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Opal Coast

Cycling the Opal Coast from Le Touquet to Dunkirk

Cycle along the Opal Coast, from Le Touquet to Dunkirk, following the Vélomaritime route via Capes Gris-Nez & Blanc-Nez.

Reference OPA0501
  • Itinerant trip
  • 5 days
  • Moderate
  • April to October
  • Minimum age 14 years-old
GPSGPS-app available
590€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • Cycle through the heart of the Opal Coast thanks to this 4-day itinerary on the Vélomaritime route. Take swim breaks along the way on Le Touquet-Paris-Plage and Wissant’s beaches and explore Boulogne-sur-Mer, Calais and Dunkirk’s rich cultural histories.

    Following mostly a well-designed bike path, you will cycle through Hardelot’s forest up to Boulogne’s plains then climb up Capes Gris-Nez and Blanc-Nez. Enjoy the breathtaking views over the coastline and the British cliffs before going back down the city of Gravelines, designed by Vauban.

    Don’t forget to get some strength back on each stage by trying local delicacies : carbonade flamande (Flemish stew), galettes dunkerquoises (Dunkirk’s biscuits) and obviously a craft beer!

    Day 1


    Arrival in Le Touquet-Paris-Plage

    Spend your first night on the Opal Coast in the very chic seaside town of Le Touquet. Settle down in your accommodation and start your holiday with a beach walk, unless you prefer to go for a stroll through charming villas. Don’t miss the impressive Art Déco Westminster Hotel and the atypical chalets from the Swiss Village.

    Finish off your day by climbing up the 274 steps to the lighthouse and enjoy the view over the Canche Bay.

    Day 2


    Le Touquet - Boulogne-sur-Mer

    Today you cycle along Le Touquet’s quiet and leafy paths to reach the heart of the Opal Coast. Etaple’s small country roads will give you the opportunity to warm your legs up and to fully test your bikes before going back down for a swim in Sainte-Cécile.

    The Vélomaritime will then lead you right to the bottom of Château d’Hardelot, wonderful French-British castle nestled in the heart of the forest.

    The cycling path slowly climbs back up to the plains, offering a breathtaking view over the coastline and Boulogne-sur-Mer’s belfry. One last effort and you will arrive in front of the city’s walls to enjoy a well-deserved beer!

    Day 3


    Boulogne-sur-Mer - Wissant

    With today’s stage, you will make the most of the Opal Coast’s seaside towns. No sooner have you left Boulogne-sur-Mer than you will start spotting Wimereux’s Belle Epoque villas from the cliffs. Take a break on the beach before jumping back on your bike to reach Ambleteuse and its Vauban’s fortress.

    You will have one more opportunity for a swim in Audresselles before starting your climb up Cape Gris-Nez. Your efforts will be rewarded by the stunning view over the Bristih cliffs, only 35 km away from France.

    Make the most of the view while cycling down country roads to the lovely seaside town of Wissant, ideally located between the two capes.

    Day 4


    Wissant - Gravelines

    Leaving Wissant, you will have two options to reach Cape Blanc-Nez : we advise you to follow the road to Escalles where you will be able to park your bikes before hiking up the cape. The most audacious ones can, if they wish to, take the winding road to the top (Be careful with the traffic during high peak season).

    After this last effort, you will leave your legs in peace for the rest of the trip. Easily bike through Calais thanks to its well organised bike paths. Don’t forget to stop by the famous statue of "Les Bourgeois de Calais" when cycling past the Town Hall.

    In case you were missing the beach, you will meet up with it again when arriving at le Platier d’Oye. This nature reserve is worth a stop for its incredible fauna and flora.

    You will then only need to cycle down the river Aa to reach the city of Gravelines, designed by Vauban.

    Day 5


    Gravelines - Dunkerque

    You are only a few pedal strokes away from Dunkirk, thanks to this short stage through parks and residential neighbouroods.

    Whether you are a History buff, a food connoisseur, or an ocean lover, you will be seduced by the city of Jean Bart, a notorious 17th-century privateer. In this town made for cycling, you will easily reach the beach, sadly famous for its Operation Dynamo during the Second World War. Don’t forget to visit the maritime museum before ending the day in a local brewhouse.
  • Accommodation
  • Categorie B

    You will be staying in **/*** hotels or guest houses. Breakfast is included.
    * Example of the type of accommodation
  • Bikes, luggage and documents
  • Bikes

    On your arrival day, we provide you with:

    • a touring bike adjusted to your size or a tandem
    • equipped : front rack pack with an integrated file compartment, saddlebag, helmet (on demand), reflective vest, repairing toolkit with patches etc.

    We also provide you with the appropriate equipment for your children : baby seat, bike trailer or trailer bike depending on their age and size.

    Electric bikes are also available for adults (+1m55).

    You can of course also bring your own bikes, in this case a reduction will be applied (see the Tarif tab)


    For this trip, bikes are equipped with 2 waterproof saddle bags with a capacity of 10 to 20L each to transport your luggage. Do not forget to put your items in a soft travel bag to be able that you can roll it up in your saddle bags.

    For more comfort, you can choose to add luggage transport in your booking:
    (see rate in "Prices")

    • We transport your luggage from one accommodation to the next using a private vehicle.
    • Your luggage is directly delivered in your accommodation before you arrive.
    • We provide a saddlebag for the things you shall need during the day.(included in your bike rental).
    • We advise to take an extra set of clothes with you if you expect to arrive before 5p.m. at your accommodation.

    Our word of advice : as we know from experience, we strongly recommend you to avoid wearing a backpack during your cycling trip.

    Travel documents

    A cycling holiday is the best way to explore a region and discover its culture, landscapes and local traditions.

    Your tour is self-guided to give you the freedom to ride at your own pace. You will be provided all the information you need to enjoy the itinerary and its points of interests.

    We can provide you with travel documents in paper format (for a supplement of €15 for printing and postage), which include:
    • a roadbook with maps that we drew at the easiest scale to follow on a bike
    • a roadbook with step-by-step description giving the direction to follow at each intersection and highlighting the points of interest

    Example of a map and of a step-by-step description

    Our GPS App

    For this trip, you can also use our smartphone app featuring GPS guidance (without extra fee).

    You will find in the app all the information given in the map and step-by-step roadbooks. You will be located on the itinerary with the GPS device of your phone. The route and directions to follow will be both viewable on the screen of your phone and announced aloud. As you ride along the itinerary, you will be given information about visits, restaurants, services and useful alerts on the way.

    -> You need to have a smartphone and download Le Velo Voyageur app on your Apple or Android store before the trip. All details concerning the downloading and the use of the application will be given after we have confirmed the booking and the balance is paid. Once the trip is downloaded, the GPS guidance can be used off-line.
  • Practical information
  • To get to the departure point:

    • By plane: flight to Paris.
    • By train: the closest train station is Etaples-Le Touquet (6km from Le Touquet). You can reach Le Touquet's town centre and your accommodation by bus (approx. 10min) or with a taxi.

    From Paris station (Gare du Nord), take a direct Intercités train to Etaples-Le Touquet (2h14) or an Intercités train to Amiens (1h) then a regional train (TER) from Amiens to Etaples-Le Touquet (1h).

    Please note that you can transit through a city other than Amiens if you book a non direct train from Paris (Abbeville or Boulogne-Ville are also possible), depending on the day and time.

    The duration of your journey will vary according to the chosen route. You can plan your trip on : sncf-connect or thetrainline


    If you choose to drive, you can book a paid parking spot at your hotel or park your car at one of Etaples' free public car parks then take a bus.

    Meeting time:

    Please communicate your approximate time of arrival and departure when you fill out the online booking form.

  • Download
    the trip description