A holiday in France means driving along small country roads and traditional villages, fresh croissants at the local boulangerie, endless walks on beautiful beaches, unspoilt nature and culinary hotspots. Just a 3.5-hour drive from Amsterdam, this can all be found in the Côte d’Opale or Opal Coast, the undiscovered pearl of northern France. Looking for peace, space and nature? The French Opal Coast is the perfect holiday destination close to home.
Côte d’Opale: kilometers of Opal Coast
The French Opal Coast is just over a three-hour drive from Utrecht, just across the border between Belgium and France. The part of the coast that lies on the French North Sea is also called French Flanders mentioned. You will find a number of authentic seaside resorts such as Bray-Dunes and Boulogne-sur-Mer, a beautiful dune area and the port city of Dunkirk with a rich history. You discover this beautiful region from one of the Holiday homes of Evancy on the Opal Coast.
On the Opal Coast you can sunbathe or get a breath of fresh air on the beach. The kilometre-long sandy beaches of the Opal Coast offer plenty of opportunities for wind and kite surfing, kayaking, hiking and relaxing sunbathing. Also located here are De Twee Kapen, called Cap Gris-Nez and Cap Blanc-Nez, which offer spectacular views of the English coast. Nature alternates with old coastal towns such as Boulogne-sur-Mer, an important fishing port with a historic center.
As an extension of the Opal Coast lies the coastal region of Picardy, with the Bay of the Somme; one of the most beautiful bays in the world, a ‘Grand Site de France’. Here you can observe France’s largest colony of seals with their young and also the thousands of migratory birds that like to take a rest in this place. So if you want to extend your holiday on the Opal Coast, drive along the coastal region of Picardy.
If you don’t want to go far but still want to soak up that French atmosphere during your holiday, enjoy the sea, beach and the beautiful weather, then go to Bray-Dunes. The picturesque seaside resort is located directly on the North Sea. Bray-Dune is the first village you encounter on the French Opal Coast when driving from the Netherlands.
The village of Oye-Plage is best known for the adjacent nature reserve ‘Platier d’Oye’. There are several lakes in this nature reserve, which attract numerous bird species. The beach of Oye-Plage is very popular with shell lovers. The currents in the channel appear to ensure that a rich variety of shells can be found here. Very nice to go here with children to look for shells!
A day of walking, equipped with a hearty packed lunch, on the wooden walkways through areas filled with ponds, lawns and birds. The Platier D’Oye Nature Reserve is the perfect place for young and old who want to get away from the busy life.
Boulogne-sur-Mer is located half an hour below Calais and is the largest fishing port in France. The city center is a beautiful citadel, with a belfry that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not far away you can visit the chic Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, but the nature of the Opal Coast also beckons. You can enjoy excellent walking, cycling, horse riding, sand yachting, kayaking and kite surfing. Here you will also find the largest aquarium in Europe, the aquarium Nausicaa.
In Boulogne-sur-Mer, pick up today’s catch from one of the many fish stalls in the idyllic fishing villages, or enjoy a plateau de fruits de mer in the special seafood restaurants on the coast.
Unspoilt nature reserves, a large sandy beach, clams dotted with mussels, breathtaking sunsets, high cliffs, these are just some of the charms of Equihen-Plage. Behind the coast of Equihen-Plage there are still memories of the Second World War such as bunkers and forts. There are also the necessary war museums, such as ‘Musée de la Seconde Guerre’ and ‘Musée du mur de l’Atlantique’.
Camiers Sainte Cecile
The lovely seaside resort of Camiers Sainte-Cécile is ideal for a family holiday. Camiers-Sainte-Cécile is located in the heart of the natural reserve of the Bay of Canche, surrounded by the vast beaches of the Opal Coast.
On holiday to the Opal Coast?
The French Opal Coast is a versatile area in Northern France and a beautiful close-by destination! You are there in a 3-hour drive from Utrecht. Just after the Belgian border, you will discover a quiet region with typical French charm and impressive landscapes. Nature to get lost in, from the beaches and chalk cliffs along the Opal Coast to the soft countryside and polder landscape inland.