If its cliffs are among the most impressive natural sites in Europe, the artistic and historical heritage of Etretat will surprise you.
Painted by Monet and Turner
Etretat, a small stranding port already well known in Roman times, has long lived to the rhythm of fishing-related activities. The traces of this era are still visible on the seafront: you can thus observe the capstans used to raise the boats on the pebbles or the caloges, old boats covered with thatch. The painter Eugène Isabey is the true discoverer of Etretat, which he was the first to paint, in 1820. Turner, Boudin, Monet and many others will bring their vision of the seafront and the famous cliffs to his suite.
One of the most beautiful beaches in Normandy
Surrounded by impressive upstream and downstream cliffs, Etretat beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Normandy. Sit facing the sea and listen to the rolling of the waves on the pebbles. In summer, the beach is quickly taken over. A floating diving board is a delight for teenagers. Parents relax while children bathe or sort the pebbles in search of the most sparkling. But the beach of Etretat is also appreciated in bad weather, when the waves are impressive. To observe the spectacle, the seafront promenade is ideal. Take a seat on the terrace and contemplate the work of Mother Nature !
The rise of sea bathing
The first part of the 19th century in Normandy was marked by the rise of sea bathing, appreciated for its therapeutic virtues. From 1840, visitors, industrialists, bankers, wealthy merchants, artists and journalists from Paris or England flocked to Etretat. Like Offenbach, some of them built charming villas in the center of the village or on its heights. The beach and the seafront are equipped with equipment dedicated to these newcomers: cabins, hotels, casino… Many of these constructions on the seafront will be destroyed during the Second World War but a nice walk will allow you to discover elegant villas.