The Alabaster Coast stretches 120 kilometers northeast from the mouth of the Seine near Le Havre to Le Tréport in Picardy. Characteristic and eponymous are the over 100 meters high alabaster-colored cliffs with breathtaking views of the coast and the sea. The most famous seaside resorts are Dieppe, Fécamp and Étretat. The coast between Dieppe and Étretat is particularly impressive. It is lined with harbor towns, fishing villages and family seaside resorts. Most have direct beach access or steep stairs to the beach and sea.
The white coastal cliffs of Etretat
Along the coastal cliffs of Etretat, the Falaises d'Aval are particularly impressive. These white chalk cliffs rise 75 meters out of the ocean. An underground river has worn its way though the rock and, together with erosion from the sea, has helped create these bizarre rock formations, which include a massive arch, the Porte d'Aval. Well-marked hiking trails will lead you to magnificent overlooks.
Marina, herbal liqueur and a Norman abbey church
The coastal town between Dieppe and Le Havre has three ports: a commercial port, a fishing port and a marina. Worth seeing are the abbey church of Sainte-Trinité, built in the Norman style in 1175, and Le Palais Bénédictine. The monumental 19th-century building is an art museum that mainly exhibits medieval sacred art; it also houses the distillery of the herbal liqueur DOM Bénédictine.
The importance of this Norman city is revealed by its name: The Harbor. Classified as a World Heritage Site since 2005, Le Havre is the leading port for exports in France. The city is known as “La Porte Océane” because of its long history as a port of call for ocean liners. Le Havre's rise to prominence began as trade with the West Indies expanded in the 18th century. After much of the city was destroyed during the Battle of Normandy in 1944, it was rebuilt in the modernist style by Auguste Perret.