Le Touquet Guide
Former playground of the rich and famous, Le Touquet is now a holiday destination for all.
For a small town Le Touquet has an awful lot to offer. From 1920s glamour to family fun and even high-octane beach sports, there's never a dull moment in this luxurious seaside escape.
Known as 'Paris-on-Sea', Le Touquet is enjoying a popularity revival from its early 20th Century heyday, when it was a playground for the wealthy and the escape of choice for the British literary establishment. Noted writers such as PG Wodehouse, Noël Coward and HG Wells have all taken a promenade along the town's long picturesque beach and basked in its golden sunshine.
Ravaged by the Second World War, Le Touquet's popularity briefly diminished, but today its charm and faded seaside glamour has made it more popular than ever, with the chic residents of Paris migrating to its sandy shore every summer.
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Take a wander through the town's streets and you'll soon find dazzling examples of 1920s design flair, with an array of colourful historic seaside villas to discover. But there's much more to Le Touquet than meets the eye, let Eurotunnel le Shuttle take you on a tour of some of the highlights of this unique town.
There's no better place to start your visit to Le Touquet than with the sand between your toes and the waves lapping at your feet. As with the rest of the town, Le Touquet's plage has an ability to transport you back in time, with colourful beach huts, deckchairs for hire and cafes selling crepes and frites.
Many happy hours can be whiled away relaxing and soaking up the sun, but if you would like a different perspective on the shoreline then there is a wealth of activities on offer which make the most of the town's crowning feature. Hop on a horse for an early morning ride and if you're feeling brave take a canter through the surf for an exhilarating experience unlike any other.
For something a bit more modern you can wait until the tide goes out then take advantage of the long stretch of perfect flat sand to try a spot of sand yachting. Race with the wind and watch as the beach flies by.
Enduropale du Touquet
If you want to leave the extreme beach sports to the professionals (or even have a go at competing against them) then don't miss the Enduropale du Touquet. Held in February every year this race sees more than 1,000 competitors battle it out across the beach and dunes on motorbikes and sand quads. The race is open to anybody and is free to enter, though if you're more happy in a deckchair than on a saddle the action still makes for an enjoyable spectacle.
Last year an estimated half a million fans descended on the tiny town to cheer on the racers and with free camping the event develops a friendly festival atmosphere that can be fun for all.
A perfect family day out, Aqualud is one of France's best-loved water parks. Housed under a giant glass pyramid the park is heated all year round, so whatever the weather you and your kids can have a splashing good time.
Visitors are greeted by a tangled weave of slides descending from the ceiling above and promising a full day of thrills for anybody brave enough to take the plunge.
Toddlers are also catered for, with fun and safe shallow play areas and during the summer mum and dad can find some reprieve from all the excitement on sun loungers in an outdoor extension to the park.
Golf, Casino and Racetrack
As a destination for the rich and famous Le Touquet has plenty of luxury attractions which happily won't break the bank if you visit them today.
The town's casino has long been a focal point, a favoured destination for wealthy Parisians to try their luck at card games and roulette. The modern manifestation retains some of its historic feel while also allowing you to have a turn on the slot machines without having to spend a fortune.
If a flutter on the horses is more your thing then the Le Touquet Equestrian Centre is a must. As well as the opportunity to watch horses thunder round its historic track the centre has a riding school and numerous other sports facilities, such as tennis courts and archery ranges, so there are no end of activities for you to get involved with.
If you like your sport a little more leisurely Le Touquet has two 18-hole golf courses which enjoy both spectacular surroundings and challenging holes for every level of player. La Mer Golf Course in particular offers unrivalled views across the dunes and English Channel and has often played host to the prestigious French Open tournament.
Whether you're looking to relax in style or get active on the beach Le Touquet is a seaside gem where you'll never be bored. For more information, vistit www.letouquet.com.
Getting there and around
Le Touquet is less than an hour's drive east along the A16 from the Eurotunnel le Shuttle terminal at Calais.