Étretat

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The white cliffs và three natural rock arches of Etretat are some of the best-known sights in Upper Normandy in France & a popular day-trip destination.

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Reopening of Tourist Sights in France 2021: Most museums, monuments, palaces, và similar sights are likely khổng lồ reopen from 19 May 2021. Advanced time-slot reservation tickets are a requirement at many museums.

Etretat is famous for its three natural arches và white chalk cliffs that tower high over the Atlantic Ocean. These natural wonders are freely accessible, as is the White pebble beach. Claude Monet and other Impressionists famously painted the arches và cliffs in the nineteenth century. An Arsène Lupin story was based here while Guy du Maupassant spent most of this childhood in the town. The old town center is fairly pretty too making Etretat a popular day-trip destination from other towns và sights in Normandy.

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The White Cliffs & Arches of Etretat

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The coastal resort town Etretat on the English Channel in the Seine-Maritime Department of Haute Normandie (Upper Normandy) is famous for the two natural arches that can be seen from the oceanfront boardwalk and White shingle beach.

The cliffs of Etretat are easily scaled via steep paths – as it is a natural site safety railings are far và few between and care should be taken especially when traveling with small children. (Although it seems young adults tover lớn take the most ridiculous risks here.)

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From the beach and boardwalk in Etretat Trắng cliffs and two natural arches can be seen without requiring any effort from visitors – the third and largest arch cannot be seen from the town. To the southwest (left when facing the sea) are the Falaise Aval and Aiguille (& further on the larger Manneporte arch) và lớn the northeast (right) the Falaise Amont. These natural arches were originally formed by an underground river running parallel khổng lồ the present coastline but the sea has further enlarge them.

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The path và steps to the top of the rocks lead directly from either kết thúc of the boardwalk. The views from either end are magnificent but Falaise Aval with the further sights of the needle & the third arch are the more popular.

No toilets or water are available once away from the beachfront. “Doing” the rocks require about an hour for each side. Sturdy footwear is advisable but not essential.


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Falaise Aval – Natural White Cliffs & Rock Arch at Etretat

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Visitors can either scale Falaise Aval or walk through the arch at low tide. Do note the warnings posted – only set out at least four hours before high tide or the return route will be flooded. This requires a six-hour wait or a very expensive sầu boat ride if help is called.

More popular, và safer, is to lớn scale the rock via the designated path. From the German Second World War bunker, the route leads up khổng lồ the top of the White chalk cliffs. Visitors can enjoy magnificent views of the ocean, cliffs, Etretat & beach, as well as the Falaise Amont on the opposite kết thúc of the town. (The parking lot at the top of this roông xã can be annoying empty even on a busy day.)

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Behind the arch at Falaise Aval is the 77-m high Aiguille needle rochồng. According khổng lồ various stories & legends, including an Arsène Lupin story (“The Hollow Needle” / “L’Aiguille Creuse”), a treasure was hidden here. A secret passage should have led inlớn the needle.Historical photosshow that the needle has lost some of its height to the elements in the last century or so.

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Walkways & safety railings make it possible to enter some hollow parts of the roông xã. However, most of the site is not fenced off & it is long fall to lớn a fairly certain death for whoever goes over the edge.

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Further lớn the southwest is the Manneporte, which Maupassant famously described as an elephant dunking its trunk into lớn the ocean. This is the largest of the three arches at Etretat. En route it is also possible to lớn see in the sea the remains of 18th-century oyster beds.

There is little point in hiking much beyond the Manneporte arch, as the best way baông chồng to the town is to lớn retrace the route. The golf course adjacent to the cliffs is strictly off-limits to lớn casual hikers. It is possible to lớn hike around the golf course but the prettier route is definitely next lớn the sea.

Falaise Amont và Arch at Etretat

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The stairs và path leading to the top of Falaise Amont seem a bit steeper, especially nearer to lớn the town. However, as at Falaise Aval, once up the landscape is fairly flat. From here, visitors can enjoy similar views as from the opposite kết thúc of town but of course without the benefit of seeing a third arch.

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The Chapelle Notre Dame de la Garde keeps guard over the rocks here but the chapel is not particularly noteworthy cthua up. Also very prominent is the white arrow-like monument Nungesser et Coli with a stone airplane. This monument & a small museum are dedicated to lớn these two French pilots, who attempted the first non-stop flight from Paris khổng lồ Thành Phố New York in 1927. Their plane L’Oiseau Blanc (White Bird) was last seen leaving France over Etretat và presumably crashed somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

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It is possible lớn drive sầu up lớn Falaise Amont. The road is narrow and long sections single lane with blind corners – drivers traveling in the direction of the red arrow should give sầu way, or reverse.

Etretat Town Center

Etretat offers all the entertainment & trappings of a typical French & Normandy coastal resort. The old town has some fine and ugly buildings – often side-by-side và some lovely half-timbered buildings adorned by neon signs.

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Many restaurants & tourists shops offer all demanded by day-trippers và holidaymakers at a coastal resort. Prices can be closer lớn Parisian levels than rural Normandy on all items including food & drink. A casino right on the beach is open daily from 10 am khổng lồ 3 am.

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The covered market (Marché Couvert) is a reconstruction and now mostly used by shops aiming squarely at the tourism market. Further inland is the Église Notre Dame, a 12th-century Romanesque church (but the tympanum is from the 19thcentury). The nearby station is now only used for tourist bicycle-train (velo-rail) excursions. The Clos Arsène Lupin is for fans of Maurice Leblanc only.

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The beach at Etretat is freely accessible lớn all. As in the times of the Impressionists, boating và other water activities are still popular with equipment on rent at the beach.

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Getting to lớn Etretat is easiest by oto but a bus service is also available to lớn Le Havre with good railway connections to Paris & Rouen. Flixbus has seasonal direct buses from Paris lớn Etretat.

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Filed Under: France, Normandy, Seine-Maritime Tagged With: Amazon, AMPP, Arsène Lupin, Etretat, Haute Normandie, J2019, Normandie, Seine-Maritime, Upper Normandy, White Cliffs