Bray-Dunes is the first village you encounter on the French Opal Coast when you travel from Belgium. The cute seaside resort is located at the North Sea where the coast is characterised by many dunes, here you can also find the national nature reserve of the same name, the Dune Marchand. It belongs to French Flanders and is the most northerly municipality near the French-Belgian border.
The seaside resort was originally founded by the Dunkirk shipowner Alphonse Bray, who set up a home for old sailors. From 1875 to 1880, work was carried out on the construction of the Église Notre-Dame des Dunes, which can still be visited. Later came the construction of the estimated 800 villas still visible today.
The resort has a long and beautiful sandy beach that is ideal for relaxation, strolling and a range of sporting activities. You are bound to come across kites, sailing carts and speed sailors here. The many hotels and accommodations make it a nice starting point if you want to make a (walking) tour along the French Opal Coast.
Bray-Dunes is especially known for its beautiful, sloping dune landscape. The hiker or nature lover can enjoy a hike through the Reserve Naturelle Dune Marchand in the south or the northern Dune du Perroquet. You can read more about this further on.
When you have finished walking, you can also go for a tour at the Brasserie des dunes de Flandre or one of the other breweries in the area.
Got kids? Then take a look at the playground Les Ptis Mous while your kids are having fun and you can enjoy a delicious beer, wine or lunch. You can also play Mini-Golf or tennis at the local tennis club.
In addition, the stretched out coastline makes it a very pleasant place to go for walks on the beach or to engage in sports activities that require a strong wind, for example speed-sailing, wind- or kite-surfing or just throw out the kite and feel the power of the North Sea.
The village is very attached to culture and regularly hosts concerts, plays and lectures that are interesting for young and old. The municipal library also regularly organises interesting exhibitions. For more current activities, you can always visit the tourist office in Bray-Dunes.
In Bray-Dunes, you can also eat out, there are quite a few (well rated) restaurants in the droll centre and along the long promenade. So, are you hungry after a day of walking or at the beach? No problem, Bray-Dunes has a nice selection of eateries.
For example, enjoy an authentic French dinner at L'Art de l'Eau or a well-priced meal at Chez Norbert. At La Voile Bleue, you can have a nice lunch, a nice dinner and a delicious dessert. More of a fan of fish? Then try Chez Didier or La Bonne Assiette.
Do you fancy an authentic French crepe? Then pancake restaurant La Favorite is the place to be. Would you like to get rid of your hunger as quickly as possible? At La Friture du Manège, you can enjoy a delicious pan of mussels with fries. Pizza lovers will also find a spot in Bray-Dunes at Pizza Presto.
There are also many other restaurants and eateries in Bray-Dunes where you can go for a local drink plus a meal. Is your mouth watering already? Then don't hesitate and book your stay today and discover for yourself what the culinary world of Bray-Dunes has to offer!
Time for a day of rest with a bowl of popcorn and a soft drink? For lovers of cinema, Bray-Dunes also has a place. At Cinéma Fa-Mi-La, the latest releases are shown every day and here you can get away from it all. Sink into a comfortable cinema seat and relax for 1.5 to 2 hours while being entertained.
It is good to know that the French speak many films in their mother tongue. Therefore, when making a reservation or buying a ticket, it is wise to check whether the film is in English or French as this can be quite an obstacle for non French speakers. Of course, the subtitles are also in French, which is useful for those who want to learn the French language.
The Dune Marchand is a national nature reserve consisting of a part of the dunes between Bray-Dunes and the nearby village of Zuidkote. The reserve covers some 83 hectares (830,000 square metres) and is characterised by its many overgrown sand dunes. Enough space to take a nice walk and absorb the nature.
Because the dunes are regularly exposed to storms in the winter, so-called dune pans (coves in the dunes) are formed, where many species of flora and fauna have made their refuge. Because the soil has a unique composition of brackish water (fresh & salt water) and many sea minerals, some 337 plant species grow here, from the typical dune grasses to various orchids and other plants.
Some 162 species of vertebrates have also been counted in this area. These consist mainly of birds, but also of amphibians and reptiles. In addition, you can regularly come across a seal here. A great place for bird spotters and nature lovers.
At low tide, you can even walk to the shipwrecks that have remained from the Second World War. You can also visit a number of bunkers here and there. A good moment to take an impressive photo. If you look on the internet, many walking routes have already been mapped out for you, but you can of course also go on an adventure yourself!
In Bray-Dunes itself there is a beautiful beach with a nice boulevard where you can go for a bite to eat, a drink or the necessary beach equipment such as shovels, tyres, kites and parasols. Of course you can also get these at the Carrefour supermarket.
The beach on both sides of Bray-Dunes is a vast sandy beach where you can enjoy the sea and all its trimmings. Walking, sports and sunbathing; it's all possible here. Keep an eye on the weather and the tides!
Zuydcoote Plage is a deserted beach between Dunkirk and Bray-Dunes, where you can completely relax when the tourist part is too busy for you.
Along the beach you can encounter remaining shipwrecks and bunkers. At low tide, you can even take a closer look. In addition, the beach is a place where you can bump into a seal here and there. These remain wild animals, so it is advisable to keep the necessary distance.
Fancy a family outing to Plopsaland De Panne? And enjoy the peace and quiet in the evening? Then this place is a real winner. Our Evancy residences are just a few kilometres from the amusement park. That makes this cosy village immediately the most child-friendly holiday destination on the French Opal Coast.
Does this give you the urge to go on holiday? That's good, because Evancy has a wide range of beautiful, modern but above all affordable (holiday) accommodation.
Take for example the beautifully situated Villa les Margats and stay Etoile des Dunes or enjoy with your family a balcony with sea view at Etoile de Mer.
Camiers Sainte Cécile