After a great start in French waters by sailing through the Strait of Dover and visiting the nice city of Calais, we continued to sail along the French coast. Our next stops would be Boulogne-sur-Mer and Dieppe. Both nice harbors and vibrant cities along the Northwest coast of France.
This area of France is called ‘Côte d’Opale’, the Opal Coast. This word was used by a painter in the year 1911 to describe the colorful coastline here which changes often because of the weather and season. He compared it to the gemstone opal, which has different colors like green, yellow and red.
We were curious to visit Paris Plage. You might be surprised by what I write now: “Paris? Beaches? Did you sail into the Seine and visit Paris??’ No, we stay along the coastline, and there is a special place called Le Touquet-Paris-Plage. It is an elegant seaside resort with a lot of style, and people from Paris used to go there for holidays in summer during the ‘Roaring Twenties’ or had a second house there.
Like Zandvoort-aan-Zee in Holland, which is sometimes referred to as Amsterdam Beach, but is actually quite far away from Amsterdam, the same thing goes for Le Touquet-Paris-Plage: it’s a 3 hour drive by car from Paris to this city at the coast! Le Touquet-Paris-Plage is also popular by the British to spend their holidays or have a second home there. Because of the small passage between England and France in this area, you can be there on the same day using the ferry from Dover to Calais. So you see a lot of country houses build in British-Norman architectural style.
We cycled from Boulogne-sur-Mer to Paris Plage. It was a 1,5 hour trip by bike, but along this coastline and with beautiful weather and through National Parks, the cycling was a treat in itself.
Gilles had already been in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, so he was really looking forward to see this mundane seaside resort again. It was a great place: the beautiful country houses, the wide beach with white sand and all the cosy restaurants.
We had lunch at a lunchroom at the beach, on their terrace. The staff was so kind to recharge the batteries of our e-bikes, because that needed to be done to cycle back to the boat again 😉.