Les Jardins 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.

All images © Les Jardins d'Etretat

At the heart of the natural wonder of Normandy, on the top of the cliff towering along the Alabaster Coast, hides a villa, built in this splendid garden that sprawls across the White Cliffs. Madame Thébault named it Roxelana, in commemoration of the role that had catapulted her to the heights of cinema stardom. Roxelana was the beloved wife of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

Les Jardins d’Étretat overhang the famous Amont Cliff, which attracts painters from all over the world. It was on the very terraces of Les Jardins d’Étretat that Claude Monet painted his Cliffs at Etretat series, regarded among the greatest works of art ever produced.

Alexander Grivko is a landscape architect, a creative power behind Les Jardins d’Étretat. Originally from Russia, he is the art director of the garden design and landscaping company Il Nature with representations in Russia, France and the UK.

In 2016, Les Jardins d’Étretat in Normandy was laid out in partnership with a new business associate, collector of contemporary art. It is now the first garden, existing within the planned international network of art gardens open to the public.

The Avatar Garden
In Sanskrit, ‘Avatar’ means the descent of the divinity upon Earth, namely, the guardian of creation, incarnate in the universe. This arrangement is symbolically set at the entrance to the gardens, balancing between the real world and the gateway to the surreal fairy-tale made of plant sculptures, where even the trees make music.

The Emotions Garden
This garden has been modelled after Marie-Antoinette’s first French oyster park, which historically lies at the foot of Les Jardins d’Étretat and is now home to a set of expressive faces. The garden plants are shaped to resemble a seabed.

The Impressions Garden
This historical part of the garden overlooks the Étretat cliffs. The plants seem to embody the flowing water, along with the tides and ebbs of the English Channel washing over the cliffs. This is the vantage point from which Claude Monet made a series of stunning landscapes while working on the upper terrace of the garden

D’Aval Garden
This is the meeting point for artists, where one may discover magical plants inspired by the world of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the yew arches that symbolize the famous Aval Cliff of Étretat.

The Zen Garden
According to Zen philosophy, the garden embodies the harmony between man and nature. The garden houses a sound installation, evoking the ideas of Gesamtkunstwerk. Hanging in the air, these earthenware pieces add to the calming sonic ambiance of the garden, as the word ‘art’ resounds in every language imaginable, both dead and alive, to represent the divine harmony of creation.

La Manche Garden
This centrepiece is composed of hedge mazes, shaped like waves, crashing against the cliffs and arches of Etretat.

D’Amont Garden
The garden majestically towers above the lower slopes of Les Jardins d’Étretat, imitating the rocky layers of the White Cliffs of Normandy.

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Jardins d’Étretat
Avenue Damilaville, 76790 Étretat


Open: daily 10am–7pm