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The Alabaster Coast owes its name to the 140km of chalk cliffs surrounding the estuaries of the Seine and the Somme. The cliffs of Étretat offer the most picturesque views of Normandy’s coastline, majestic in their sheer magnitude and austere beauty.
A Natural Charm
Once a coastal fishing village, Étretat grew in popularity with tourists thanks to its spectacular natural features. Miles of pebble beaches and extraordinary chalk cliffs have made Étretat an unmissable destination for visitors to northern France.
A Source of Inspiration for Artists
The landscape of Étretat has been immortalised by a number of writers and Impressionist painters, who have made the beauty of the cliffs known all over the world. Over the years, Étretat has welcomed renowned artists such as Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet, Barthold Jongkind, Camille Corot, Eugène Isabey, Eugène Delacroix and Eugène Boudin. Monet even painted the cliffs in a variety of different weather conditions and at many different moments in the day.
The town has also hosted writers such as Guy de Maupassant (who was born in the Normandy village of Tourville-sur-Arques), André Gide (who is buried close by), and Maurice Leblanc, who made Étretat the hiding-place of gentleman thief Arsène Lupin in his book The Hollow Needle. The composter-cellist Jacques Offenbach was also known to frequent Étretat.