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Opal Coast

Cycling from the Somme Bay to the Opal Coast along the Vélomaritime

Cycle along the Opal Coast and explore France’s Northern beaches from the Somme Bay to Le Touquet, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Dunkirk. Climb up Capes Blanc-Nez & Gris-Nez via the Vélomaritime.

Reference OPA0801
  • Itinerant trip
  • 8 days
  • Moderate
  • April to October
  • Minimum age 14 years-old
GPSGPS-app available
1019€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • The Opal Coast’s sandy beaches are opening up to you during this 8-day trip cycling on the Vélomaritime route. Nature lovers will be spoilt all along the road, starting from the Somme Bay and ending on Dunkirk’s coastline.

    Cycling mostly on a very well maintained bike path, you will stroll along Bercq-sur-Mer’s dunes before reaching Le Touquet’s pine forests. Small country roads will slowly lead you up grassy plains and sloping hinterlands overlooking the Opal Coast. Enjoy the amazing lookouts from Capes Gris-Nez and Blanc-Nez, offering stunning views over the British cliffs. Then drop off your bikes in Dunkirk and take the time to learn more about the city’s incredible History.

    Most importantly, don’t forget to taste each day’s specialty: gâteau battu picard (Picardy’ "beaten" cake), carbonade flamande (Flemmish stew), galette dunkerquoise (Dunkirk’s biscuit), and obviously local craft beers !

    Day 1


    Arrival in Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme

    Ideally located onto a limestone promontary facing the Somme Bay, you will be amazed by the medieval city of Saint-Valéry with its lively streets and its colourful fishermen’s houses. Take the time to settle down into your hotel before strolling along the wharfs.

    Day 2


    Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme - Fort-Mahon

    Slowly start off the day by placing your bikes into a vintage steam train or cycle up to Le Crotoy to make the most of the view over the Somme Bay. If you are lucky enough to arrive at low tide, you will be able to wave at France’s biggest seal colony !

    Keep going on small country roads up to the Marquenterre’s park (Nature reserve) where we advise you to stop. Then follow the bike path surrounded by pine trees before reaching Fort-Mahon’s beach.

    From Saint-Valéry to Le Crotoy on a vintage train 1h

    Please make sure you check the train’s schedule (reduced hours during low season).
    9,50 € / teen
    14,00 € / adult

    Marquenterre Bird Park 2h

    Do not miss the visit of the birdpark, where birds have a rest on their migration between Scandinavia and Mauritania. Listen to the comments of the naturalist guides who will spot for you avocets, spoonbills and other species.
    Please contact us should you wish to book simultaneously the bird park and the Somme Bay train.
    9,00 € / teen
    12,50 € / adult

    Day 3


    Fort-Mahon - Le Touquet

    Leave Fort-Mahon and follow the Vélomaritime route accross fields to reach Berck-sur-Mer. Park your bikes on the embankment and enjoy a walk on its long sandy beaches. You may meet up with the Authie Bay’s seal colony lying down on the sandbank.

    The road goes further inland and takes you through Stella-Plage’s vintage neighbourhood with its charming 70’s-looking houses. You will then arrive in the very chic Le Touquet, surounded by pine trees and Belle Epoque villas.

    Day 4


    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 5


    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 6


    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 7


    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.

    Malo-les-Bains loop

    If you are in the mood for one more adventure, jump back on your bike to follow the locals for a stroll along Malo-les-Bains’s beach. Reward yourself with a waffle while admiring Belle Epoque’s villas.

    Day 8


    Departure from Dunkirk

    This is the end of your journey. However, there is still plenty to do and see in Dunkirk. Extend your stay and take the time to explore the warfs, walk along the canals or visit the Frac, regional contemporary museum.

    Don’t forget to get your post work-out meal after all these miles and try a waterzoi (chicken soup) or a pot jevleesch (litteraly "potted" meat) before leaving !
  • Accommodation
  • Category 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)


    Our services include luggage transport in order to let you enjoy your trip comfortably and without stress :
    • 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.

    Our word of advice : as we know from experience, we strongly recommend you to avoid wearing a backpack during your cycling trip.
    If you expect to arrive at the next accommodation before 5 p.m., we recommend that you take an extra set of clothes with you in your bicycle bag.

    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 Noyelles-sur-Mer. The easiest way to reach your accommodation in Saint-Valéry from the station is to book a taxi. You will find taxi companies' contact details in your travel documents.

    From Paris station (Gare du Nord), take a direct Intercités train to Noyelles-sur-Mer (2h02) or an Intercités train to Amiens (1h) then a regional train (TER) from Amiens to Noyelles-sur-Mer (40
    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 park your car for free for the duration of your stay at Noyelle-sur-Mer's train station car park.

    Meeting time:

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

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    the trip description