The capital city of the Nord is Lille. Turn off the motorways heading south and head west to discover a world of spectacular landscapes. For hundreds of kilometres, from Dunkirk to the Somme bay, passing through Calais, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, the Côte d’Opale (Opal Coast) pulls out all the stops over a distance of 240km, with its impressive array of cliffs and dunes surrounded by countryside dotted with bell towers, windmills and fields of poppies.
A proud place, Cap Blanc-Nez (134m) and its twin headland, Cap Gris-Nez (45m), majestically overlooks the famous English Channel separating the French and English coasts. The view of the Côte d’Opale is superb, and a delightful hiking path provides stunning views of this wild landscape. In 1987 these two headlands were listed as protected areas under the name Site National des Deux Caps.
Along the coast, you'll pass through the towns of Calais, France's leading passenger port, and Boulogne-sur-Mer, located around 30km south of Calais, a former Roman naval settlement which was fortified in the 13C.
Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, located at the southern tip of the Côte d’Opale and at the mouth of the Canche, boasts a magnificent sandy beach backed by forests.
The Côte d’Opale is also lined by many smaller yet equally charming seaside towns and resorts such as Le Portel, Wissant, Ambleteuse, Wimereux, Hardelot, Berk-Plage, and more.