Discover Calais Cote Opale

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A quintessential French holiday is a real family pleaser! Check out our guide to the perfect family-friendly trip.

Sights
If you’re wondering where to go this year for a French holiday that’s a real family pleaser, then look no further! Just across the English Channel you will find the Opal Coast – long, golden sandy beaches, rock pools where you can fish for shrimps and mussels, secret inlets and sunbathing seals.
Buy some freshly made croissants for breakfast, a crispy baguette and lip-smacking fromage for a delicious al fresco lunch, and a mouth-watering cake for tea!

See more for less!

special offer

Pass Escales Calaisis

For just €11 per person, you and your family can visit 4 attractions See attraction details

  • The International Centre for Lace and Fashion (permanent OR temporary exhibition)
  • Fine Arts Museum (permanent AND temporary exhibition)
  • le Musée de Mémoire 39-45
  • Calais belfry
  • Cannot be used with any other offer or discount.
  • One visit per attraction.
  • The pass is transferable.

Explore vibrant seaside towns and fishermen’s hamlets, where you can get fresh fish straight from the boat. La Côte d’Opale is dotted with picturesque villages and seaside resorts where you’re guaranteed a warm welcome and more activities than you can possibly do in a whole week. It’s perfect for family holidays, with an idyllic coastline, delicious food and fun things to do. Mums and dads can relax while kids from tots to teens will find plenty to keep them occupied.

Famille Plus

The Famille Plus label has been awarded to four towns in Pas de Calais, each very different from the other. They are all recognised for their outstanding family-friendly welcome and have a programme that offers lots to do for everyone, no matter what age.

Berck-sur-Mer

Berck-sur-Mer

Berck-sur-Mer is a family seaside resort between the Bay of Somme and The Two Capes (stunning cliffs that overlook the English coast, which you can easily see on a clear day). The sandy beach is 12 km long and the fresh air is just right to fly a kite. In fact, it’s famous in these parts for its beneficial iodized climate.

Kite flyers gather

Every year, in April, the world’s greatest kite flyers gather here for a spectacular annual contest. If you missed it this year, pop it in your diary for 2017. It’s awesome, and the look on people’s faces when they see the colourful kites flying high is priceless. Right on the French coast, Berck-sur-Mer has an enchanting retro vibe; from the pastel-coloured beach huts to the outstanding double-decker carousel on the sea front, and the legendary sweet shop “Le Succès Berckois” in the town, where scrumptious bonbons and lollipops have been made by hand for almost a century.

There’s a definite hint of yesteryear, and when the sun starts to go down, there’s not much that beats eating chips from a paper bag on the beach or sitting at a terraced restaurant, basking in the laid-back atmosphere.

Don’t miss:

  • The Baie d’Authie where you can see a colony of grey seals.Tours organised by the tourist office.  
  • Bagatelle Amusement Park on the outskirts of town. It’s very French, rather quaint and has rides for both little kids and thrill seekers, who love roller coasters and the like (entry is free for kids under 1m tall).

Le Touquet Paris-Plage

Le Touquet is one of our best-kept secrets. French families flock here with their cars loaded with toys and bikes for a break that’s authentic, relaxing and fun. This seriously chic destination has everything that maman and papa could possibly want and kids are spoiled for choice with so many things to do. From tennis, swimming pools and waterparks on the sands, to horse-riding through the forest and across the dunes, sand yachting, sailing, great golf courses and mini golf – you can find it all here, on the French coast. There are also several supervised kids clubs (for ages 2.5 – 15 years).

The white sandy beach is glorious. The buggy-friendly esplanade is where you can board the little tourist train that will take you through the town and the surrounding pine forests, to admire the dazzling art deco style villas, once owned by the jet-setting crowd who made Le Touquet famous in the 20th century. Although it’s a little quieter these days, you may well spot a celebrity or two from time to time, and Le Touquet is still very enticing with dozens of great restaurants and a chic Paris-like vibe.

There are hundreds of events throughout the year, including an eye-popping Sand Sculpture Festival which is guaranteed to inspire the whole family to build sandcastles on the sandy beach (July – August) and a charming Flower Festival (19th August).

Pick up some fabulous, fresh local produce

Don’t miss:

  • The lovely market (Thursday and Saturday, plus Monday from June to mid-September). Pick up some fabulous, fresh local produce and enjoy a picnic.
  • Hire a Segway and pootle about town.
  • Pony rides (3 years old and upwards) and riding for the whole family at the equestrian centre.

Montreuil-sur-Mer

Walled medieval town

This walled medieval town has visitors falling in love with its ravishing good looks, and is ranked in the top 10 of the “100 most beautiful detours in France”. There are no high street coffee shops or restaurants here, this town is typically French and proud of it. 15km from the French coastline, Montreuil-sur-Mer has a rich history and the ramparts that surround it offer stunning views over the local countryside.

Sit in the elegant squares, shop at the Saturday morning market, or wander the cobbled stone streets while you admire the magnificent architecture. There is a canoe club (note that kids need to be able to swim a minimum of 25m), and alongside the riverbank there are some lovely picnic spots. Adults will appreciate the great choice of restaurants and cafés in this Village Fleuri (flowery village), and kids will love tucking into the tasty pancakes from the local crêperie, on rue du Clape en Bas.

Les Misérables

Don’t miss:

  • Les Misérables, performed by around 500 townsfolk in fabulous costume on the ramparts – it’s an incredible piece of open-air theatre, complete with charging horses and booming cannons, and a superb homage to Victor Hugo who based his famous story on a visit to this town. (29th, 30th, 31st July and 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th August, 2016. Tickets available from the tourist office.)  
  • The Antiques Fair on 14th July. You’re bound to find something for all the family here. In the evening, join in the fun and enjoy the fireworks because 14th July is also Bastille Day!

Neufchâtel-Hardelot

Neufchâtel-Hardelot

Neufchâtel-Hardelot is a family-friendly gem. The uncrowded 3km-long pristine beaches are ideal for toddlers to try out their first bucket and spade. This is the place to go for those who want to relax in tranquil, beautiful surroundings and let the sugary sand tickle their toes. Kids will love the wide-open spaces here and the chance to run about in the fresh air.

It’s a peaceful countryside location that lies in the centre of the regional park, between Boulogne-sur-Mer and Le Touquet. Neufchatel is a village and Hardelot is a lovely seaside resort – so you get the best of both worlds. There is a fantastic equestrian centre with a pony club for kids aged four years and up, plus guided rides through the village and surroundings. For more experienced riders, a full gallop on the beach beckons.

Just a few of the fun activities include sand yachting, sailing, catamarans, wind surfing, speed sailing, kayaking and a skate park for teens. Golfers will love the chance to play while surrounded by scented pine trees, or perhaps you can take part in a tennis tournament or enjoy a family bike ride on the flat roads. With several really great restaurants and cafés, this is a terrific chill-out place where you won’t feel crowded or rushed, but can take your time to truly appreciate the French way of life.

Chateau de Hardelot

Don’t miss:

  • Release your inner gourmand at the Sunday morning market on the beach, which takes place throughout the summer and boasts fresh produce and artisan goods.
  • Chateau de Hardelot – a very English castle in the heart of rural France. There are concerts and exhibitions year-round; it’s beautifully furnished (I loved how clothes were laid out on the beds as if the owners were coming back to get dressed for dinner) and there’s a very glamorous tea room.

Parc d’Olhain

Parc d’Olhain

If your children like active fun then Parc d’Olhain is for you and them! Go for a fun-filled day, or go for longer and stay in one of the onsite campgrounds or cabins. A great place to unwind and recharge your batteries, there are 200 hectares of countryside to run about in and let off steam, with dozens of activities that are perfect for any sporting family.

Here, kids can discover nature and join in fun activities that stimulate their senses, and give them a big dose of fresh air and exercise.

Don’t miss:

  • Tree top nets – the largest in the world no less! Passageways, rope bridges and giant trampolines galore, plus a tree top adventure course with a zip wire thrill ride. You’re guaranteed excitement and a chance for a selfie that will really impress!
  • 37km of cycling routes to suit all levels and no cars to worry about when you have the little ones with you.
  • There’s also paragliding, mini-golf, an outdoor heated swimming pool, kindergarten, playgrounds, climbing, tennis, bird watching, a golf course and, hotly anticipated for this year, an all-season toboggan run! (Open March to November.) 

Getting there and around

Office de tourisme Calais Côte d'Opale

12 Bd Clémenceau - Calais
Tel: +33 (0)3 21 96 62 40

Find out more about Calais côte d'Opale

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Photo Credits:Office de Tourisme Calais Côte d'Opale

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from £23
Prices start from £23 per car, each way* *£23 Day Trip & Overnight - Ticket must be purchased as part of a 2 day return. Return must be completed by midnight (local time) on the second calendar day. Book your travel now