from Sword Beach, we’re right on the left flank of where it happened.

Less obvious perhaps is the fact that the British half of your Anglo-French hosts is a modern military historian and specialist in the Battle of Normandy. As such, I am very happy to offer guests personal tours, ranging from a local walk explaining in detail what happened along the length of Sword Beach, to accompanying you on more extensive tours further along the coast or inland. These can be further personalised to the experiences of regiment(s) connected to your region, or indeed that of a family member who was here, or sadly remains here in one of the many military cemeteries.

If this is of interest, there is a special form below, which you can use to brief me on the details I’ll need to pre-prepare a personalised itinerary. This can apply equally to all the main nationalities involved in the battles here; notably (in alphabetical order) America, Britain, Canada, France, Germany/Austria & Poland.

All nationalities are of course welcome, but I am only able to present military tours in English or French.

Come what may, my extensive knowledge of this battle will bring it alive for you.

Military Tour Preliminaries

Please only use this form if you are interested in taking a tour with an expert military guide. I will then contact you via email with any supplementary questions (personalised tours only), and quote you a price for the time involved.