The Opal Coast of France – it sounds lovely doesn’t it? And it is…
This 80 mile stretch of coastline takes in golden sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, charming bays, ancient castles, chic resorts and authentic little fishing villages, you’ll find it just across the English Channel in the most northerly region of France.
The Opal Coast takes its name from the unique quality of light that pervades the area luring artists throughout the centuries to capture its iridescent character in their paintings and writings. JMW Turner, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo (Les Miserables) and Laurence Sterne (Sentimental Journey through France) have all fallen under the spell of the Opal Coast and it’s easy to see why.
Just minutes from Calais Port and you are onto the D940 coastal road which runs right along the sea. Here you’ll be taking in picturesque and charming villages like Wissant and Etaples and the Belle Epoque villas of Le Touquet, Hardelot and Wimereux. Traditional bucket and spade holiday resorts with buckets of authentic French charm like Berck-sur-Mer and Wissant will delight those of you with children. The nearby walled and cobbled stone roads in the town of Montreuil-sur-Mer will wow you with its charm and elegance. The three big towns of the Opal Coast are Calais, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Dunkirk – historic places which cherish their tradition and their ancient walls.
This part of Nord-Pas de Calais is very pretty, traditional and authentic. One of the things we hear most from people who visit for the first time is how surprised they are to discover such a fabulous French place with so much to see and do so close to home.
Dover to Calais takes just an hour and a half with DFDS Ferries or 35 minutes with Eurotunnel from Folkestone, emerge on the other side and find yourself in la France Profonde as you sip a glass of wine in a pavement café or browse a traditional street market, you’ll find one every day of the week on the Opal Coast. Wander along narrow streets admiring the windows of freshly made cakes and baguettes or stroll along the breezy seaside fronts and let the fresh wind blow away the stresses of normal life, you can’t help but chill out and relax in this authentic French region.
This is a place that is just perfect for a romantic getaway, a weekend with friends, or a fun family holiday.