The Normandy France Coastline was not something high on my travel list at first. However after seeing the pretty photos of white cliffs, local fishing ports, pebble beaches and sea views, it was well worth a Normandy road trip. This part of the Normandy Coast is perfect for a weekend away and short stay during a road trip. Whether it’s for the historical sites, French cuisine or the amazing nature, the Normandy coast has a bit of everything for everyone.
Where Is Normandy And The Alabaster Coast
Normandy is the 3rd largest region in France, located at the north of the country. The scenic coast is one of the most visited locations due to the nature but also for the D-Day WW2 history. The capital of Normandy is Rouen.
The Alabaster Coast (in French: Côte d’Albâtre) is located between Le Havre and Le Tréport in Normandy. Villages such as Dieppe, Étretat and Fécamp are the top three locations along the coast for visiting.
The total distance of this coast is 130 kilometre long and you can reach the pebbled beaches at each village along the way.
Facts About The Normandy France Coastline & Alabaster Coast
To keep things short, here are some facts about the Normandy Alabaster Coast
- It is about 130 kilometres long
- ‘The Cliffs of Étretat’ painting is famous by 1885 by Claude Monet
- The coast is classified as a Natura 2000 site since 2009
- The White Cliffs of Dover is the same geological system
Things To Do Along The Normandy France Coastline
Throughout the Alabaster coast there are many locations to stop and explore the historic bunkers from WW2.
Some bunker locations to suggest are:
- On the north side of Fecamp you can walk from the car park along to three bunkers
- In Dieppe there are two at the top of the cliff
- West side of Yport there is one big bunker
Many of them are right on the edge of the cliffs of course, so don’t do anything risky to see them. They are all along the coast, so visit the ones that are safer to visit and walk around.
The fishing port of Dieppe is a bustling little city, especially during the award winning Saturday market. Find yourself walking through the 200 market stalls, along the fishing port area and enjoy a seaside french cuisine lunch in the sunshine. When the tide is out, you can walk down from the pebbled beach to the sand.
You can read more about staying in Dieppe and all the things to do on my full Weekend In Dieppe post!
Named after the river Veules, here we had a quick stop to check the white cliffs again along our road trip. The beach is stoney, but have heard that it reveals the lovely sand once the tide goes out. The population of this village is just above 600 residents, and is a popular touristic stop off along the cliffs. This is due to the pretty houses, restored water mills and the beautiful little churches. Well worth stopping for a break!
Driving through the little village of Quiberville to Étretat, you will be greeted by these cute beach huts at the beach. The little village is has just over 500 residents. For a quiet day out, you could spend the day at the beach and exploring the white cliffs with hardly any tourists. We saw a pretty cafe for a bite to eat and drink too, but carried on our road trip to Étretat.
Arriving on the cliff edge of Fecamp, it was clearly much bigger to the previous villages. Fecamp has a population of just under 20,000 and situated in the valley of Valmont river. Fishing in Fecamp was popular in the 19th century, until it was no longer allowed. So all fishing boats were slowly replaced with all private boats now visible in the harbour.
Yport village has just under 1000 residents, making it another small village along the coast of Normandy. Once a little fishing port like the others, it is now more of a hidden secret hotspot with little restaurants, a casino and the pebble beach.
Top recommendation for food: Le Petit Saint Pierre which can be found along the beach front with a summer terrace area looking out to the beach and cliffs. We enjoyed a delicious pizza and cider in the sun, not very French but well worth it for the taste!
Reaching Etretat was the end location of our day trip from Dieppe. Etretat is definitely a more popular location when it comes to viewing and experiencing the white cliffs close by. Even though it is not recommended, the pathway up the cliffs is pathed and safe to walk up. There is also a special area with barriers that you can walk across. Here you can fully enjoy the Falaise d’Aval white cliffs.
We are writing a separate post about Etretat (COMING SOON!)
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Summary Of The Normandy France Coastline
Exploring Normandy Coast locations such as these above is the perfect way to experience local villages and nature. The flexibility to be able to drive along at our own pace and stop at viewpoints with our camera was perfect. During a day trip, you can easily stop at these Normandy locations for more an hour each to enjoy them all. However do your research as you may want to stay longer at others.
- Take a full day to stop along the coast from Dieppe to Etretat
- Grab a bite to eat in Yport for some relaxation and really really really good food
- Enjoy a walk along one of the many pebbled beaches you visit
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Thanks for sharing my Normandy France Coastline post!