An area of outstanding natural beauty
Running 120 km along the Channel, the Côte d’Opale, or Opal Coast, boasts a rich landscape of beaches, dunes, marshes, estuaries and cliffs.
The Opal Coast’s two capes – Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez!
Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez are two must-see cliffs between Boulogne-sur-Mer and Calais. Listed as a Grand Site de France since 2011, the Grand Site des Deux Caps has an amazing wealth of landscapes, habitats and coastal villages. A series of dunes and wide bays stretch out, bordered by the grey cliffs of the Jurrassic era and the white cliffs of the Cretaceous period. The Cap Gris-Nez headland is the oldest of the two, its shoulders rounded by the passage of 160 million years. The younger Cap Blanc-Nez stands straighter and prouder, having been created 70 million years later.
👀 The Opal Coast’s must-sees
Saddle up and pedal to the Opal Coast’s most unforgettable locations! The coastline of northern Picardy, facing the English cliffs of Kent, hides countless natural and cultural treasures. As well as the two capes, these towns on the Opal Coast section of your journey are definitely worth a visit 👇🏼
- Boulogne-sur-Mer: travel back to medieval times in one pedal stroke! The historic quarter of Boulogne-sur-Mer is the ideal place to start exploring the town and its ramparts.
- Calais: enjoy an elevating experience at the belfry and town hall in Calais!
- Dunkirk: swap your bike for a boat at France’s third largest sea port!
- Le Touquet: at the height of fashion in the Roaring Twenties, this seaside resort has stunning, colourful villas and charming shop-lined streets – perfect for a shopping spree!
- Berck: the huge beach has made Berck the hub of the annual international kite festival in April.
- Wimereux: the oldest seaside resort on the Opal Coast! Located at the southern tip of the Grand Site des Deux Caps, the hiking paths are right on your doorstep here.
Parcours à la carte
📅 Must-see events to add to your Opal Coast diary
- The Opal Coast Festival
- Berck’s International Kite Festival
- The Festival of the Sea at Boulogne
- Dunkirk Carnival
- Enduropale du Touquet
- The Opal Coast Trail Run
✅ Your to-do list for the Opal Coast!
☐ Immerse yourself in the undersea world of Nausicaa
☐ Visit Wimereux, the oldest seaside resort on the Opal Coast
☐ Stay in one of the hotels dating from the Roaring Twenties in Le Touquet
☐ Build a sand castle on a beach in the bay of Wissant
☐ Hike along the clifftops of Cap Blanc-Nez
ℹ️ Practical information
Where did the Opal Coast get its name?
The Opal Coast’s name dates back to 1911, when Le Touquet painter Édouard Lévêque sought to pay homage to the coast’s unique soft light. Just so you know, Le Touquet-Paris-Plage is also called the pearl of the Opal Coast!
Staying on the Opal Coast
There are plenty of places to stay along the Opal Coast. For an authentic experience of all things northern, opt for a B&B or a gîte. If nature and the great outdoors is more to your taste, take your pick of the campsites! Prefer to keep it simple? Book a room in a hotel. And if you want to add some sparkle, opt for a star-rated hotel!
Dining out along the Opal Coast What are the local specialities?
The Opal Coast offers a whole array of northern and Belgian-inspired cuisine. Why not try dishes made with beer and the famous moules-frites (mussels and fries)? If you like fish, head to a port on the Opal Coast, where fishing professionals will jostle to serve you a dish made with the day’s catch.