Whether for a weekend, a week or longer, you will never have time to be bored here. This part of Pas de Calais has so much to offer : the sea with its beautiful opal sheen, ever-changing skies, peaceful countryside, hills and gentle valleys, a quality maritime, cultural and historic heritage, well-known events and a wonderful welcome typical of the north ! So let’s explore the stunning 120km of coastline between the Dunes of Flanders and the Baie de Somme, from Calais in the north to Berck in the south !
Let’s begin our journey right in the north at Platier d’Oye, a national nature reserve where up to 230 species of bird make their nests among exceptional plant life. Next comes Calais, resolutely turned towards Great Britain but also the gateway to the Via Francigena, not forgetting its Museum of Lace and Fashion, its Town Hall with the famous Burghers of Calais sculpture by Rodin, its fine sandy beach and pier where you can watch the incessant ballet of cross-Channel ferries.
Very quickly we reach an absolute must - the Grand Site National des 2 Caps, THE natural attraction of Pas-de-Calais, with its wooded dunes and cliffs, a balcony overlooking the sea and nearby Great Britain, just 31km away. There are plenty of footpaths to discover the beautiful scenery and enjoy the fresh sea air. Take a break in one of the seaside villages : Escalles, Wissant, Audinghen, Ambleteuse, Tardinghen where coastal fishing and farming rub shoulders with sporting enthusiasts seeking thrilling experiences.
The Côte d'Opale from Wimereux via Boulogne to the Baie de Somme and Berck
Here we are at Wimereux, a seaside resort dating from the Belle Epoque with its Anglo-Norman villas and bustling sea front. Next comes Boulogne-sur-mer and Nausicaa, the National Marine Discovery Centre and largest aquarium in Europe ! This Art and History town has lots to offer history fans with its old town, the Basilica Notre Dame de Boulogne and its crypt (the largest in France), Napoleon’s Column…
From Boulogne to the Baie de Somme, head southwards along the Côte d’Opale to Hardelot, a family resort with a castle (at Condette) which promotes the heritage and cultural links between France and UK. After exploring the wonderful dunes at Mont Saint Frieux, stop for a while at Etaples, a historic fishing port where you can take a boat trip around the Baie de Canche.
Go over the pink bridge to Le Touquet, often described as the Pearl of the Opal Coast, a chic but relaxed town which is busy at any time of year. An excellent sports resort, it is also a destination for nature lovers with the Baie de Canche and Le Touquet forest with its beautiful, picturesque villas.
Finally, Berck and its 12km fine sandy beach, great for families, and the Bay of Authie, a mosaic of colours and scenery where you are sure to spot some grey seals and common seals.
Wherever you go on the Côte d’Opale you will always find plenty of sporting activities : walking, cycling, horse riding through the forest or along the beach, golf, sand yachting, kite surfing, sea wading, treetop adventure trails… And if you still need a reason to come to the Côte d’Opale, it is the venue for many events like the Enduro du Touquet and the international kite-flying meetings at Berck.