A UNIQUE LANDSCAPE
On the north coast of France, Étretat is renowned for its striking
cliff formations, carved from white cliffs, the same stuff as the White Cliffs
of Dover. These include the Porte d’Aval arch, and The Needle, a fine needle-like
71 metres high.
All images © Etretat Tourist Office, except that for the © Jardins d'Etretat
To the north, the cliffside Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Garde has
dramatic views. Nearby, Le Clos Lupin villa was once home to French novelist
and writer of short stories, Maurice Leblanc. He is known primarily as the
creator of the fictional gentleman thief and detective Arsène Lupin, often
described as a French counterpart to Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation Sherlock
But it is unquestionably the cliffs that steal the show here. Yet there
is far more to Étretat than cliffs and beach. The resort itself is charming,
with fine hotels and Le Vieux Marché a remarkable wooden market hall.
places you won't want to miss
The old market square
The square is dominated by a fine timber-frame covered market which
holds charming boutiques inside. Plaques on the building recall British and
American wartime links to Étretat. Notably, a British hospital was set up in
town during World War I and more than 500 British soldiers died there.
Le Clos Arsène Lupin
Even if you are not familiar with the amusing, much-loved gentleman
burglar character, Arsène Lupin, and his accomplice, Grognard, created by Maurice
Leblanc, it proves a delight to discover all about them at Le Clos Lupin, a
fine townhouse once owned by their creator. English-speaking visitors are
provided with specially adapted materials so that you can enjoy the playful
mystery tour to the full. Young and old alike should be entertained by the
detective adventure you embark upon.
Nungesser et Coli Monument
This astonishing needle-like monument set up behind Notre-Dame de la
Garde in 1963 recalls a pair of French aviation heroes from World War I who, in
1927, attempted the first flight across the Atlantic. Nungesser and Coli’s
plane, Oiseau Blanc, was last seen flying over the white cliffs here.
Les Lardins d’Étretat
The famous actress Madame Thébault created this garden in 1903,
inspired by the Impressionist painter, Claude Monet, who himself was a keen
gardener. He is the one to whom the garden owes its ambience and originality,
faithfully preserved to the present day.