Etretat is a picturesque costal village in Upper Normandy, France.
It sits on the Alabaster Coast and is nestled between white cliffs that accent the deep blue water below. Originally known as a fishing village it became a popular seaside resort during the 19th century when it was “discovered” by famous artists and writers. It is said that Claude Monet painted many of his paintings in Etretat and also several writers including Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Samuel Beckett, Flaubert and Guy de Maupassant all lived here as well.
The town has much to offer tourists seeking a look back into France’s history. Buildings in the old market square include medieval half-timber structures and fishing cottages that have been around since the beginning of the 20th century. Perhaps the most well-known structures in town are the Notre-Dame Church and Notre-Dame de la Garde Chapel, which was rebuilt after World War II. And let us not forget the golf course, which is known for its spectacular view. Perched 150 feet above the sea, on the cliff tops, the course was designed in 1908, in conjunction with Arnaud Massy, a well-known golf professional.
There are plenty of tourist activities in which to partake while visiting Etretat. Walking, cycling, horse riding, windsurfing and diving are all popular for both locals and those visiting the city. There is also a casino in town and private tours of the area available. If you visit during the months of July and August you will find a special hut on the beach sponsored by the local government. The hut is full of comfortable chairs and books that can be borrowed for free to enjoy while visiting the beach. The town is a bit difficult to reach as there are no trains that run directly to town, but do not let that deter you. There are a few bus options that do run in from Le Havre and Fecamp, both roughly a mere 45 minute bus ride though the French countryside.