If you’re thinking about a day trip to Calais to buy some wine from the hypermarket why not add a little extra time to your trip and visit some of the sights in and area the French port town? France’s tourism website and the country’s official website offer information but there’s nothing like a personal recommendation.
This village is pretty close to Calais so will either be the first or last place on your roundtrip. Wissant is a fishing port and farming village that is home to around 1,000 people. The church of St.Nicholas that dates from the 15th century is one of the village’s main attractions. Not so long ago you could have visited the old watermill which was converted into a museum, but that has since closed so the only other point of interest in the village is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery.
This is a very historic location that’s part of the Pas-de-Calais. Over the year’s it’s inspired writers like Lawrence Sterne, who visited the town in 1765, and Victor Hugo, who set part of his masterpiece Les Miserables in Montreui, although the novel only identifies the place as “M____-sur-M__”. The place is surrounded by medieval ramparts which were created by military engineer Vauban in the 17th century. The view from the coastal walls is magnificent, but the cobbled streets and colourfully painted small houses will keep your camera pointed towards Montreui.
You’ll be happy you chose to take your car across to France on the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle or on the ferry if you choose to visit Cassel as it’s 41 miles from Calais. The place was rebuilt after the war but there’s still plenty of history. The museum of local art is worth a look, but the main attraction is Mont Cassel. When you reach the summit you’ll find extensive views over the plains of Flanders. On a clear day it’s possible to see the English coast, but if your view’s obstructed by clouds there’s more than enough beauty to be found in the public gardens at the summit.
If you’re looking for somewhere quiet and close, Audresselles is just 18 miles away from Calais. There are two beaches and plenty of seashore cliffs to explore. This is an old fishing village so you’ll find long houses with coloured strips along the lowest part of the wall and you might catch one of the village’s professional fishing families going about their work. As you might imagine for a place with just 714 inhabitants, there isn’t much to do, but the 12th century church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste is a beautiful village church that’s similar in construction to those found in England from the same century.
You’ll find Ardres 8 miles from Calais so this is the perfect place to end your roundtrip before you get back on the ferry for the journey home. The tourist attractions here include the Eglise Notre Dame de Grace and Chapelle des Carmes. For families, the Eurolac leisure park with rides and attractions for adults and kids is worth a visit.