It is on the Alabaster Coast in Normandy. The town is nestled between the famous towering cliffs, which inspired numerous paintings by the impressionist Claude Monet. The beach is composed of stones that have been smoothed by the waves of the English Channel and the town is set just behind the beach.
English is not common here, but basic French or use of a phrasebook will get you by. The tourist information centre, next to the bus stop, has a lot of information about the history of the town and can direct you to the beach, a few blocks from the bus stop. Once at the beach, there are trails to hike up to either cliff. There are two large arch formations on the southwest side of the beach is one large arch on the northeast side of the beach; both are spectacular.
The town is somewhat difficult to reach because there is no train that goes to town, but there are main lines that go to Le Havre and Fecamp, both of which have buses that run a few times daily to Étretat. The bus ride is 2 euros per person per way, and the trip takes about 45 min through the countryside. Taking one of the taxis queued outside of the Le Havre train station to Étretat will cost around 60 euros. The town itself is quaint and picturesque.
- Tourist Office, Place Maurice Guillard, B. P. 3, ☏ . These friendly people provide information about the bus routes, places to stay and general information about the town.
You can walk or hike from the town to the tops of the cliffs and get a commanding view of the channel, the beach and the opposite cliffs.
- Walks. Excellent walks along the cliffs enables one to view the limestone cliffs and remarkable erosion.
- Etretat Golf Club. Challenging golf along the clifftops.
- Hotel Dormy House, Route du Havre (left off main road into Étretat from Le Havre), ☏ . Three-star hotel overlooking the bay and the town. Excellent but expensive restaurant. €100.