Etretat, the artists playgroung
Every time I think about Etretat I feel shivers down my spine. The same shivers I felt when I descended to the English Channel-facing seashore, which, together with the chalk-like cliffs make the small town a sought-after destination for nature lovers.
Etretat is one of those places that make you feel small in comparison with their grandeur. It was here where I understood, yet again, that nature is the one who created the most magnificent works of art.
In September 2014, while driving through France, we discovered a country which enchanted us with its splendour, majestically combined with the typical French gentleness and refinement. So we arrived at Etretat, known to us also from Claude Monet’s masterpieces.
Etretat as an inspiration for artists
It was also Henri Matisse, Gustave Courbet and Eugene Boudin who, like Monet, have chosen Etretat’s three natural arches as inspiration.
Reaching the town
Once we reached the town, we stopped in the public car park which is right beside the seafront. And what an amazing seafront that was! Surrounded by sun-searching white cliffs and washed by tumultuous waves rushing towards it!
We then proceeded towards the edge of the cliff which to me looked like a thirsty elephant with its trunk in the sea. Our arrival shortly after the rain ended was greeted by crazy beautiful clouds, making the view much more spectacular than on a clear sky day.
Again, perhaps more than anywhere else, I felt that Mother Nature is the most ingenious master. It was only a few hours but I felt so connected with Nature and appreciated how much beauty exists in simplicity.
Along with contemplating Nature and recharging with its energy, in Etretat you could also relax on the beach or play golf. It’s also a perfect place to enchant your taste buds with delicious seafood.
Before we left, Etretat waved us an astonishing goodbye with a glorious sunset, making an everlasting mark in my heart.
How to get there
If I convinced you already that it’s worth a visit there, a word about how you can get there. We rented a car from Milan’s Linate airport, which we used it to explore Italy, France and a bit of Switzerland.
If you visit Paris and need to relax outside the city for a day, renting a car could be an ideal way to get to Etretat in less than 3 hours. But if you prefer public transport, the best is to take the train to Le Havre and from there a bus to Etretat.
I found very helpful information here: http://www.european-traveler.com/france/transportation-etretat-normandy/