The Opal Coast in Nord-Pas de Calais is a hidden gem, one of those places that not that many people know about and yet, just a quick Channel crossing brings you right to one of the great shopping centres in northern France.
Minutes from Calais port and right next door to Eurotunnel you’ll discover Cité Europe – a huge shopping mall stuffed full of French shops selling everything from the latest fashions, wines, beers, household goods and gifts, a huge hypermarket and lots more.
If that’s not enough, Channel Outlet Store next door is the place to go for top quality French and International goods at discount prices.
Shopping Opal Coast
However if something a bit different and unique is your bag then try some of the independent and smaller outlets that you’ll find peppering every town on the Opal Coast.
We love Montreuil-sur-Mer for its proliferation of artisan shops full of wonderful, unique arts and crafts items, boutiques selling unique clothes and quirky accessories, artisan designed jewellery and lovely chocolate shops.
Le Touquet is full of top brand shops with goods from Yves Saint Laurent, Donna Karan, Chanel and many more. There are also lots of specialist shops where you can pick up something very French – china, chocolate and cheese for instance.
We all know that France is THE place to go to buy wine, beer and spirits at great value prices for parties and weddings but did you know that you could also pick up a wedding dress here on the Opal Coast, a Paris wedding dress no less, for a fraction of the price you’ll pay back in the UK? There are wedding dress shops in the main towns Dunkirk, Boulogne, Montreuil-sur-Mer and Calais and they all offer an excellent choice, friendly service and great value.
You’ll find that there are wonderful lingerie shops throughout the area which sell the most amazing lacy underwear at a far lower price than you’d pay in the UK – and if you’re with your partner a little nudge might be just the thing!
Beauty products too are something to stock up on when you’re in France, cheaper than in the UK and with a great choice from beauty stores, pharmacies, herbal stores and specialist shops staffed with experts who can give you advice.
What if you’d like something old to take home – a piece of unique vintage or pre-loved fabulous French bric-a-brac? Well the Opal Coast is a great place to rummage for a bargain – from second hand shops, auction houses, antique shops, Emmaus charity shops (they always have an amazing range of traditional French furniture in store at Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk) and of course the famous brocantes, the flea markets where you’re bound to find something to re-love and treasure.
One of the great things about shopping at the Opal Coast is the fact that you can combine a trip to the shops with a visit to a street market – every day of the week! Traditional, colourful, authentic, bustling and lively markets. Buy some artisan cheese, dairy products, wonderful organic ham, honey, jams, sweets, cakes, biscuits and seasonal and locally grown vegetables. If the weather is nice pick up a spit roasted chicken and a baguette and enjoy an impromptu picnic along the Opal Coast road or on one of the beaches – there’s 80 miles of coastline so you will be spoiled for choice.