While France’s southern coast is widely known for its beaches that offer celebrity-spot to take in the sun, the coastline of northern France is famous for a more authentic beachy holiday experience. That is why the area around the town of Calais is an absolute must-visit if you are looking for something genuinely different.
Here is my List of the Best Beaches near Calais, France.
A magnificent elegant seaside resort with a wonderful beach where para surfers frequent. Clean and family-friendly, the beach is suitable for those who love digging sandcastles, exploring rock pools, and shell search. The esplanade is pedestrianized, and it has fine homes along with it. There are lots of great restaurants, and there is a war cemetery in the beach’s north for those who love history.
>>Also Read: Best Beaches in Northern France
Le Touquet Paris-Plage
Made in the 19th-century, Le Touquet used to be a famous place where rich Parisians come to enjoy its seaside resort. The town also has its own style of architecture, and the residential spots are more British than French in style. All the housing structures that go with the lifestyle of the affluent and famous can be seen here, such as large hotels, a racecourse, a casino, and select designer shops. Nevertheless, more things will catch the visitor’s attention here, like a large long sandy beach, amusements structures for kids, and an outdoor swimming pool. The modish resort will be a thrill to you.
Perching on Cote d’Opale is Escalles, a little village nestled in a beautiful valley that is a few kilometers from Boulogne-Sur-Mer and Calais in the department of Pas-de-Calais in northern France. Escalles is popular among vacationers and photographers for the ravishing views that it has from its cliffs and the well-stretched pebbles and sand beaches.
You should note that Cap Blanc Nez is among the best on Cote d’Opale and is situated here. There are several equestrians, hiking, and mountain bike tracks coursing to the peak of this stately site at 33 km above sea level. You will be able to sight the coasts from there on bright days and even adorn the sunset in the evening.
In the department Pas-de-Calais in France on the Cote d’Opale, there is the seaside resort of Wissant. It is situated between Blanc Nez and the Capes Gris Nez and has been a harbor of voyagers and fishermen before it was entirely destroyed in the 1700s. Since it has been a calm small town that is popular for having one of the most pleasing beaches on the continent and is globally recognized for its speed-sailing sports and kayaking.
There are many beaches in Wissant (which is on a large beach). The ones in the middle are more active. For those who cherish gorgeous landscapes, Strouanne is the place to go. In the town is where you will find an enthralling beach, and you can even access Cran d’Escalles beach close to Cape Blanc Nez.
You can practice sand yachting on the large 12 km coast. You can chill on the beach while waiting to watch the popular ‘flobards’ or local fishing boats. Families visit Wissant more than any other group of visitors as they enjoy the city’s reputation of being a children-friendly destination.
The town’s lure and the local houses, as well as the well-kept nature that encircle the city, are its treasures. If you want, you can stop by at the Musee du Moulin museum and learn about the town’s history. Do not forget to book ahead, though.
Several photographers visit here, nicknamed “Perle de la cote d’Opale” (Pearl of the Opal coast), to enjoy the special light that complements the wild environment’s beauty. Close are the beaches of Calais that attract a mammoth crowd in the peak season.
>>Also Read: Best Beaches near Mont-Saint-Michel
Located in Cote d’Opale is Hardelot, a seaside resort in Pas-de-Calais. It is between two touristic spots: Touquet-Paris-Plage and Boulogne-sur-Mer, and has a large seafront of over 8 km of beach and dunes. Highly frequented, it is marked by the vegetation that encircles it, such as the natural reserve of Marais de Condette, the Ecault forest, and Mont Saint-Frieux.
The beach, with fine sand, is many kilometers long and is a calm haven for vacationers. Hardelot-Plage is divided into many zones. The major section has a lifeguard in the summertime and is surrounded by a good pedestrian promenade dam. There, you can practice several activities such as kite surfing, sand yachting, shrimp fishing, catamaran, and so on.
Hardelot-Plage is between Dannes and Saint-Etienne-au-Mont, and it offers a fine hiking track in the center of two sheltered dune areas. You can also choose to walk in the forest, in the center of the maritime pines, oaks, and beeches. Other highlights here include the city’s castle, its gardens, and the parish church Saint-Augustin-de-Cantorbery.
Berck is located in the area of Nord-Pas-de-Calais close to Picardie on the Cote d’Opale. It is the southernmost seaside resort in the area and is one of the most visited in northern France. You will find many beaches in Berck as the coast stretches for more than 10 km. The major beach is near downtown, close to the promenade Parmenier. It is well furnished with bathing huts and is accessible to persons with reduced mobility.
Additionally, Berck is popular for being the base of sand yachting. To the south is a water sports center with a natural pool close to the north of the bay of Authis. Close there, there is a nudist beach. Meanwhile, the Agora complex downtown, close to the seafront, has many indoor and outdoor activities and a massive wave pool.
Given its strategic position in the north of the bay Authie, you can get away from the bustles of urban life to discover a well-preserved area with developed dunes. Several tracks allow visitors to travel across the bay approaching Groffliers.
>>Also Read: Best Beaches near St-Malo, France
Audinghen is a small village in the department of Pas-de-Calais, and it is a peaceful destination that attracts several visitors in the summertime. The village is situated on the edge of Gris-Nez, where the view over Wissant’s bay and the neighboring Cap Blac-Nes is expressively enchanting. If the weather allows, the landscape spans to the English coast, and you will be privileged to see many species of migratory birds.
In Audinghen, there are three beaches. The major one is the most accessible but also the plainest. While there are two small preserved and less popular coves in the south that can be reached on foot.
Just outside the resort, the locality of Haringzelles used to be a strategic spot in the Second World War. You can still see some of the casemates and visit the Atlantic Wall museum there. Cran du Poulet close by covers a little pebble creek.
Tourists come to the resort in their droves around mid-September and join in the festivities of the capes and the hike held here. Athletes can as well enjoy water activities even if the village has strong currents, but they will need to be careful. Wissant is not far from here as well as Calais and Ambleteuse which benefit from the alluring beaches.
The little seaside resort of Ambleteuese is situated in the department of Pas-de-Calais, near Cap Gris Nez and Boulogne-Sur-Mer. The beach is covered in rock and pebbles and is situated next to The Slack’s mouth. Compared to the neighboring resorts, the coastline is well preserved, and people often come here for relaxation. Therefore, few stalls and restaurants leave their mark on the landscape that remains wild and quite popular with photographers.
The beaches here might not rank too high on the list of the ones in Cote d’Opale. The major one at Port Vauban is supervised, and the fort offers a genuinely authentic side. Wimereux beaches are on the Slack’s bank. There are a craggy section and some small beaches north of the resort with resplendent vistas of Audresselles beach.
Best Beaches near Calais France – Final Thoughts
Most of the beautiful beaches near Calais are great destinations for relaxation and to enjoy nature. The area’s excellent weather ensures that families keep coming there whether it is a high season or not. The beaches are not just the only things to enjoy near Calais. There are shopping stores, restaurants, sports spots, and even museums in the mix. That is why your trip to northern France might not be complete if you haven’t seen what this area has to offer.