PORTBAIL SELF-CATERING HOLIDAY RENTAL | MANCHE | NORMANDY
Portbail is less than 10 minutes from Glatigny Farmhouse holiday home and is just up the coast. It's proximity was one of the deciding factors in our settling on buying the property initially.
Portbail is a really beautiful and very French port town on an estuary.
It is typically French in layout, with the church and boules area in the centre of town, but the historic buildings and quality businesses make it a great destination for your holiday.
When renting self-catering holiday home accommodation near Portbail, you'll want both good restaurants and a beautiful environment and Portbail won't disappoint! You will find a number of great restaurants in the lovely town that will keep you satisfied. Here is our list of the best restaurants in Portbail and the best places to visit:
'Aux 13 Arches' - this is a very good restaurant specialising in seafood (much of which is caught within a couple of miles!), this is a 'posher' place to eat, but again, as seems the way in France, it is very cheap for exceptional food. (Booking recommended)
'Au Rendez-vous des Pecheurs' - a local fish restaurant which overlooks the estuary, and perfect visit for the setting sun. The food is great quality and very reasonably priced. Whilst we you won't find a 'Croque Madam' on the menu, this is a favourite of ours here!
'Le Bac a Sable', Lindbergh plague - just outside of Portbail. Whilst not always open (ring ahead and do make a booking) this has a very cool atmosphere and often plays great live music. The location is great.
The tourism office in Portbail, which is in the town square, states three aims - to welcome, to inform and to promote the area and it does them all superbly!! If you unsure what to do in Portbail or of the best places in Manche, Normandy (Normandie), it is a great starting point. You can get advice on local attractions, transport and things to do. and things to see Let us know your Top 10 things to do in Normandy. There are also many leaflets of things to do in Portbail in your holiday home of Glatigny Farmhouse.
Market day in Portbail is Tuesday morning . It runs all year (although there are more stalls during summer) and you can peruse the local produce and freshly cooked food. There also is local alcohol (including Normandie cidres (ciders), calvados and pommeau)! We believe what sets this market apart from many others is the really delicious artisan bakers that come to market (and that's artisan by French standards, which is saying something!).
There are lots of markets, fêtes and music events in Portbail, below are just some of the regular ones:
In mid-July there is a Norman festival celebrating all things Normandy and ending with a firework display!
Every fourth Saturday of the month there is a book-fair selling books, old postcards and things of this sort.
On the weekend closest to the 21st June Portbail holds a big fête, where you can get all of the above, but also huge section of 'brocante' (flea market) type wares, live music and street food. The atmosphere is brilliant.
There is a very large brocante sale throughout Portbail on the first weekend in June and also the penultimate Sunday in August - get in there quick though as all the best buys go early!
In mid-August there is a harbour festival.
The History of Portbail
Portbail was the base of ancient Gallo-Roman civilisation when Jersey opposite and Portbail were joined by beach. The earliest traces of settlement go back as far as 50 BC! It was a trade route from the Mediterranean to the British Isles and vice versa, and sailors often stopped off in this port town.
In 2017 underground aqueducts and baths were discovered around the Saint-Marc area of Portbail dating back to the Gallo-Roman origins. It is possible Portbail was the Roman port town called 'Grannonum'.
5th June 1944 shortly before midnight, saw paratroop allies dropped over Portbail from the 101th Squadron from Carentan.
Portbail received the 'War Cross with a Bronze Star' on the 11th November 1948 by Max Lejeune, Secretary of State for the Armed Forces, this was due in part to the 'Battle of Liberation' where two-thirds of Portbail was ravaged and many local people lost their lives.
The are many of historical buildings from Portbail of old, dating back to the 11th century - the church, manors and the wooden knave and tower of the 'Notre-Dame'
There are a number of things to see in Portbail; the 'Notre-Dame' church which dates back to the 11th century has a bell tower which also historically acted as a type of lighthouse for the area. The church often has many exhibitions and events throughout the year, from art exhibitions, sculpting classes to music concerts.
The main attraction for many to Portbail is its water sports and sand yachting. Sailing, water-skiing, sand yachting ,etc can be arranged from the harbour in Portbail .
There is a charming little shop next to 'Le Bac a Sable' on Lindbergh-Plage (which is named after the American pilot who made the beach famous by being the first to cross the Atlantic ocean in May 1927 and landed on said beach) which sells beautiful cloths, jewellery and curiosities from Morocco, Africa, Turkey and such styles. The styles really are unique and beautiful and we have bought many gifts here ourselves - it is worth having a look around.
The hinterland area is also very popular for hiking.
The postal code for this commune is 50580. It has a population of approximately 1600 (the local people being called 'Portbaillais').