Etretat Cliffs#9 in Best Things To Do in Normandy
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These stunning white chalk cliffs have drawn people, especially artists, such as Claude Monet and Guy de Maupassant, to the area for eons. The cliffs are often compared to the famous White Cliffs of Dover. Visitors can hike along the top of cliffs, as well as on the beach to check out the striking sight.
Recent visitors were astonished at the beauty of the cliffs and recommended visiting at sunrise and sunset for spectacular photo ops. Others suggested hiking to the top of the cliffs for unforgettable views. Reviewers also reported touring the town of Étretat.
Étretat is located about 2 1/2 hours northwest of Paris and about an north of Honfleur. The cliffs are free to access. Most visitors reached the area via car; paid parking is available near the cliffs, though visitors said it's difficult to come by in the busy summer season unless you arrive in the morning.
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#1 D-Day Beaches
World War II's successful Operation Overlord took place on the coast of France. Although there were heavy Allied casualties, this invasion turned the tide in the war and helped lead to the fall of Nazi Germany. Today this piece of coastline, which includes Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah beaches, is collectively known as the D-Day Beaches.
Visitors can tour the approximately 50-mile stretch of sand and pop by a number of museums, memorials and cemeteries that are spread out alongside the coastline either with a tour or on their own. If you're driving yourself, start in the town of Arromanches, which hosts two museums that help provide context for the battle sites. The American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer and the Pointe-du-Hoc bomb craters are also especially moving. If you'd rather let someone else do the driving, recent visitors recommend going with a tour guide to fully appreciate the area's historic importance and receive a comprehensive overview. If you're visiting in June, you'll likely come across several ceremonies and reenactment groups commemorating the anniversary. Thanks to Normandy's unpredictable weather, you'll want to dress in layers (no matter the time of your visit) and bring rain gear, according to past visitors.
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