When planning our road trip through France, I was initially quite overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of the country and how much of it that I wanted to see in a relatively short amount of time. I spent months researching picturesque alpine villages, world-renowned wine regions, chic beach resorts, elegant chateaus, and nearly everything in between, however, when I stumbled upon the coastal town of Étretat, I spent all of about five seconds contemplating it before I instantly booked our hotel.
Nestled tightly in between the majestic chalk cliffs of Normandy, the town of Étretat enchanted us with its quaint streets, amazing seafood, and stunning views. Initially, we had planned on dining at the famous Dormy House, but when the grey clouds (typical of Normandy) started to part, we decided to cancel our reservations and instead, hike up to the famed cliffside chapel for a sunset picnic. We headed to our local boulangerie for bread and then to a speciality shop to pick up cheese, fruit, and champagne, and began the climb up to Chapelle Notre Dame de la Garde.
Completely alone except for the occasional seagull and grazing cows in the distance, we sipped champagne from the bottle while watching in amazement as the sun illuminated the sky, sea, and cliffs to the most ethereal golden-pink hue we had ever laid eyes on. We sat on the cliff for hours, until the very last bit of light dissipated and turned the sky into an inky shade of blue. Sublimely humbled by the beauty of our world, it was one of those rare instances where we were acutely aware of the fact that we were in the middle of a moment that would live on in our hearts forever.
For more of my adventures in France: Provence Sunrises | Gordes in Provence | Loumarin in Provence | Fields of Poppies | The Towns of the Loire Valley | Staying in a Loire Valley Chateau | Chateau de Chenonceau | Sailing the Mediterranean | A Chic Hotel in Normandy