The Alabaster Coast, sometimes wild, offers those who want to spend some time there beautiful beaches to rest for a few moments, whether to contemplate the landscape, walk, practise the various nautical activities on offer, eat or simply enjoy the sun and sea.
From Le Havre to Etretat, over less than 30 kilometres, you’ll find 5 beaches that make up this piece of coastline with its singular character!
Le Havre Beach
In Le Havre, the beach is in town! From the train station or city centre, by car, on foot or by tram stopping at the terminus, the beach, more than 2 kilometres long, is unmissable, a must-see in all seasons.
The promenade of Le Havre Beach extends to the “End of the World” in Sainte-Adresse, and though it’s possible to walk there and discover the work “To the end of the world” created by Fabien Mérelle for the One summer in Le Havre festival, the bathers will probably stop before then, near the boom, or the bar-restaurants with their unobstructed view. There are lots of kite-surfers who come to hit the waves, in good weather or bad, and Sainte-Adresse Beach is known as an ideal spot because of the orientation of the winds.
Saint-Jouin Bruneval Beach
Like its big sister in Le Havre, Saint-Jouin Bruneval Beach is a pebble and sand beach at low tide. You’ll meet shellfish collectors who come to turn over the rocks to find a few crabs and collect mussels and winkles. Saint-Jouin Bruneval Beach comes alive again in season, with restaurants setting up, and the nautical centre offers funboards, catamarans, paddle and surfboards for hire, as well as specific equipment for people with disabilities.
At the bottom of the Antifer Valley, Tilleul Beach is worth a look! You have to walk about 1.5 km to reach it. There are no cars to disturb the wild beauty of the place, so that’s the reward! Like its neighbour Etretat, its small round pebbles are polished by the rolling of the incessant tides, and people sitting or strolling by the sea will only be disturbed by the noise it makes or that of seagulls and other birds so typical of this environment flying above their heads.
Etretat is undoubtedly the most beautiful pearl of the Alabaster Coast. People come here for its world-famous cliffs, of course, and in season it can be tempting to take a break for a few hours on the beach. Facing the sea, it embraces on each side the Aval and Amont cliffs towards the North, while the village is just behind.
Right next to the arch, a man-made tunnel, called the “trou à l’homme”, lets you pass from one side of the cliff to the other at low tide only. However, it is not uncommon for less prudent tourists to get trapped and find themselves stuck on the other side by the rising tide. In summer, paddleboard, sailing and canoeing enthusiasts make this idyllic site their favourite playground, and you can understand why!