Étretat is best known for its cliffs, including three natural arches and the pointed "needle". These cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted artists including Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet, and were featured prominently in the 1909 Arsène Lupin novel The Hollow Needle by Maurice Leblanc. Two of the three famous arches are seen from the town, the Porte d'Aval, and the Porte d'Amont. The Manneporte is the third and the biggest one, and cannot be seen from the town.
At low tide, just walk a few steps along the beach and the 17th Century oyster beds and the legendary "trou à l'homme" or manhole can be seen. Along marked-out pathways you can feast your eyes on the fascinating flora and fauna: herring gulls, arctic fulmars and peregrine falcons.