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Weekend getaways from Paris I- Etretat- Le Touquet- Cherbourg

Weekend getaways from Paris I- Etretat- Le Touquet- Cherbourg

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Come summer and the beaches are a preferred option for a weekend getaway or for vacations. France boasts of some excellent seaside- South and South-West France borders the Mediterranean sea and is known for its sunny Cote d'Azur -French Riviera and the beaches of Languedoc. South-West coasts of France are on the Atlantic side and some of these such as the beaches of La Rochelle, Rochefort, Les Sables d'Olonne, Biarritz, Saint Malo,..are surfers' heaven. Up North and North-West coasts, some of the seaside is rocky and other sandy from the beaches of Brittany, Normandy and Nord Pas de Calais with Mont Saint Michel, Etretat, Dieppe, Le Toquet Paris Plages, Deauville to name a few.


Eretat plage

Some of these beaches and natural sites, in addition to natural parks and monuments etc., are protected by the government, some are declared world heritage sites and others are significant revenue generators for their local communes.


Le Touquet- Paris Plages

Situated in Nord Pas de Calais, Le Touquet is a well known vacation spot for the French and the British alike. It is is known for its hotels and villas, polo, a race course, a golf and two casinos. Various buildings with English architecture can be seen in the city.

From humble beginnings as uninhabited dunes to a sprawling tourist spot, Le Touquet has come a long distance since 1837 when the visionary Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Daloz bought some land. He tried to do some farming and make the land profitable. Hunting ground, constructions and several projects followed. Le Touquet became « Paris-Plage » in 1882, at the recommendation of De Villemessant, the owner of the newspaper 'Le Figaro'. It took an Englishman John whitley to see the potential of Le Touquet as a beach-side resort. He bought several hectares of land and developed it.

Distance from Paris: 238 kms

How to get there: There are direct trains to Gare d'Etaples/Le Touquet from Paris Gare du Nord (approx. 2h15min). By road, Le Touquet is accessible from Paris through highway 'autoroute' A16 direction Calais, exit 26 in the direction of Le Touquet.

Le Touquet Tourism Office
Palais de congrès- Place de l'Hermitage
Tel. 33 (0) 3 21 06 72 00
Open everyday throughout the year
In April, May, July and August, open from Monday to Satursday from 9 AM to 7 PM, on Sundays and holidays from 10 AM to 6 PM
From Januray to March and from September to December, open from Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM and on Sunday and public holidays from 10 AM to 12:30 PM and 02:30 PM - 7 PM

Website of Le Touquet (in English, German & French).



Etretat, located in Upper Normandy, is known for its spectacular cliffs with natural arches. Porte d'Amont, Porte d'Aval, Manneporte are classified as major sites of national importance.The natural beauty of Etretat is such that over a period of time, it has attracted and inspired artists such as Monet, Boudin, Courbet, Offenbach, ...; writers such as Victor Hugo, Alphonse Karr, Guy de Maupassant, ...and other famous persons. The cliffs are accessible by stairs and an uphill climb.

The beach is composed of small stones that may not make Etretat a 'regular' sandy beach but these stones reduce the ferocity of tidal waves. For this reason, the collection of these stones on Etretat beach is prohibited.

Distance from Paris: 180 kms

How to get there: There are trains from Paris Gare St. Lazare to Le Havre (2- 2h 35 min). There are trains and buses available from Le Havre to Etretat. Etretat is also accessible from Paris by highway 'autoroute' A 13 in the direction Rouen / Caen then A 131 in the direction Le Havre.

Etretat Tourism Office- Office de Tourisme d’Etretat
Place Maurice Guillard, 76790 Etretat
Tel. + 33 (0) 2 35 27 05 21
Open everyday from March 15th - June 14th, from September 17th - November 11th and school vacations from 10 AM - 12 PM and from 2 PM - 6 PM.
From June 15th - September 16th, open everyday from 9 AM- 7 PM
Winter Weekends: Open on Friday and Saturday from 10 AM - 12 PM and from 2 PM - 6 PM

Website of Etretat (in English, French, German, Spanish & Japanese).


Etretat by Courbet

Etretat by Courbet


Located on the coast of the English Channel, Cherbourg has been an important strategic harbour since the Roman days. It has been occupied by the Vikings, the Saxons, the Celts, the Romans, the Franks and the Scandinavians although the name Cherbourg did not appear till 1026 at the time of Duke Richard II who gave it as a gift to his future wife. Cherbourg played its role in the history of Titanic as 274 additional passengers headed for the 'new world' embarked on the Titanic on April 10th, 1912 at Cherbourg before the liner sank on April 14th. Wreck of the American warship Alabama, that sank in 1864 in Cherbourg, are located 60 metres off Querqueville coast. Cherbourg was considered as the Allies' conquest in 1944 in the World War II because of its strategic position as a large port.

Cherbourg marina has the European Blue Flag since 2002. The city also hosts many famous boating events : the Figaro race, Course de l’Europe, Mondial Assistance…

Distance from Paris: 370 kms

How to get there: There are direct trains to Cherbourg-Octeville from Paris Gare St. Lazare (3- 3h30min). Cherbourg is also accessible by highways 'autoroute' A13 and National N13 from Paris and A84, N174 and N13 from Rennes and Nantes.

Cherbourg Tourism Office
2, Quai Alexandre III, 50100 Cherbourg-Octeville
Tel. 33 (0) 2 33 93 52 02
Open everyday throughout the year.
From September to May, Monday to Satursday from 10 to 12.30 AM & from 2 to 6 PM
From 15th of June to 15th of September, Monday to Saturday 10 to 7 PM and Sunday from 10 AM to 1 PM

Website of Cherbourg-Octeville (in English & French).