Cap Blanc-Nez & Cap Gris-Nez: A walk along the White Rocks

In the Grand Site des deux Caps nature reserve, you can take a beautiful 16-kilometre walk between the Cap Blanc-Nez and the Cap Gris-Nez. 

There is a footpath that goes from the top of the cape across the beach to the other top. During this walk, you can enjoy the view of the white chalk cliffs that can be found there. Furthermore, the hiking trail La Boucle du Cap of about 3 kilometres is also highly recommended.

The summit of Cap Blanc-Nez is 134 metres above sea level and that of Cap Gris-Nez some 50 metres. Weather permitting, you can even look out from both peaks to the English chalk cliffs of Dover, which are less than 35 kilometres away. The beautiful green-blue sea, the beach in alternating yellow, off-white rocks with green meadows and golden wheat fields. 

In summer, you can sunbathe on the beautiful beaches but inexperienced swimmers are advised not to enter the sea because the tide in the Channel and along the western coasts of France can sometimes be very treacherous.
The origin of the name stems from Middle Dutch, a nes (Old Dutch: nesse) was the name for a tongue of land or a protruding piece of land mass in the sea. It was only between the 15th and 17th centuries that these names became frenchified.

Doesn't reading alone get you interested? That's good, because it is a short journey from the United Kingdom across the Channel. Pack up and go!


Cap Blanc Nez
Escalles, France





phone number

+ 33 (0)3 21 21 62 22

Walking along the coast of the Strait of calais

The Strait of Calais is the shortest (narrowest) stretch of strait connecting the Iberian Peninsula with mainland Europe. 

It is one of the highlights of France's Opal Coast, loved by many hikers, and is located in the Pas-de-Calais, in the municipality of Escalles, near the charming town of Calais. In 2011, the stretch of coast was officially recognised as a nature reserve for the beauty of its landscapes.

Along the coast, you can find many remnants of bunkers from recent history, dating back to the Second World War. With many nice towns and villages that can be reached on foot, the area is loved by many hikers and people who go on day trips. Definitely a must!

As mentioned above, the tides between Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez can vary greatly. When you take a walk, it is important to take this into account. 

At low tide, the beach is very wide with a number of pools and sand banks, but at high tide the water rises quickly and sometimes reaches the dunes! Because of this, walkers have been trapped on sand banks in the past. So pay attention when you go for a walk and don't be surprised by the water.

There are many tools and websites that can help you better estimate the tide. However, wind force and weather are also good indicators of how strong the difference and speed of the tides can be. Therefore, beware of rainy weather and high winds.

View of the top of Cap Blanc Nez from the beach.

The fossils in Cap Blanc-Nez & Cap Gris-Nez

Because the rocks that characterise the landscape here are hundreds of millions of years old and originate from the sea floor, fossils such as ammonites, flints and coprolites can also be found here. 

These fossils have been loosened by erosion and can sometimes be picked up. Do not expect to come back with hands full of fossils, because a fossil on its own is a special thing and to find one is even more special.

It is allowed to bring back found fossils in small quantities. However, for some time now it has been forbidden to dig through clay and stone layers with heavy tools. In this area there are a number of designated areas where you are allowed to search, and an area where you are free to search. 

There is also a boundary marked as a protected area where fossil hunting is not allowed at all.

Sometimes the tide pushes up projectiles and other remnants of the Second World War. Despite the fact that these war materials are already more than half a century old, they can be life-threatening. They are only safe once a specialist has declared them unfit for use. Therefore, always leave them behind!

Enjoy the seafood, shellfish and delicious fish at the different restaurants along the coast

The Opal Coast is known as the breeding ground for mussels, shellfish and crustaceans. It is therefore no surprise that the restaurants in the villages around Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez specialise in this field.

There are also many other delicious fish dishes on the menu such as shrimp, lobster and crab which you can enjoy while enjoying a nice French white wine. Restaurant La Sirene, Les Margats de Raoul and Les Falaises in Escalles are highly recommended.

When you visit one of the many eateries, you can expect a warm welcome full of French warmth. The employees and restaurant owners will do everything to let you leave with a full stomach and a good feeling.

Hiking trail from the top of Cap Blanc Nez with a magnificent view of the Opal Coast.

Preparing for the long walk

If you are planning a long walk, it is wise to keep an eye on the weather. The weather can have a major impact on the enjoyment of the walk and also on how your walk turns out. Therefore, keep an eye on the forecast before you go on a long walk.

It is also wise to park the car in a sensible, designated place. It has sometimes happened that cars parked just anywhere have become victims of theft.

Therefore, park your car on public parking spaces in nearby villages or leave it at the hotel or accommodation.

It is also wise to bring dry socks and waterproof and windproof clothing. The wind and the water can get the better of you in this part of the country, and that can lead to a lot of blisters. 

If you choose to walk for a long time, it is also wise to take energy compact food with you.

Other activities around Cap Blanc-Nez

Other activities around Cap Blanc-Nez include visiting the many museums such as the Musée du Mur de l'Atlantique or the Musée 39-45. These are both museums that deal with the 2nd World War. The Fort d'Ambleteuse and Fort de la Crèche are two abandoned forts that also date back to that time.

You can also go kite surfing, horse riding or mountain biking. However, for a complete picture, you can always visit the Terre des deux Caps Tourisme, a French Office de Tourisme.

Book your holiday cottage near Cap Blanc-Nez & Cap Gris-Nez today via Evancy

Is your interest now piqued? Fortunately, Evancy has a wide range of beautiful and affordable holiday rentals in and around Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez. Quick and affordable travel to the beautiful nature of Les Deux Caps through Evancy 

Discover the French Opal Coast with your own eyes! Do not hesitate and book today a holiday accommodation in the vicinity of Cap Blanc-Nez & Cap Gris-Nez through Evancy and allow yourself a wonderful experience full of tranquility, delicacies, nature and enjoyment!