Nord Pas de Calais
Pas-de-Calais is unique in France. Despite being one of the most populated departments in the country, it has next to no large cities and has only recently been given a University. The landscape is variable, stretching from the miles and miles of golden beaches along the Opal coast to the historic mining towns in the Artois area. The climate is temperate and there are many opportunities for shopping, with many tourists coming over to the Pas-de-Calais in order to pick up some cheap alcohol.
Places to go
Pas-de-Calais offers the perfect location for recreational sport, with miles of flat countryside providing the perfect opportunity for riding and cycling. The region boasts over 3000km of sign posted footpaths and 32 tourist cycling roots. This, when combined with the comfortably mild temperatures, makes for the ideal relaxing getaway. Dotted along the way are a variety of idyllic small towns, many of them with beautiful public parks and gardens.
For the historically curious, Pas-de-Calais is an area rich in history and museums. The area suffered some of the fiercest fighting in France during both world wars, and there are many memorials and graves that explore the scars and legacies of these century-defining events.
Food and drink
Pas-de-Calais has its own flavours and smells to recommend itself, many influenced by its proximity to Belgium and the Flemish cooking culture. The region of Nord Pas-de-Calais is especially proud of Maroilles, an ancient French cheese which is made in only one local cave system, allowing it to develop the distinctive moulds that give the cheese its distinctive flavor. Other distinctive local recipes include smoked garlic and Bêtise de Cambrai, sweets that are unique to the region and, according to legend, the result of an error on the part of a young apprentice working in a local sweet making shop.
Ferries to the Loire Valley
- Eurostar - Ashford International to Calais
- Eurotunnel - Folkestone to Calais
- LD Lines - Dover to Boulogne
- Norfolkline - Dover to Dunkirk
- P&O Ferries - Dover to Calais
- Sea France - Dover to Calais
Pas-de-Calais is well served by a network of toll-paying motorways and free dual carriageways, allowing for easy and stress-free access to all parts of the region.
Cars aren't the only way of getting around. The region is also well served by train networks. TGV trains go between the main cities whilst smaller towns are served by local trains and coaches. Prices are low and the journeys are quick, clean and efficient.