Étretat, located on the Upper Normandy Coast of Northern France, is a great place to stop if you ever find yourself in the area. The scenery is stunning and the town itself is filled with adorable buildings.
On the day that James and I visited, the town proved to be very popular. It was heaving with people, and we finally found parking on the outskirts of town after driving a couple of loops.
Lunch was at Le Romain d’Etretat Restaurant Pizzéria where James ordered the Bolognese (he’s nothing if not predictable) while I enjoyed pizza.
The only set-in-stone plans we had while in Étretat were to visit Jardin d’Etretat. Because the car was parked on the other side of town, we’d have to climb an hill to reach the gardens. I wasn’t looking forward to it if I’m being honest. And had I known that I’d almost draw my last breath on that hill I’d probably have avoided it all together.
The walk was steep from the start, and felt neverending. Half way up, gasping for air, I moved to the side to catch my breath and let others pass.
Sure, the views were nice but I wasn’t yet able to really appreciate them. We still had more to climb. And so we continued.
Finally we reached the top and I collapsed into the tall grass in relief. After gaining my composure, the views almost took my breath away again. They were stunning, and the soft cool breeze was perfect after my near death experience.
Here’s a photo of Monsieur Courbet’s painting, The Cliffs at Étretat, that I took at Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
Selfie time before we head to the gardens. Check out my post from Friday!
After we visited Jardin d’Etretat, we decided to take a different route back down to town and to the car, which consisted of quiet lanes and almost no traffic.
I’m fairly certain our return route was twice as long as the way we’d come up the hill, but the peace and solitude was worth it.
Have you been to Étretat? If so, what did you think?