Étretat is probably the tourist attraction in the Normandy, and that for a good reason. The view from the two famous cliffs, Falaise d’Amont and Falaise d’Aval, are indeed well worth a visit. Obviously, this is what thousands of other people think, especially when you go in the middle of the summer. But despite the crowds, I have to say, I enjoyed myself (and so did my mum who was my travel companion for this Tour de France).
In order to avoid the crowds at least for a bit, we decided to hike around the area (most people only hang around the main attractions which are the two cliff and the beach in the middle). For those who are ambitious, it’s possible to hike all the way from Le Havre to Fécamp along the coast. We decided to take it slowly. First we went up to la Falaise d’Amont and soaked up the view from there.
Afterwards we went to la Falaise d’Aval from where we continued to hike further south along the coast.
The further away we got from the main viewpoint, the less people we encountered. Especially once we had passed la Plage du Tilleul, which looked like a pleasant, sandy beach, we found ourselves on a practically deserted hiking path compared to the madness just a few kilometers away. Obviously, the views from here are not as spectacular as from the cliffs, tough they are still pretty breathtaking. And next to enjoying this spectacle of Mother Nature, we also thoroughly enjoyed the surrounding tranquility.
We hiked until the light tower (la Phare d’Antifer), after which we turned left and went back via the tiny villages, the golden fields and even a small forest, to Étretat. We finished off this wonderful day on the beach with a well deserved dive into the refreshing Atlantique.