POSTCARDS FROM ETRETAT
I’ve travelled quite a lot over the years but a couple of trips are closer to my heart. It’s because they bring back the happiest memories – moments of love and laughter, flavours and scents that make me feel like I’m back. Etretat in France is one of those places. It was the final stop of an amazing road trip along the coast of Normandy and Brittany and looking back, one of the highlights of the whole trip.
Starting from Honfleur, my partner in crime and I visited beautiful places, like Mont St Michel, St Malo and finally, Etretat. We only spend a few hours there but it was enough to fall in love with it. Famed for its dramatic chalk and limestone white cliffs and sprawling pebble beaches, Etretat turned from a fishing village to a fashionable seaside resort when prosperous Parisians flocked to the area during La Belle Époque. Its natural beauty has inspired some of the most famous painters, like such as Camille Corot, Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet. The latter actually lived there with his would-be wife Camille Doncieux when he created some of his most iconic works. Having visited Monet’s house in Giverny, I can see how he picked the best places to stay!
Nowadays Etretat is a popular destination for weekend getaways or day trips. It’s fairly small and quiet but perfect to relax, unwind and enjoy the scenery. The famous Falaises d’Etretat are easily accessible to both sides and you can walk all the way to the top through marked paths. Going up requires a bit of effort but you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views. To the left is the famous Port d’Aval and the Aiguille d’Etretat, a needle like rock standing solemnly in the sea. The other side is called the Porte d’Amont where you’ll spot the Chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde perched high above the surrounding sea.
Take your time, walk around and take in the views. If you love photography, like yours truly, it may be hard to stop taking photos. I couldn’t – obviously. Jokes aside, this place is special. I’ll always remember watching the sun go down from a little bench on top of the Falaise Amont and feeling grateful for the experience. If you’ve already been, I’d love to also hear your impressions and stories here or on Instagram!