Le Touquet Paris-Plage

Written by on February 10, 2012 in Nord-Pas de Calais


Le Touquet is known as the “pearl of the Opal Coast” or “miniature Monaco” and was the creation of the owner of Le Figaro newspaper.  It became known as Paris by the sea and was renamed Le Touquet Paris-Plage about 100 year ago.  It is popular with Parisians who want a seaside weekend, with the British who want to experience French life without having to travel for hours and with people who live in the region thanks to the great beaches, shops which stock the best of Paris style clothes, smart patisseries and on a Saturday morning a lively market which includes an indoor market in a fabulous listed art deco setting.

It has been the place to go for many decades for the rich and famous and the casino in Le Touquet was the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s book Casino Royale after he spent much time in this lovely little town, which is also incidentally where he met his wife.


The town became popular in the 20th Century and many villas were built to accommodate the rich and famous who flocked there to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and all that the town had to offer – not only the casino and shops but its own airport, race course, tennis courts and a golf course. Many celebrities have enjoyed Le Touquet including Sir Winston Churchill, Noel Coward and his smart set, Marlène Dietrich, Serge Gainsbourg, Sean Connery (who signed the contract for his first James Bond film there), Charlotte Rampling, Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair.

Le Touquet retains all the elegance and sophistication of the old days as well as the casino and race course but today’s visitors can also take advantage of sports such as sand yachting, sailing, riding and three golf courses (plus two more in neighbouring Hardelot).  The La Mer golf course in Le Touquet is considered one of the finest in France – opened in 1931 (it was “tried out” by then Prince of Wales Edward VIII before it opened to the public), it has been rebuilt and refined and has sea views, dunes, pine trees, two great hotels attached and is hugely popular with golfers.

For those looking for a little more relaxation there is a thalassotherapy spa on the beach, three spa centres offering great treatments, the Aqualud water park and much more.

There is riding on the beach or through the forests, there’s even a little train that goes round the town and takes in all the sights – much loved by kids (and adults who want to have a sneaky peak at the homes of the rich and famous who live in the area).


There are numerous restaurants, cafés and bars and people watching from pavement tables is definitely one of the greatest pleasures here whatever the time.  All year round weekends are filled with everything from art exhibitions, antique fairs, wine festivals to concerts and sports events and at the end of the year Le Touquet Christmas market is a big regional draw thanks to the great shopping and the lovely light display.

From the UK Le Touquet is easy to get to:
From Eurotunnel in Calais the drive takes about 45 minutes (70km)
From Calais port if you arrive by ferry it’s just under an hour to Le Touquet on the A16
Air:  Lydd Air (www.lyddair.com) flies from tiny Lydd Airfield near Ashford, Kent with a flight time of around 20 minutes and you can take a short taxi ride into town.

Related Articles

What to see in Roubaix northern France

Roubaix in northern France, once an industrial powerhouse city has undergone a regeneration and is emerging as a centre of art and culture … A once thriving textile town, Roubaix is a district that’s undergone enormous change as the world of industrial output has shifted. No longer the powerhouse of production that it once was, […]

Continue Reading

Montreuil-sur-Mer in northern France

Around an hour from the port town of Calais, Montreuil-sur-Mer in northern France is a perfect weekend destination as well as a great stop off point for travellers going to and from the UK. Easy to reach from the A16 main auto route, coming here offers a slice of history and gastronomy as this little […]

Continue Reading

Le Touquet Paris-Plage, Northern France

Le Touquet Paris-Plage is a small seaside resort on the beautiful Opal Coast of northern France. Architecturally it has a mix of British Edwardian and French Belle Epoque styles. Combined with a zest for outdoor living (and its own microclimate), swanky shops and excellent bars and restaurants. It’s a brilliant place for a weekend break […]

Continue Reading

Museums, Monuments and Arts Venues of Lille

Lille in northern France is one of the most cultural cities in the country. There are more than a dozen museums and art venues in the city and every three years or so Lille goes arty-party mad with a major several-months-long art festival known as Lille3000 in public buildings and the streets. Palais des Beaux […]

Continue Reading

Family-friendly holidays in northern France

If you’re wondering where to go this year for a quintessential French holiday that’s a real family pleaser then look no further! Just across the English Channel you will find long golden sandy beaches, rock pools where you can fish for shrimp and mussels, discover secret inlets and see seals sunbathe. Somewhere you can buy […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.