BOULOGNE-SUR-MER : A TOWN TO DISCOVER
Boulogne-sur-Mer is a town that surprises and seduces. Located in the center of the “Côte d’Opale”, in a verdant region of hills and vales, it is the first fishing port in France and such it has earned the title of the City of the Sea. It is also a town that has been existing for more than 2 000 years and is also known as a ‘Town of Art and History’.
Boulogne-Sur-Mer is first and foremost a historical center. The old town, or high town, is surrounded by 13th century ramparts that were built on top of a Gallo-Roman wall. The narrow streets and ancient buildings are typical of this part of the town. Among the historical buildings of note are the Château museum, the Cathedral, the City Hall, the Belfry and the Law Courts.
Boulogne town center is a lively place where one can discover with pleasure the numerous shops, cafes and restaurants. It is the perfect place to go shopping on an afternoon or enjoy regional dishes.
Boulogne port is an integral part of the town. The main French fishing port and large commercial port is also a yacht harbor with approximately 400 moorings. This area is also an attraction for strollers with its specialty fish restaurants, its fish market, its privately owned and run fishing vessels and a jetty which invites you to take a deep breath of sea air.
Boulogne beach is used for sport and relaxation with sailing, surfboarding and sand-yachting. The long stretches of sandy beach are perfect for games and for lovers of swimming. There is also a pleasant bathing beach at Wimereux, close by.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE OPAL COAST
To the north of Boulogne-sur-Mer, going along the coast, we discover small villages and bathing beaches such as Wimereux, Ambleteuse and Wissant. Beaches follow headlands: this is the direction of the twin capes, Cap Gris-Nez and Cap Blanc-Nez, well known as one of the first natural heritage sites classified “Grand site de France”. Calais, the main port for visitors to France also famous for its lace industry, is not far from Boulogne-sur-Mer and gets links with England thanks to its ferry companies and the Channel Tunnel.
To the south, we can spend hours along the fine sandy beaches with numerous bathing centres such as Le Portel, Equihen-plage, Hardelot, Le Touquet, Montreuil-sur-mer, …
The countryside makes you discover a completely different type of landscape: here nature is abounding and the cities are picturesque. We can visit Samer with its 16th century church or Saint-Omer which is a Town of Art and History. These two towns are a part of the « Parc Naturel Régional des Caps et Marais d’Opale ».