Beautiful coastal village Etretat in France is loved by the French and by the foreigners for one simple reason: the gardens of Etretat. So let’s take a stroll down the mesmerizing green creations and find out a bit about the fascinating history as well.
I am not a garden person, I don’t even know how to keep cactus alive, but Les Jardins d’Etretat makes me rethink that. Apart from the perfect-cut bushes and delightful mix of fragrance and sounds, the gardens are much more, a perfect 2-3 hour hideout for art lovers.
Few facts to know before visiting
The gardens are located on the top of the hill, next to a Chapel. You can walk, but it’s much easier to take a train from the town center. You pay a fee, which is around 10 Euros and in seconds you will find yourself in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
The gardens were created by a French actress Madame Thebault. She was inspired by Claude Monet’s work, and the famous painter helped with the design. The iconic “Needle” rock cliff of the Etretat coast in Normandy seemed like an exceptional place for this artistic embracement. So much so that it inspired many artists in the years to come as well as Monet himself. Polish artist, Wiktor Szostalo, has created a twig sculpture of Claude Monet painting the Etretat landscape. And while every inch of this place is pure magic, seeing an artwork inspired by Monet’s, “Coucher de Soleil à Etretat” painting is going to leave you breathless.
Garden of Sounds
The most eye catching and by many, the most famous garden here is, the Garden of Sounds, and it represents human emotions. Spanish artist Samuel Salcedo made these spectacular faces to be so vivid, so live that it will leave you both amused and confused at the same time. The whole place gives off that Eco-conscious vibe that in its unique way celebrates nature. Especially Tree Hugger project and its environmental art pieces that are a reminder to cherish the nature surrounding us and appreciate what it has given us.
Although the place came to life in the early 1900s, a public avant-garde or open-air museum has been open for the public for only a short time. This piece of paradise offers a magnetic view of the coast, while the vast Villa Roxelane, which also belonged to Madame Thebault, adds more mystery and drama.
There is a bar to get some refreshments, though you might not even need anything because it takes around 2 hours to see everything, and you will forget about the outside world, including your basic needs. Of course, the best time to visit is during spring and summer when the flowers are in full bloom.
The feeling of visiting the past and the future at the same time clashes when you are in The Gardens of Etretat. It is a perfect place to visit at any age, so make sure to put in on your travel bucket list. Make sure to check out their official Instagram page; it is divine, miraculous and inspiring, food for your soul and feast for your eyes.