Cycling in France may be extremely popular and growing in popularity year on year with British tourists, but in the region near Calais it is less so. Many cyclists arriving at the busy and uninspiring port of Calais put their bike straight on the train and head south to areas with better known attractions. What many of them may not know is that the region around Calais is in fact a delightful cycling destination in its own right, rather than just somewhere to be got through quickly.
Wissant was once a busier port but is now just a small fishing village surrounded by dunes. You will find another timeless fishing village, Audresselles a little further on, and beyond that the charming beach resort of Wimereux. This belle époque seaside town 30km from the port is a good place to stop for the night. There are a selection of delightful hotels with beds for the night and plenty of good food – both of which come with lovely sea views.
From Wimereux, head inland the the Parc Naturel des Caps. Many people are surprised to find such pretty scenery so close to Calais. The rolling green hills are surprising to some in this region famed for its flat grimness and enliven a cycling trip with just enough of a challenge. If you are used to cycling in England you may be surprised by the low volume of traffic and the courtesy of other road users towards those on bikes that you will encounter throughout much of France.
Meandering past the châteaux and farmhouses of the region will give you a chance to savour the quiet beauty of this underrated region. Practically every settlement will have a municipal campsite – some more basic than others – or you could find accommodation at one of the settlements of the region. Audenfort is one option for a pleasant place to spend the night.
Information on cycle routes in Pas-de-Calais can be found online or from French tourist information offices. This area, like many areas throughout France, is the perfect place to enjoy travel on two wheels.
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