Where should I go next?…
So I have many travel plans prepared (just to name a few, Bordeaux region, the Loire Valley, Eastern Europe, Ireland etc etc), but I never thought of planning a trip to Normandy. The 2-day trip to Normandy on the first week of June was a sudden and impulsive decision. I saw some photos online and was saying that I wanted to go and see it myself, the next thing I knew, I had a hotel booked and we were off the same week.
When I say Normandy, maybe the first thing that come in mind are the D-Day beaches but we were heading to Étretat and Rouen instead. 200km, 2 hours and a half drive away from Paris, you may not be familiar with Étretat, but I am sure you have heard of its name and seen some photos.
Étretat is famous for its cliffs, in particular the three natural arches and a pointed ‘needle’.
Manneport, the third and biggest arch
We started off by driving all the way up to the Chapel (free parking there). From there, we got our first view of Porte d’Aval. Breathtaking view, photos don’t do any justice to it!
We walked along the cliff for a bit and soon enough, we followed the steps and got down to the pebble beach to Porte d’Amont.
Deciding that we might as well leave our car there and benefited from the free parking, we went from Porte d’Amont to the other side of the beach. Instead of climbing up the trail on the other cliff, we continued and went further along the beach. There wasn’t any trail, we were simply walking (and from time to time, climbing) on rocks. It wasn’t hard to do and it was definitely worth the afford. We were right next to the two arches.
Of course, let’s not forget the town itself. It is a charming little town. We were supposed to stay in Rouen for the night, but I couldn’t bear to leave Étretat so soon and we ended up staying in a hotel along the main street in Étretat.
It is one of the places where you have to see in France.
Stay tuned for our second day in Normandy where we went to Rouen 🙂