Home » Visit Etretat in Normandy | Best things to do in Etretat
visiting etretat cliffs gardens from paris

Visit Etretat in Normandy | Best things to do in Etretat

How to visit Etretat and make incredible memories from this trip? Visiting Etretat during a weekend in Normandy means visiting the majestic cliffs of Etretat. We will share some practical tips regarding parking and visiting time, examples of unique things to do in Etretat, and where to eat and stay in Etretat. So, let’s go!

  1. What to visit in Etretat, what to see and what to do? 🤩
  2. How long does it take to visit Etretat? 🕦
  3. Hotels and apartments where to stay in Etretat 🛌
  4. Addresses where to eat in Etretat 🍽
  5. Parking in Etretat 🚙
  6. What to visit around Etretat? 🌟
  7. How to get to Etretat from Paris or other cities? 🚆
normandy sea best things to do

Etretat is a must-see destination in France. For example, during a road trip to Normandy and Brittany.

1. Best things to do when visiting Etretat

There are at least two things that you have to do when you visit Etretat:

  1. Visit the cliffs of Etretat
  2. Stroll through the Gardens of Etretat

1.1 How to visit the cliffs of Etretat?

The cliffs of Etretat (or Falaises in French) are one of a kind in the world. You can observe the cliffs from the beach or by climbing. Etretat and its beach is located between two large cliffs:

  • La Falaise d’Amont
  • La Falaise d’Aval

To visit the cliffs of Etretat and see them from afar, you have to go up and down twice. You will do quite a bit of walking.

Good to know! Check the tide times before the visit to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Little advice. The Normandy sun is deceiving. Even in the middle of the fog (in the spring), which lasts all morning, you can get a sunburn! In short, if there is a bright sun, as you will be walking a lot, bring water and something to cover your head. Especially if you are going to picnic at the top of the cliffs.

Not to miss. On the road to the Falaise d’Amont, you will also see the Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde Chapel.

1.2 Visiting the Gardens of Etretat: a magical place!

In addition to visiting the cliffs of Etretat, we recommend visiting the Gardens. The Gardens of Etretat are made up of 7 different gardens. All have a particular theme, and each is pretty in its own way. There are plants, sculptures, and an exceptional view of the cliffs of Etretat. It is, therefore, a truly magical place that will mark your visit to Etretat!

2. How long does it take to visit Etretat and its cliffs?

Plan at least 6 hours to visit the cliffs of Etretat, without lunchtime. Time on site passes exceptionally quickly.

If you visit briskly, you can also have time to visit the Jardins d’Etretat on the same day.

sunset normandy

3. Hotels and apartments where to stay when visiting Etretat

Here are some hotels and apartments where to sleep to visit Etretat:

  • With a view of the cliffs of Etretat: Dormy House. This 3-star hotel offers rooms with a view of the city, but also a view of the sea: it’s wonderful to wake up with such a view! Breakfast is buffet-style. It is a perfect place to stay in Etretat for a weekend. A little extra: there is free private parking on site.
  • A 70m2 apartment: Le Loft du Clocheton. If you want to visit Etretat, here is a lovely apartment 300 meters from the beach and 800 meters from the cliffs of Etretat. Here too, you have free private parking on site, which is very practical in the middle of the tourist season. It is a spacious apartment to stay in Etretat for two or three.
  • A perfect moment of relaxation: the SPA Nuxe Les Pins de César. In Saint-Jouin-Bruneval, 8km from the cliffs of Etretat, this place is ideal for spending an excellent weekend of discovery in Normandy. Bucolic, relaxing, and rejuvenating. Spa, swimming pool, jacuzzi. From here, you can visit Etretat, but also Honfleur.
tips visit etretat from paris

4. Where to eat in Etretat: our top picks

Click on the name to discover the restaurant menu, and book if you go there during peak season.

Picnic. Having a picnic is excellent if the weather is nice, even though it is often quite windy in Etretat.

city view etretat trip

5. Parking in Etretat: where to park to visit Etretat?

Where to park when visiting Etretat by car? You have the choice between several car parks. On the other hand, remember that during the tourist season, from April to September, the car parks near the city center are full quickly. If you don’t mind walking to the cliffs of Etretat (at least 20 minutes walk), you also have to park in a free car park outside the town, which is located on the road to Criquetot l’Esneval (open it on Google Maps).

Good to know: Parking is free everywhere from mid-November to the end of January! More information on parking rates and locations on the official website (unfortunately, only in French for the moment).

6. What to visit around Etretat?

If you go to Etretat by car during a weekend in Normandy, you can discover other very nice places that are not so far away. For example:

  • Honfleur: you can go to Honfleur from Etretat by car in less than an hour by crossing the incredible Pont de Normandie. Find out more about Honfleur in this blog post: Visit Honfleur.
  • The Flowery Coast of Calvados: when traveling for a more extended period, you can also explore the Flowery Coast, which extends from Honfleur to Cabourg. Here you can explore, for instance, Deauville and Trouville.
  • Rouen: if you want to visit Etretat from Paris by car, it could be an excellent opportunity to stop in Rouen. It is a beautiful city with a charming historic center, almost entirely pedestrianized. To find out more, read our post: Visit Rouen.

7. How to go to Etretat from Paris or Rouen?

By train, then bus from Paris. It is possible to visit the cliffs of Etretat and its cliffs without a car and in less time! From Paris, Gare Saint-Lazare, you arrive in less than 2 hours at Bréauté station, then take a bus that will take you to Etretat in 30 minutes. To avoid unpleasant surprises, check train and bus schedules in advance.

By car from Paris. Plan at least 3 hours to go from Paris to Etretat by car.

From Rouen. If you want to visit Etretat from Rouen, you can go by car or train. It takes at least 1 hour and 20 minutes by car. By train, at least 1h30. There are no direct trains. You have to exit the TER train at Bréauté station, then take a bus (included in the ticket).

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Louis and Emilie

We once heard visitors in Paris saying that the French are not the most welcoming people. It made us sad. That's why we started this blog! So you can get the best information for your travel to France! Of course, we love Paris. We have lived in multiple areas, from Canal St Martin to right next to the Eiffel Tower. We also explore regions of France whenever we can. Our favorites for a weekend away from Paris are Etretat and Mont Saint Michel. The beautiful French Riviera is a marvelous place to explore for a week.

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