Hiking on the Opal Coast: five must-do tours
When you come to visit the Nausicaá aquarium you’ll have the opportunity during your stay to discover the Boulogne area.
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There are lots of hiking paths there, allowing you to plunge into the heart of nature with a rich biodiversity and fascinating historical heritage. ADRT and the Eden 62 association propose some really wonderful environmentally friendly nature walks in particular, accessible for children and adults alike.
The Opal Coast which inludes Saint-Jean bay, Wissant bay, Le Touquet, the Great Deux-Caps Site and many other exceptional places. Visiting the Opal Coast on foot, walking along the various signposted trails will allow you to immerse yourself in the heart of the region’s most emblematic sites, and also to explore some unexpected places. Setting out for a hike along the Opal Coast with your family or friends is to bring green tourism to life and discover the region in an ecological way. You’ll walk along several kilometres of nature trails, stroll through villages, wander along the coast, admire the many eco-pastures (cows, sheep, etc.) and enjoy the breath-taking views of the area.
You want to discover the Boulogne area in its best light? We have selected these two walks for you.
Running from Boulogne to Wimereux, the Excisemen’s Path will allow you to discover the varied coastal scenery here. This 7-kilometre round trip through Hauts-de-France region is accessible for everyone, without any particular difficulties. During this two-hour walk along the coast you’ll be able to make the most of a really enjoyable walk with only gentle slopes, as well as a stunning view of Wimereux and of the Pointe aux Oies protected nature site.
In Wimille, near Wimereux, another lovely 14-kilometer hike awaits you. This loop takes you around the village and here too offers you breath-taking scenery. Count on about three and a half hours for this medium-difficulty hike. Along the way, do not miss: the Column of the Great Army (Colonne de la Grande Armée) erected in the centre of the village of Wimille, paying tribute to Napoléon.
Symbol of the Opal Coast and of the Nord–Pas-de-Calais area, the Great Deux-Caps Site consists of the cliffs of Cap Gris-Nez and Cap Blanc-Nez. You will be able to explore them on foot, taking the various signposted trails.
Starting in the village of Tardinghen, the Berniques (Limpets) Trail forms a 7.5-kilometre loop. You’ll be able to enjoy the changing land- and seascapes facing Wissant Bay, and make the most of the sensational view from the Courte Dune belvedere.
As for the Crans Trail it begins in Audinghen and invites you to take a 13-kilometre loop. During this two-and-three-quarter-hour walk you’ll discover the unique ecosystem of the Great Deux-Caps Site, along with the architectural, historical and cultural heritage of the villages there.
If you are passionate about nature and biodiversity, the tours with a Nature Guide will allow you to go on a hike while learning all about the flora and fauna of the Deux-Caps:
- The Cap Blanc-Nez tour to discover this limestone cliff’s nesting bird species and native flora.
- The Cap Gris-Nez tour to find out all about this place’s geology, its history, migratory bird population and vegetation.
- The Slack Dunes tour: a 5-kilometre trail running through the dunes and along the beaches from Ambleteuse to Wimereux.
- The Wissant tour: over a distance of 5 kilometres between the Deux-Caps, you’ll be able to watch the marshland birds and learn more about the erosion phenomenon visible from the beach.
If you want to go on another hike and you appreciated your visit to the aquarium, do not hesitate to take out an annual subscription. This will offer you the opportunity to take the time to discover the multiple activities proposed at Nausicaá, take a behind-the-scenes tour and go around the exhibitions.
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