Etretat travel guide

Photo of Etretat

Visit Etretat (Normandy, France)

Photo Gallery Book hotels, flights, car hire

The town of Etretat is situated on the Normandy coast, in the Seine-Maritime department of Normandy and 20 kilometres north of Le Havre.

Etretat is renowned for the coastal scenery around the town, in particular its white cliffs that are familiar from many photos of the region. Both the cliffs and the town itself are highlights of the region and not to be missed if you visiting this part of Normandy.

Explore Etretat

Most visits to Etretat will start with a look at the cliffs and rock formations - how could they not!

The best way to enjoy the scenery is to follow the clifftop path from the town and which has stunning views. The path forms part of the GR21 long distance footpath so you can walk as far as you like...

beach at Etretat

If you walk to the small Church of Notre-Dame you will see some of the best of the impressive views, in particular of the 'arche de la falaise d'aval', the most famous of the rock formations along this part of the coast. As well as the 70 metre high cliffs along the coast there are three main 'rock formations':

  • the falaise d'aval and the aiguille ('downstream cliff and needle);
  • the manneporte, a natural rock arch
  • the falaise d'amont ('upstream cliff'), a thin rock that juts into the sea

There is also a small pebble beach below the cliffs that is popular with visitors


Etretat town

After exploring the cliffs be sure to visit the town centre. Historically a fishing village, Etretat became a popular seaside resort during the 19th century.

This popularity was enhanced by the large number of famous artists and authors who were inspired by Etretat: Monet, Maupassant, Victor Hugo and Flaubert were all enthusiasts of the region around the town, and Monet painted several well known pictures of the coast and cliffs around Etretat.

It is an attractive small town - start with a stroll along the promenade next to the pebble beach in the center of the town where you have a different perspective on the cliffs to either side.

Next you should take a look in the old market hall on the Place Foch. The market hall has a reproduction medieval wooden structure, although it is more devoted to tourist shops than fruit and vegetables now.

In the square around the market you can see some attractive and interesting medieval half-timbered buildings, some of them featuring elaborate wood carvings.

Elsewhere in Etretat you can see medieval houses, fishing cottages and several grand houses that were built in the 'belle epoque' (beginning of the 20th century) at the time the town first became established as a popular seaside resort.

traditional Normandy medieval houses

Etretat also has a large selection of souvenir shops and restaurants specialising in fish, oysters, moules frites, and crepes to enjoy - a refect place for a pause after you have walked along the promenade.

Attractions nearby

As well as the pleasures of the beach and the views along the coast there are numerous sporting activities available at Etretat. Walking, cycling, horse riding, windsurfing and diving are among the most popular, as well as golf, tennis and swimming.

A few kilometres north-east of Etretat you will want to visit Fécamp, in particular to see the abbey church and the Benedictine palace.

See more of the popular Normandy resorts and beaches

You can find more travel ideas in the Seine-Maritime guide and the Normandy guide.

See also Find Etretat hotels

Photos of Etretat

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • etretat-1
  • etretat-2
  • etretat-3
  • etretat-4
  • etretat-5
  • etretat-6
  • etretat-7

Arrange a visit to Etretat

Book hotels, car hire and flights

Organise your visit using the options shown...

Hotels in Etretat best prices

See Etretat hotels

Reserve excursions

Map of Etretat and places nearby


Visit near Etretat with France This Way reviews



A small sea resort, Yport has a pebble beach and is close to attractive coastal cliff scenery

Yport guide


An important town on the Alabaster Coast, Fecamp includes the Bishop's Palace, the Abbey Church and the Church of Saint-Etienne among its highlights

Fecamp guide
Le Havre

Le Havre

Le Havre centre is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, for the concrete city built after the destruction of the town in WW2

Le Havre guide


A village on the coast of Normandy with lots of 19th century villas

Les-Petites-Dalles guide


There are lots of interesting things to see in Honfleur - if you can drag yourself away from the lovely harbour!

Honfleur guide


The pebble beach and promenade are the big attraction on Veulettes-sur-Mer, but find time for the coast path as well!

Veulettes-sur-Mer guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Seine-Maritime

Address: Étretat, Criquetot-l'Esneval, Havre, Normandy, 76790, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 49.707233, longitude 0.2075

Plan your visit to Etretat, Seine-Maritime

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Falaises d'Etretat: site of natural beauty
  • Cote d'Alabatre: site of natural beauty (13 km)
  • Fecamp: town of art and history (14 km)
  • Le Havre: town of art and history (25 km)
  • Jardin d'art et d'essais: remarkable garden (28 km)
  • Honfleur: recommended detour (32 km)
  • Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon: ville fleurie 4* (36 km)
  • Autretot: ville fleurie 4* (38 km)
  • Saint-Valery-en-Caux: ville fleurie 4* (40 km)
  • Touques: ville fleurie 4* (41 km)
  • Parc de Galleville: remarkable garden (42 km)
  • Pont-Audemer: recommended detour (45 km)

Market days in Etretat, France

Regular market(s) are held in Etretat each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Etretat (Francais)