The crossroad of Europe
The famous Cht’i country
The traditions, heritage and knowledge in Nord-Pas de Calais perpetuate an inherited identity of centuries-old thriving customs.
Meet a group of fishermen in Dunkerque or Boulogne, uncover some treasures in the annual Lille ‘braderie’, live again the mining period, drink a pint in a regional tavern and eat musles and French fries in a authentic “Estaminet tavern”.
Enjoy the outstanding panorama between the 2 capes of the “Côte d’Opale”.
You are in the North, the most friendly and welcoming region of France.
As they say themselves, “they have the sun inside their heart, if not in the sky”
The Opal Coast, la Côte d’Opale
- With its kilometers of sand, the Opal coast definitely belongs to the French most beautiful beaches : Hardelot dunes, Le Touquet dam, the famous cliffs between the 2 capes ‘Blanc-Nez’ and ‘Gris-Nez’.
- Enjoy the lively resorts and the numerous outdoor activities : windsurf, paddle, kitesurf, kites, horse-riding.
- In Boulogne sur mer, experience the first fishing habour in France and the National Sea Center, the biggest European site on marine knowledge.
Lille and the Flemish countryside
- Bienvenue à Lille ! Warm people, student city, parties, bars…without forgetting a strong history.
- Rated as a “Art & History” city, Lille has a remarkable architecture heritage. Make a stroll in the “Vieux Lille” and you will understand. Its colourful ‘facades’ inspired by the Flemish Renaissance and its lively squares surrounded by typical ‘brasseries’ will greet you at every corner.
- During the 1st September week end takes place the famous “Braderie de Lille”, the biggest European flea-market with its contest of mussels & French fries in front of every restaurant !
- Climb Flanders’ low mountains (Mont des Cats, Mont Cassel, Mont Noir…) and discover an Cistercian abbey here, a typical village there, a warm “estaminet tavern” here, a outstanding Trapist monks beer there, a windmill here, a superb panorama there…
- Flanders is the destination for authenticity lovers who appreciate natural landscapes, simplicity and good beers !
From the mines to the carnivals
- The region has been shaped with the massive exploitation of coal in the 19th century ; now, thanks to its heaps, its miners’ villages, it is a UNESCO World’s heritage region.
Discover the heart of the mine with a guided visit of the galleries with a former miner!
- The carnivals: from Dunkirk to Cassel and many others. Thousands attend the festival and join in the fun that grips the whole town. The “bandes” consist of a huge procession with everyone singing traditional songs. Unique atmosphere in France!
- Meet the Giants ! From centuries, these huge puppets are held by several people during carnivals, events, fairs…
Saint Omer region and the Audomarois marshes
- The audomarois marshes are located between Flanders and Artois near the historical and artistic town of Saint-Omer.
- Over the centuries, generations of men have lived in this vast, open-air garden, travelling around in boats through a maze of waterways. This fertile land is the only continuously farmed wetland in France and has been recognized as such by UNESCO.