Travel

Ultimate Guide To Etretat, Loire Valley & Reims in Paris!!

There’s so much to explore!!

Oohlala! C’est magnifique! – The most popular expression in French that is used for describing a ‘wow’ moment will be very apt for these three weekend getaways from Paris, writes Shobana Paul.

These three getaways are just within a radius of 1.5 hours travel time and yet they offer such a fantastic experience away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Though Paris is a romantic city and there’s always something exciting going on, admit it that you need a break and a breath of fresh air to stay grounded and keep your perspectives. These weekend getaways from Paris can renew your mind, body and spirit and introduce you to a world of possibilities outside the city limits.

These three weekend getaways could be interesting for residents in Paris as well as tourists coming to the city and looking to explore surrounding areas:

  1. Etretat
  2. Loire Valley
  3. Reims

How to get there?

It’s easy to take a quick trip by car or train from Paris and know a little bit more about these beautiful towns.

  1. Etretat

Where?

Etretat part of Normandy (North western France ) is  a historic part of France that has been a significant place throughout the ages. Etretat or popularly known as the Falaises (the cliffs) is one of the most breathtaking views you can get.

Weather

It is quite windy throughout the year. Minimum temperature can be as low as 4° in the winter months and in summer months can range between 20° and 22°.

Best time to visit

Obviously if you want to enjoy lazing around the cliffs with some spectacular photographs or take a dip in the sea or just hang out in the pebble beaches, the best time to go is in July and August.

Must See Must Do!

The most important attraction is the chalk cliffs of Normandy with their natural arches and pointed formation called the L’Aiguille or The Needle. Some of the cliffs are high as 300 Ft. These cliffs attracted artists including Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet and have been inspirations to many impressionists. They were also featured prominently in the 1909 novel The Hollow Needle and the 2014 movie Lucy.  You can go for some stunning walks along the cliff tops, enjoy the sunset or just lie on the velvet grass floor with just the blue skyroof and turquoise waters for company. And at night, the cliffs are magically lit up which makes it an unforgettable memory. The gardens of Etretat close by are also something that need to be visited. The blend of landscape and land art sculptures makes it a delight for both garden and art lovers. There is more to Etretat than the cliff formations and thick pebble beach; The town itself is full of charm and the remarkable wooden covered markets stand out. Le Clos Lupin, a typical old villa conceals mysteries for visitors while the churches around Etretat add to its charm.

Shop For

Souvenirs like shell craft, pebble art and beach side paintings are very popular here.

Eat Here

You can enjoy some authentic apple cider and calvados (apple brandy)here, coupled with fresh mussels and potato fries, this indeed enhances the authentic experience. Caramel toffees are a specialty here.

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