Read two earlier blogs in the blog series of "Europe on Budget". Your travel plan should include some off-beat destinations, towns in any country.
In this part of the series, we take you to Étretat, a serene and beautiful coastal town in the north-western France. Many of us spend their daily lives in the hustle bustle of a city life. You always dream of spending some quaint moments in the lap of nature, where time seems to be standing still. Étretat is one such place.
In this blog series, we mention more planning details of stay, local travel on purpose. The details are to help you get a glimpse of costs involved and the level of detailed planning you will do, if you travel on your own.
Étretat is famous for its cliffs and natural arches. There are 3 arches in Étretat, as per Wikipedia. We visited two and each one is very beautiful. The town has a small beach, but is a strikingly scenic and romantic pebble beach you will ever see. We in India, naturally equate a beach with soft sand. You will be a bit amazed to know that Étretat beach is comprised of pebbles. It is a bit difficult to walk on the beach full of pebbles.
There is a website about Étretat that has some good information about the town for tourists.
How to reach Étretat:
You can reach Étretat from Paris in about 3.5 hours to 5 hours. You have several travel options.
1) Train and bus combination:
A. Train from Saint Lazare to Le-Havre : Each way train will cost around € 28 per person one-way for 2nd class ticket
B. Bus from Le-Havre to Étretat Bus (Ligne 24) () & Le-Havre to Étretat bus ticket will cost € 2 per person.
A. Direct Bus from Paris to Le-Havre will take around 3 to 4 hours, which will cost around € 20 each.
B. From Le-Havre to Étretat separate Bus, Ligne 24.
The railway station and bus-station at Le-Havre are adjacent, so you need not really worry about finding the bus-station.
However note that there are limited number of trains from Paris to Le-Havre (ensure to check their timings on Eurail website or Rail Europe India Website.
Le-Havre to Étretat and return has limited bus service. The bus-frequency is nearly an hour from morning till noon. There are only 3 to 4 buses, from the afternoon till evening, the last bus being at 6.30 PM (make sure you do not miss one).
If you miss the bus, cab will be the only option which will set you back by minimum € 60 to 70. Make sure you read time-table horizontally as it may get a little tricky to read.
Things to do in Étretat:
There are two cliffs, wherein you can climb and get an amazing view of arches. Time spent on the beach is also going to be unforgettable moments. The town attracts very few tourists, however it attracts many photographers.
You can explore entire town by feet only. It will take at the most 20 minutes to explore from one end to another on feet.
You will always remember and cherish, the sunrise and sunset of Étretat.
One night stay in Étretat is more than sufficient to explore the city, especially if you reach by noon and have half day to explore. You can experience the sunrise next morning with night stay and start your journey backwards.
Where to Eat:
There are lots of restaurants in Étretat with their menus displayed outside, a dinner for 2 will cost you anything between € 20 to 40 for 2 people.
We visited restaurant named Crêperie de Lann Bihoué, where you will get yummy pizza on special request (extra cheese and hard crust). The meal cost was approximately € 20 for 2 people (without Wine).
Étretat is a place where you may face language barrier if you don’t speak French. The waitress in the restaurant was incidentally an American, who proved to be of great help to us.
Where to stay in Étretat
We searched for staying options on Airbnb. You will find room listings starting from about € 45. We stayed with one such room listings on Airbnb . The owner provided us private room and bathroom, which was as good as a hotel room.
Such experiences of staying in homely settings are unique. You will make new friends, come to know local way of life and you will save some bucks as well. After all, a travel has many shades – nature and wildlife in numerous forms, manmade monuments, modern cities for technological progress made by human race and finally food and culture and art of various civilizations.
In such homely settings, observe a few basic rules: maintain silence, respect privacy and seek permission before using any premise/equipment.
Étretat was no less than a dream destination for us. We very much recommend you to have a day or two to visit Étretat!
The total cost of our one day stay tour to Étretat was around € 200. This cost included, food, stay and travel to and fro from Paris.
Punya Trivedi writes this blog series on "Europe On A Budget"
Punya is an IT professional, who simply loves to go places. He has so far explored parts of western and southern India and his international travel has so far covered US, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland & Nepal.
Punya is an avid net-surfer and is always looking out for online deals to save money. Through this article he would like to share few travel hack tips on Europe. He visited Europe in March 2016 with his wife Tanvi, who is also a travel enthusiast.
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