Sometimes overlooked and maybe one of the least known regions in France, the Pas de Calais has a lot to offer holidaymakers. Stop awhile to discover first-class beaches, tranquil rural countryside, historic towns and villages; and for accommodation see our fine collection of gites in Pas de Calais.
This northern coastal region is the gateway to continental Europe and sits at the point where the English Channel meets the North Sea, with Belgium close at hand to the east and Picardy to the south. It is a shame so many holidaymakers pass through this fascinating region on their way to and from the channel ports, because there is so much to see and do right here; historic towns, classically French villages, pleasant seaside resorts and serene open countryside.
The heritage of the region is fascinating. During its history Pas de Calais has suffered many invasions by among others the Celts, Romans, Franks, Spanish, Austrians and the Dutch whose influence remains today, so much so that the region is often known as the French Low Countries. Many of the towns and villages have Dutch sounding names and there is even a local language called West Flemish which is an historic regional dialect of the Dutch language.
Places worth a visit include Le Touquet, considered to be the region''s smartest seaside resort. The sandy beaches, smart restaurants and hotels attract wealthy Parisians looking for a weekend bolt hole. Other interesting locations include Saint Omer, Arras, Douai and Valenciennes which is famous for its lace industry. The town''s museum of fine arts is well worth a visit. For history lovers the regional capital Lille has lots of references to its Dutch past and has plenty of interesting buildings to see.
Boulogne could easily be overlooked as travellers pass through this busy port, but stop and take a stroll and discover the town''s fishing heritage, sampling the local produce in a bistro off the town''s main square. The quiet old town has cobbled streets and a castle and mote which are surrounded by magnificent ramparts.
If you want to get away from it all visit the Cote d''Opale, or Opal Coast, which has stunning chalk cliffs, elegant resorts, and plenty of sandy beaches. It lays within the Regional Natural Park des Caps et Marais d’Opale.
With so much to see so close at hand and being just a short hop across the Channel, book your holiday from a great selection of cottages in Pas-de-Calais.