Seascape of the opal coast of Cap Blanc Nez.

© Bjorn Beheydt/Shutterstock

Cap Blanc-Nez

Côte d’Opale

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 Flemish countryside (pockmarked by Allied bomb craters, such as those on the slopes of Mont d'Hubert) and the distant chalk cliffs of Kent. A grey stone obelisk honours the WWI Dover Patrol. Paths lead to a number of massive WWII German bunkers.

Free parking makes this a handy spot to begin a day hike.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Côte d’Opale attractions

1. Blériot Plage

4.05 MILES

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

2. Brasserie Artisanale des 2 Caps


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3. Plage de Calais

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Children can splash in the shallow, clear waters of Calais' cabin-lined city beach (patrolled by lifeguards in summer), while its fine sand is ideal for…

4. Musée Mémoire 1939–1945

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Housed in a massive concrete bunker built as a German naval headquarters, this WWII museum displays thousands of period artefacts, including weapons,…

5. Burghers of Calais

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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…

6. Hôtel de Ville

6.59 MILES

Inaugurated in 1925, Calais' Hôtel de Ville (city hall) melds Flemish and Renaissance styles, as does its 78m-high, Unesco-listed beffroi (belfry) topped…

7. Cap Gris-Nez

6.63 MILES

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…