The Côte d’Albâtre (the Alabaster Coast)

La Côte d’Albâtre

Two hours far from Paris by car you can organize you a nice and romantic 3 days trip along the limestone cliffs of the “Côte d’Albâtre”, near the Channel sea.

I’ll give you all the good points to see, where to go (and not), restaurants, hotels, some good places to visit and how to organize this trip.

 

Normandy cliffs falaises

 

Our trip

We wanted to spend a cheap four days trip not so far from the Paris’ suburb.
Normandy’s coasts are at almost 2h / 2h30 far from Paris by car. Obviously in high season you could have some traffic jams.

I already had been many times in Normandy but I always stayed in a particular place.
For my husband I wanted to do a small road-trip going from town to town.

By car there’s a motorway that can drives you until the city of Rouen (I’ll make an other article about this city because my brother lives there), I could be quite boring. And, after, the way is quite boring and sometimes not very easy. To make the trip funnier I decided to take the countryside roads for the first part of the way, then stop to visit a nice abbey and thus start to cross Normandy to reach the seashore.

From the North of Paris we reached Cergy-Pontoise and took the A15 motorway that becomes the D14 road.At Magny-en-Vexin, you’ll have to turn left direction “Hodent / Vernon” by D86. Along the D86 road, do not forget to stop at Ambleville and have a look at the very nice castle very next to the church.

Then ask your GPS to lead you to La Roche Guyon, a wonderful village with a marvellous two levels castle. At Roconval you can quit D37 on the left to take a very narrow countryside road.
From Paris to La Roche Guyon by this way, count 1h driving

 

La Roche Guyon

The present Château de La Roche-Guyon was built in the 12th century, controlling a river crossing of the Seine. Little by little the Castle expanded and gets as two distinct levels. It gives it its particularity with an incredible mix of architectures.
We did not take the time to visit the castle, but surely count alt least one hour for the visit. We just had a walk on the very nice village and get to the river Seine banks to have a look on its twists and turns.

La Roche Guyon

La Roche Guyon

Seine river

Seine river

Then, after Bonnières sur Seine, I advice you taking the motorway straight to the exit number 25 “Fecamp / Yvetot / Bourg Achard”  and take D313.
Few kilometers after, turn right direction Jumièges on D143. The funniest part of this way to Normandy is right now.
Indeed, to cross the Seine river, there are some bridges, for sure, but they need to be very high to let boats reaching the harbour of Rouen. So that, on some crossing points, there are no bridges but … Ferry !
If you have a motorhome, or high campervan, please take care the available heigh.

Here you can find the GoogleDrive map of this part of our trip :

Abbaye de Jumièges

The ferry is a nice and fun moment. Specially for children. It’s short but original and could be a good surprize for your passengers.

Jumieges ferry

Jumieges ferry

Very close to the arrival bank, you’ll find the fabulous Jumieges’ abbey.
Jumièges Abbey was a Benedictine monastery founded in 654. The abbey became a great centre of religion and learning but the French Revolution ended its existence as a monastery, leaving only impressive ruins.

These ruins give us a extraordinary impression, mix of romance and as if we were in an other world.

Opened every day
– from 15 April to 15 Sept : 9h30 -> 18h30
– from 16 September to 14 April : 9h30 -> 13h / 14h30 -> 17h30

Entrance : 6.50 €

Do not hesitate to visit this link in order to see how was the abbey with a 3D reconstitution : http://www.abbayedejumieges.fr/remontez-le-temps.html 

Jumièges

Jumièges

Jumieges

Jumieges

Jumieges

Jumieges

Fecamp

I really love Fecamp, even the way between Rouen and Fecamp can be pretty tiring, I really enjoy this city with a nice seafront, a small and cute harbor and a nice cliff where we can go to have a nice point of view. The pearl of this city is the Benedictine’s Palace (a licor plant inside a marvelous palace).

At lower season it’s quite easy to park along the beach, if not there some car park in front of the Casino or “chemin des Chalets”, just behind the building in front of the sea.

It’s also easy to walk from the beach to the very small city-center and get to the “Benedictine’s Palace” (I’ll speak about it later in this post), or the harbor.

Take a nice walk along the sea and give you some moments watching fishing boats in the harbor.

Fecamp seashore

Fecamp seashore

Fecamp - Beach

Fecamp – Beach

Fecamp - beach

Fecamp – beach

Fecamp Benedictine’s abbey

The Benedictine’s palace had been built at the end of the XIXst century to accommodate the licor’s distillery.
Its architecture neo-gothic is very impressive and I always had pleasure to visit it.
At the end of the visit you’ll get in a very comfortable and cute patio to taste the licor (only for minors, please take care if you wanted to drive after !) and some local specialities as the apple pie.
Do take care, the maximum authorized in France is 0,5g/l in blood ! There is a special device in the cafeteria to check your level of alcohol.

I deeply recommend you to visit this palace.

Adult : 18€
12-18 : 10€

As always in France, things are complicated, that’s why I draw you a table of opening hours :

 From January 8th to February 8th From February 9th to March 30th  From March 31st to July 6th (closed on May 1st)  From July 7th to September 9th  From September 10th to November 11th
Open on weekends

Morning10.30am – 12.30am*
Afternoon2.30pm – 5.30pm*

Weekdays : contact us

Open everyday

Morning10.30am – 12.30pm*
Afternoon2.30pm – 6pm*
Open everyday

Morning10am – 1pm*
Afternoon2pm – 6.30pm*
10am – 6.45pm
Morning10am – 1pm*
Afternoon2pm – 6.30pm*

*Ticket office closes 1h beforehand

 

 

Fecamp - Benedictine

Fecamp – Benedictine

Fecamp - Benedictine

Fecamp – Benedictine

Fecamp - Benedictine

Fecamp – Benedictine

Fecamp - Benedictine

Fecamp – Benedictine

Fecamp from the top

I advice you to go to North by the cliff. By car, once at the harbor, cross the bridge, turn right and then left to climb the cliff and get on its top. You’ll get as a spectacular view as very nice and romantic moment by walking along its border. It’s easy to park a little bit farer the small church.

Fecamp - from highs

Fecamp – from highs

Fecamp - semaphore

Fecamp – semaphore

On the road

Quitting Fecamp direction to Le Treport and Mers-les-Bains, we took some pauses in the cities of Saint-Valery-en-Caux and Dieppe.
The first pause in Saint-Valery-en-Caux was to have lunch. We left Fecamp at 11, had a walk on the cliff at the Cap Fagnet and reached Saint-Valery-en-Caux at one PM. Even this city is quite nice, I really prefer Fecamp. Moreover we stopped at Veulette-sur-Mer, a nice small town with nice stone beach.

The city of Dieppe deserves at least half a day to be visited. As it gets a nice walk along the harbor, its beach also (for sure), a Canadian museum and an old castle. Unfortunately we did not had time to do it and we just made a pause by a handsome walk on the pier at the harbor entrance. I had already visited the old castle and the museum and really recommend you to do it.

Dieppe

Dieppe

Dieppe

Dieppe

 

Le Treport / Mers-les-bains

At the end of the day we arrived at Mers-les-Bains, close to Le Treport. The particularity of this city is that many houses get an impressive architecture with wonderful colored frontages.

Mers-les-Bains - Facades

Mers-les-Bains – Facades

Mers-les-Bains - Yvonnette

Mers-les-Bains – Yvonnette

Mers-les-Bains - Facades

Mers-les-Bains – Facades

I really advice you to visit Saint-Valery-sur-Somme. For further information about this area, please have a look on my post about it.

Baie de Somme

Baie de Somme

Baie de Somme

Baie de Somme

Where to sleep ?

  • Fecamp

The best place to sleep in Fecamp is right in front of the sea, for sure. There are some hotels there but they may be quite expensive. The Hotel de la Mer , is cheaper, and if you’re not interested in comfort and conveniences (rooms are clearly from an other era and beds not very comfortable), you’ll get a fantastic view on the sea (please specify you want a room with view during your booking).

There are also some flats on AirBnB.

  • Saint-Valery-en-Caux

I only know the hotel Les Bains , nice but may appear far from some useful standards you’ll get on chains.

  • Mers-les-Bains

We booked the Villa Yvonnette , a nice comfortable flat in a wonderful house, very close to the seafront.

Where to eat ?

So everything is very nice, for sure, but where can we eat ?

First, I do not have anything to advice you between Paris and Jumièges, excepted the fact that you could stop on a rest area along the motorway and have lunch there, at Vironvay Nord stop.

Then, in Fecamp, you could have dinner at the Reidroc (in front of the sea), or La Cave du Salut, in front of the harbor, where we ate delicious seafoods.
Breakfasts can be taken at the Hotel de la mer – La Fregate close to the Casino (7€ each)

seafood

seafood

Bonus

Useful links

http://www.inforoute76.fr  (in French)

http://www.abbayedejumieges.fr  (in French)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumièges_Abbey 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Roche-Guyon  (English)

http://www.chateaudelarocheguyon.fr  (French)

https://www3.benedictinedom.com/flamboyant-palais/  (Needs your birthdate to let you enter)

Author Details

InspireMyTrips-Eric

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