Côte d’Opale attractions

Top Choice Aquarium in Boulogne-sur-Mer


At this vast manta ray–shaped aquarium – one of the world's largest – huge tanks with floor-to-ceiling windows make you feel as though you're swimming with the sharks. All-up there are more than 60,000 creatures, in…
Landmark in Côte d’Opale

Cap Gris-Nez

Topped by a lighthouse and a radar station that keeps track of the hundreds of ships that pass by here each day, the 49m-high cliffs of Cap Gris-Nez are only 28km from the white cliffs of the English coast. The name…
Historic Site in Boulogne-sur-Mer


Boulogne's hilltop Upper City is an island of centuries-old buildings and cobblestone streets. You can walk all the way around this 'Fortified City' atop the ancient stone walls – look for signs for the Promenade de…
Landmark in Côte d’Opale

Cap Blanc-Nez

Southwest of Calais, just past Sangatte, the coastal dunes give way to cliffs that culminate in windswept, 134m-high Cap Blanc-Nez, which affords breathtaking views of the Bay of Wissant, the port of Calais, the Fle…
Museum in Calais

Cité Internationale de la Dentelle et de la Mode

Innovative exhibits trace the history of lacemaking – the industry that once made Calais a textile powerhouse – from hand knotting (some stunning samples are on display) through the Industrial Revolution. The highli…
Tower in Dunkirk

Le Beffroi

Dunkirk's landmark 58m-high belfry – the bell tower of the original Église St-Éloi before it burnt to the ground in 1558 – was erected in 1440 and has been a Unesco World Heritage–listed monument since 2004. A lift …
Statue in Calais

Burghers of Calais

In front of Calais' ornate Hôtel de Ville stands the first cast of Rodin's famous sculpture Les Bourgeois de Calais (The Burghers of Calais; 1889), which portrays six local leaders (burghers) in 1347 as they surrend…
Church in Dunkirk

Église St-Éloi

Constructed in 1560, the Église St-Éloi was refaced with a neo-Gothic façade completed in 1889. It's dubbed la cathédrale des sables (cathedral of the sand) due to the one-time proximity of the dunes. Heavily damage…
Beach in Calais

Blériot Plage

This broad, gently sloping sandy beach stretching for 8km is safe for swimming and gets packed in summer.
Tower in Calais

Hôtel de Ville

Inaugurated in 1925, Calais' Hôtel de Ville (city hall) melds Flemish and Renaissance styles, as does its 78m-high, Unesco-listed beffroi (belfry) topped by gilded statues that glint in the sun. A lift zips you to t…