The Pas-de-Calais department is best known for the famous chalk cliffs Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez on the Opal Coast. However, the region has much more to offer, such as the Romelaere nature reserve, the bays of the Canche and Authie and the region of the Seven Valleys and the Ternois. Lots of walking fun not so far from home.
Parc naturel régional des caps et marais d’Opale.
The Nature Park is located between the Channel and the North Sea. Characteristic of this protected area is the great variety of landscapes, worked over the centuries by its inhabitants. To the west, the coast is a succession of dunes, estuaries and sandy coves. And of course the spectacular unspoilt area of the Capes with the 2 huge rocks, Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Griz-Nez. More inland in the Boulonnais region, is the rural heart of the park; a variety of scenic landscapes, green valleys surrounded by steep limestone slopes, forest areas, the Artois hills and charming villages. And finally, in the northwest of the park, the Saint-Omer marsh; the last cultivated marsh in France, and a remarkable natural site.
GR120 - 175km walk along the Opal Coast.
The GR 120 runs along the Opal Coast, from the Panne in Belgium to Berck-sur-Mer. You can walk in the coves of the Canche and Authie. Near Etaples-sur-Mer, at the mouth of the river Canche, lies the Natural Park of the Bay of Canche. This 500 ha protected nature reserve is a popular staging post for migratory birds, with remarkable flora and fauna. Directly opposite is the pretty seaside resort of le Touquet-Paris-Plage. To the south, near Berck-sur-Mer, another beautiful nature reserve, the bay of the Authie. Mudflats and salt marshes, dunes and foreshores form the bay and you have a beautiful view of the Somme Bay. At low tide you can admire the seal colony, which are cozily lounging.
The dunes of the Slack, between Wimereux and Ambleteuse, are one of the largest dune areas in the Pas-de-Calais department. You will find a varied and authentic landscape with dunes, beach and pine forest.
The region of Les Deux-Caps is known for the cliffs of Cap Gris-Nez and Cap Blanc-Nez. It is also an area distinguished by its extraordinary nature and typical heritage, such as the Fort Vauban in Ambleteuse, the Art Deco church tower of Audresselles and the Belle Epoque villas in Wimereux. Each town and village has managed to preserve its own character.
Between Calais and Gravelines, lies the platier d'Oye, a nature reserve of about 400 hectares. This polder was formed in the 17th century and is home to many species of migratory birds in all seasons. From the observatory you have a breathtaking view of salt meadows, mud flats, wet meadows and dunes.