The Opal Coast France in Photos

Written by on June 14, 2014 in Nord-Pas de Calais, Photo gallery

opal coast poppies

I love to visit the Opal Coast at any time of the year; the constantly changing face of the glorious countryside, the view of the White Cliffs of Dover a mere 21 miles across the English Channel, picturesque towns and villages are always quite wonderful. The route from Calais to Boulogne-sur-mer along the D940 coastal road is one of the best scenic route drives I know…

Early in June I dropped in on the Fete du Crabe, the festival of the crab, at the little fishing village of Audresselles on the Opal Coast. A mere 20 minutes’ drive from the huge port of Calais, this little town on the coastal road of the D940 is like a secret little fishing village that time has passed by. The fields along this route were lined with deep red poppies, with the blue sea as a backdrop they were stunning.

opal coast bunkers

There are many fishermen and women in the town; many of them fish for crab and shell fish by hand or from the old traditional boats of the area known as flobards. In fact you’ll see flobards everywhere you look, in front gardens, being pulled up on the beach by ancient tractors or even parked in the road like a car!

opal coast fisherman

The fish are sold from the garages and huts of local homes. Those in the know in this area will visit in the afternoon when the haul of the day has been bought in, cleaned, prepared and ready to buy and take home – fresh from the sea.

opal coast fishermans house

The village with its pretty fishermen’s cottages, fine restaurants – of course selling fish – and little winding streets is lovely.

In fact all along this coastal road you’ll come across picturesque villages and towns where you can buy fresh fish for the homes of those who go out and catch them each day – just look for the signs!

opal coast napoleon colonne

On a clear day the views across the English Channel to the White Cliffs of Dover just 21 miles away look so close you’ll think you can swim there! One of the best ways to see them is from 50m up in the air standing next to Napoleon. The Colonne de la Grande Armée at Wimille is open to the public for much of the year (see details via their website below). On this spot Napoloeon issued the very first Legion d’Honneur medals in 1804. Climb the 263 steps and you’ll be rewarded with the most amazing views over the surrounding beautiful countryside and coast and a clear sight of the UK!

opal coast napoleon

If you’ve no head for heights check out the little museum at the base of the Column which is full of fascinating documents, medals and the original Napoleon statue which was damaged by bombs in WWII.

opal coast boulogne

This road is not long and if you put your foot down and drive straight along from Calais to Boulogne it won’t take much more than 30 minutes. However, I guarantee you’ll want to stop along the way so allow up to a day to see it all, have a fabulous lunch and enjoy the views.

Read more about the Audresselles Crab Festival

Read more about the Opal Coast and Nord-Pas de Calais

Details for Napoleon’s Column Boulogne

Related Articles

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

Le Shopping List for a day trip to Calais France

When it comes to a day trip to France, wine isn’t the only thing that should be on your shopping list… When you take a day trip to Calais, build in time to shop for great French produce. Right next door to the Eurotunnel station is Cité Europe. A huge shopping mall stuffed full of […]

Continue Reading

Gravelines between the sea and the country in Hauts de France

Gravelines is a bright if sleepy little town which rests between the two great harbours Calais and Dunkirk. Once an important entry port to France in its own right, the origins of Gravelines go back many centuries. History of Gravelines It was the primary commercial entrance point for the City of Saint Omer which lies […]

Continue Reading


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

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.