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Aunt Anna in French trouble on the Opal Coast


Guest writer: Anna Nilsson Spets

Despite the fact that I live a stone's throw from the French border, France is a country I've been to far too little, I hardly dare say I haven't been to Paris yet.


Well, a couple of days on the Opal Coast isn't bad, and outside the tourist season it's extremely quiet.

Just as the Belgian coast is packed in the summer, it's probably the same here. The Opal Coast is a great destination by car, motorhome or motorbike. Accommodation options are wide-ranging.

Wissant is a small village located in the rather barren area between the Cap gris nez and Cap blanc nez cliffs.

If you're handy with your French, the Cap Gris cliffs are grey-dark and Cap Blanc has white cliffs. Cap gris nez is the closest European point to the UK.

A fish-themed lunch of course, a walk on the beach.

The cliffs yes, just hold on to your hat, a stormy brisk walk was rewarded with beautiful scenery, glimpsing the white cliffs of Dover far away in the mist.

The winding road is lined with great swathes of sea buckthorn, ready to be harvested.

The wind is gusting and the body is swaying in the wind, checking into a small hotel in Wimereux, the oldest seaside resort on the Opal Coast. Spend twilight in the hotel's wonderfully cosy restaurant with garlic-bathing snails and a glass of red wine.

Wimereux has wonderfully beautiful Belle Epoque style houses, carpentry and beautiful windows, cheerful colours that light up the grey weather.

A long promenade lined with bathing huts and restaurants.

Along the coast there is of course much to see for those interested in the Second World War. Bunkers, memorials and a small museum.
Bolougne sur Mere, the 'town by the sea', is home to Europe's largest aquarium, Nausica, with 10 000 cubic metres of water and an 18-metre long tunnel. 60 000 animals in 1200 different species.

I have to say I was impressed, really. This takes a whole day. You travel through the world's oceans, can rest in front of extremely large aquariums with manta rays and sharks. The largest aquarium takes 6 weeks to fill up with water.

A coffee overlooking pools of penguins. Almost a neck brace in the 18 metre long tunnel with a glass roof.

Nausica is handicapped accessible, there are eating and drinking facilities, a shop with all kinds of things to buy. Admission costs between 18-24 euros and is definitely worth a visit.

Even Bolougne sur mere has a long beach, the blue bathing huts are empty for the day. So is the carousel. I can see why. Great risk of flying away.

Anna Nilsson Spets

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Anna Nilsson Spets

60+ year old lady with a lifelong love for Africa. Emigrated to Flanders in Belgium and works with plants on a daily basis. Writes, takes photos and tries to inspire others to budget travel on their own. Blogs on "Anna's mix" about travelling, work, plants, writing and much more.

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