Nestled between impressive cliffs on the Alabaster Coast, Étretat is a gem of Normandy that has seduced numerous artists, writers, and travelers over the centuries. This charming little town is famous for its spectacular rock formations, pebble beach, and rich cultural heritage.
In this travel guide, we take you through an unforgettable day in Étretat, a destination that offers much more than just impressive panoramas. From the famous cliffs of Étretat to its lush gardens, from its delicious local cuisine to its peaceful nighttime atmosphere, discover how to make the most of 24 hours in this gem of Normandy.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a picturesque getaway in Normandy, Étretat has something to offer everyone.
Prepare to be amazed by Étretat’s spectacular cliffs and natural beauty, charmed by its authentic French coastal village character, and fall in love with its unique and tranquil atmosphere. Welcome to Étretat, the jewel of the Alabaster Coast, where every moment is an invitation to marvel.
Morning Itinerary in Étretat
The Cliffs of Étretat
After savoring your breakfast in Étretat, head to the famous cliffs of Étretat for a morning walk. These spectacular cliffs, sculpted by the sea and wind, are the emblem of the charming town of Étretat in Normandy.
You will discover impressive rock formations like the Manneporte, Courtine, Aval, and Aiguille. Don’t forget your camera, as the panoramic views of the Alabaster Coast are absolutely breathtaking!
Walk on the Chemin des Douaniers in Étretat
For a moment of tranquility and serenity, take a walk on the Chemin des Douaniers. This coastal path in Étretat offers exceptional panoramic views of the sea and emerald cliffs. It’s also a great way to discover the local wildlife and plants, such as seabirds and wild plants of Normandy. Make sure to respect safety rules and stay on marked trails.
This morning walk will give you a first impression of the impressive natural beauty of Étretat. Then, it will be time to discover the local cuisine and the fascinating history of this charming Norman town. But we will talk about this in the next section.
Afternoon Itinerary in Étretat
After your morning walk on the cliffs of Étretat and the Chemin des Douaniers, it’s time to immerse yourself in the flavours of Normandy. For lunch, choose a local restaurant in Étretat and try some regional specialties.
You could taste a platter of fresh seafood from the English Channel, a dish of creamed mussels from Isigny, or a piece of camembert, a typical cheese of the region. Also, don’t miss the chance to taste Norman cider, a much-appreciated local drink, known for its sweet and fruity taste.
The Gardens of Étretat
Satiated, head next to the Gardens of Étretat. These sculptural art gardens, perched on the Amont cliff, offer an impressive panoramic view of the English Channel and Étretat’s rock formations. The modern sculptures harmoniously blend with the lush vegetation, creating a landscape that’s both surreal and enchanting. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing afternoon walk in Normandy.
Castle of Aygues
If time allows, also consider a visit to the Château des Aygues in Étretat. Although located a little off the city centre, this 19th-century castle is absolutely worth the detour for its impressive neo-Gothic architecture and its magnificent lush gardens.
It’s a must-see stop for anyone wishing to discover the history and heritage of Normandy.
Beach of Étretat
End your afternoon with a moment of relaxation on Étretat Beach, one of the most photogenic sites in Normandy.
Whether you choose to take a walk along the shoreline, have a picnic with local products, or simply sit and watch the waves of the English Channel, the beach is the perfect place to unwind and appreciate the wild and picturesque beauty of the Normandy coast.
An Unforgettable Evening in Étretat
Your day in Étretat wouldn’t be complete without savoring the local Normandy cuisine in a cozy setting. For dinner, choose from a variety of restaurants in Étretat, ranging from traditional brasseries to starred gourmet restaurants. For an authentic culinary experience, try a dish of fresh fish or seafood, paired with a glass of regional wine.
After dinner, a night walk through the picturesque streets of Étretat is a must. The charm of this historical town takes on a whole new dimension at night, when soft lights illuminate the cobblestone streets and half-timbered houses. It’s the perfect time to appreciate the quiet and romantic atmosphere of this small seaside town.
If you’re looking for a night activity, even though Étretat is a small town, you can find a few bars to taste a local drink. Alternatively, consider a peaceful evening walking along Étretat Beach, listening to the soothing sound of the waves.
Finally, don’t forget to take a last look at the illuminated cliffs of Étretat. The sight of these stone giants under the stars is truly breathtaking and will perfectly conclude your day in Étretat.