Calais France is a destination that appears on many European travel itineraries. This has a lot to do with the city’s location. Found on the northern coast of France, Calais overlooks the narrowest stretch of the English Channel – the Strait of Dover. Just 21 miles across the strait lies Dover, England and its famous White Cliffs. On a daily basis, numerous ferries travel between Calais and Dover. Also responsible for the relatively high number of annual visitors to Calais France is the Channel Tunnel. On the French side, this underwater link between England and France ends in Coquelles, which is only some four miles west of Calais.
After arriving in Calais or nearby Coquelles, many travelers continue on their way, heading to other destinations in France and beyond. For those who opt instead to spend some time in the more immediate Calais area, there are plenty of options for things to do. While the city was largely laid to waste during World War II, it retains some historic structures that can satisfy sightseers. Among these structures is the Eglise Notre-Dame, which was originally built in the 13th century and is a rare example of the English perpendicular style in France. A casino and several museums also figure among the Calais attractions, as does a Rodin statue that is known as The Burghers of Calais. Found in front of the city’s distinctive Town Hall building, this statue depicts six men who were set to be executed by Edward III in the year 1347.
Calais France Beach
Calais France Beach Image: (vincent desjardins) (flickr)
When the weather is nice, travelers who are looking for things to do in and around Calais France can always consider spending some time at the beach. In Calais proper, a delightful strip of sand can be found less than a mile from the heart of town. Lined with little white huts, the beach in Calais is picturesque and features plenty of soft sand. Popular beach activities include sunbathing, playing volleyball, and enjoying wine and cheese picnics on the waterfront. Found near the sand in Calais are an assortment of eateries and a miniature golf course. Beach enthusiasts who find themselves in Calais France can also venture off to other regional beaches, such as those that are found near town along the Opal Coast. Further off to the west are the beaches of Normandy.
Calais France Hotels
Calais France Hotels
A number of hotels cater to Calais visitors who are interested in staying overnight. Among them is the historic Hotel Meurice de Calais. Established in 1771 as Le Chariot Royal, this was one of the earliest hotels on the European continent to cater to the British elite. It was rebuilt in the mid-1950s and has 41 en-suite rooms. Complementing the Hotel Meurice de Calais are plenty of other good lodging bets, including two Holiday Inn hotels (pictured), one of which can be found in Calais, and the other in nearby Coquelles. One of the best things about the Calais France hotels in general is their relative affordability. Travelers on a budget should have little trouble finding something that suits their needs, and even some of the nicer hotels in town are known to offer enticing rates.
Top image: Loving Photography (flickr)