The Cliffs of Étretat


Étretat is a small town (population 1,461 + tons of tourists) in the Haute-Normandie region in the northwest part of France.  It is located on the English Channel along a portion of the coast called Côte d’Albâtre (Alabaster Coast).

During our planning stages we had discussed potentially visiting Étretat and had ultimately decided not to because we wanted to be able to spend more time in Bayeux.

We were sitting in the parking lot at Monet’s Gardens in Giverny, getting the GPS ready to go and made a rare, spur-of-the-moment decision to not follow our itinerary.  Instead of heading to Bayeux, as planned, we decided to drive to Étretat.  We had seen a couple of paintings featuring  Étretat (one by Claude Monet and another by Gustave Courbet) at the Musée d’Orsay, and the falaise d’Etretat (the cliffs of Étretat) were calling our name.  Visiting Étretat was the most spontaneous thing that my husband and I did during our very-well-planned-trip-to-France.

24iuvhcGustave Courbet (1870) – La falaise d’Étretat après l’orage
(The Étretat Cliffs After the Storm)

aba77apClaude Monet (1883) – Étretat: la plage et la porte d’Amont
(Etretat, the beach and the port of Amont)

Here’s a link to the Imgur photo album containing the photos from this post.

We arrived in Étretat and parked just outside of town.  The walk into the town was beautiful.  I was excited to see some wildflowers I had never seen before.  Flowers seem to grow everywhere in France.


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