Along the Côte d’Albâtre

Here are some beautiful pictures taken along the Côte d’Albâtre (Normandy). There are several trails that go along the coast – one is the GR21 that goes from Le Havre to Le Tréport .

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from Norois Revues.org

R made me discover small sections here and there, where you can enjoy gorgeous views on the sea and some pebbles covered beaches tucked in between those high chalk cliffs.

 

They stretch over 120 km and dominate the coastline, making for extraordinary views!

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Erosion

SAFETY FIRST

Those cliffs are perforated with holes and caves, so tempting for a cave nerd like me, but you should keep out as rockslides are very common. The cliffs are eroding up to 30 cm a year in some places.

You can find many piles of huge rocks on the beach and along the coast. Over time, they will either dissolve in the sea or be polished by the waves and, transform into small pebbles. This is why you should not walk right under the cliff or on top of it, right by the edge. The grass is thick and often hides a thin coat of soil ready to give in for anyone stepping on it (if you really want to see why you should not walk right underneath the cliff, check this video). Another thing to watch out for is the tide! It will cover almost the entire beach and will force you to walk right under the cliffs to avoid getting your feet wet… and you do not want to be under the cliff.

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Porte d’Amont – Étretat

One of the most famous towns of the Côte d’Albâtre is Étretat is a small town known for its three arches (Porte d’Amont pictured above is one of them) . It gets VERY crowded in Summer. It is much nicer to visit the town in the colder months and not share the coast with a thousand of people.

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Fécamp

 

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Fécamp is a small town, 35 km northeast of Le Havre. 

On top of the cliffs on your right when facing the ocean, you will find many bunkers dating from the Second World War. You can find many other relics all along the coast of Normandy. Built by the Nazis occupying France (and a large section of Europe), they were designed to defend the shore against any potential attack from the Allies.

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Cap d’Antifer

There are many small beaches along the coast only to be accessed by narrow passageways.

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near Vattetot-sur-Mer
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How long will it stand?
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Aiguille de Belval
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Who said Normandy was always rainy?

How to get there?

Étretat or Fécamp can be reached by public transport (check info here) if you come from Paris. There are some options to go along the coast but to have your own car makes things way easier.

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