From the hills of Artois steeped in history, to the green hills of Avesnois, from the belfries in walled cities to the lighthouses guarding the well-preserved Opal Coast, and the windmills perched upon the Mounts of Flanders, take to the high ground to admire the wealth of Nord-Pas de Calais. All of those riches, natural or cultural, urban or human, historical or gastronomic, are yours to discover during your stay in Nord Pas de Calais…
140 kilometres of fine sandy beaches and wild dunes line the English Channel and the North Sea: a heaven for sand-yachting and windsurfing enthusiasts, encompassing the dizzying cliffs of the 2 Capes, Blanc Nez and Gris Nez, legitimately listed as a Major National Site.
680 kilometres of navigable canals and rivers make up France’s densest fluvial network, and the Audomarois Marsh is renowned for its exceptional fauna and flora. Deep within the Avesnois, Val Joly Lake and its 180 hectares now hosts a tourist resort nestling in a green setting. Lastly, there are three Regional Natural Parks and 3,200 kilometres of trekking circuits for hikers, horse riders or cyclists.
Your stay in Nord Pas de Calais will take you to World Heritage-listed belfries, and to the citadels built by Vauban in the 17th century to protect the borders conquered by Louis XIV. You will also be led to recall the many battles that have marked the region. Bouvines, Azincourt, Malplaquet, Vimy, Dunkirk... Battles all that still haunt our subconscious. Just about anywhere you go, you will be treading a memory trail outlining the engagements of both World Wars. In expectation of the Louvre-Lens Museum, due to open in 2011, the entire Mining Basin for its part is reawakening and taking on a new destiny.
Cultural cities and parties in Nord Pas de Calais
If you consider the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille, one of France’s leading fine arts museums, the Roubaix Museum of Art and Industry, the Wellington Quarry in Arras, the Nausicaä Aquarium in Boulogne-sur-Mer and no less than 46 Musées de France, you will agree that those with an inquisitive bent will be satiated. It isn’t just hearsay, the “Ch’tis” really are great hosts and they know how to party. And not just in Bergues! There are carnivals in Dunkirk and Cassel, the Gayant Festival in Douai, the Braderie in Lille, the Brocante in Maroilles, occasions all to sample the warmth of people from the North. One can find the same conviviality in the regional gastronomy. To check this out, there’s nothing better than a gourmet wander to a small café, where they’ll serve you Flemish carbonade, fries and beer in the sort of ambience you’ll find nowhere else.
Succumb to the spell of Nord Pas de Calais and book your stay in a Logis hotel restaurant to fully enjoy the region’s tourist attractions.