I love Paris. Life is boiling here: fashion events, exhibitions, theatres, concerts, wine and cheese. What else one can wish for? Well, how about a little bit of quietness and fresh air. That’s something Paris cannot offer and I’ve been craving for a getaway.
One day, when I was procrastinating on various web pages, I stumbled upon picturesque landscapes of Etretat. It reminded me badly of Durdle Door and Lulworth I went to back in the summer 2013. I had to go there! I didn’t find a way to get there by myself on public transport but, fortunately, one of my friends with a car was up for a road trip!
Etretat [or Étretat as in French] is in Upper-Normandy [or Haute-Normandie] region which is about a 2,5-hours drive depending on the trafic. We headed out early in the morning on a sunny autumnal day. With a good music on and in high spirits, we easily reached our destination.
The town itself is tiny and is not of a particular interest, but Etretat is known for its natural arches (it has three of them!). Eugène Boudin and Claude Monet were attracted to this place. Guy de Maupassant spent most of his childhood there and featured it in two of his novels. Arsène Lupin, Maurice Leblanc’s character, pops in Etretat on one of his adventures in The Hollow Needle.
Whether you go on the right or on the left, you can climb the cliffs to see the overview of Etretat. From there you can clearly count three natural arches. We first climbed on our left and then went down to find something to eat as our bellies were growling.
Having our appetites satisfied, we then walked around the city and up the cliff on the right side of the beach. By then the day light was fading, the weather was getting moodier and the wind rose. We quickly realised that it was the end of our stay in Etretat and it was time to head back to Paris.
I came back home fully recharged and with hundreds of memorable photos from Etretat. Normandy is a beautiful region and I hope to visit more of it in the future.
Where to eat
We went to a crêperie Lann-Bihoué which I highly recommend. Our crêpes were delicious!
The restaurant seemed to be quite popular with local folks. There was no free space whatsoever when we walked in and probably took the last table available.