ON FOOT, CYCLING OR ON HORSE-BACK
BETWEEN DUNES AND POLDERS
Dunkerque Flandre Côte d'Opale is criss-crossed with hiking paths, dozens of kilometres long, from North to South and East to West.
Take a short hike or follow the whole length of the coastline along the 'GR littoral' path. If you like walking by the sea, watching the waves and the swooping sea birds, enjoying the landscape... head for the beach and dunes! Which path will you take, the Platier d'Oye or the Perroquet Dune? Or perhaps you're drawn to the typical northern France countryside, with its Flemish architecture, mills and that special quality of light? Then set off to the explore the polders (wetlands)! Get away from it all, here at the heart of Flanders!
If you prefer the ocean scene, the docks and quays, the historical buildings and fortresses, then it's towards the port of Dunkirk and Gravelines you should go, to the Citadel and Grand Large districts, to see Vauban's fortifications... Whatever your preferences, the network of hiking paths in Dunkerque Flandre Côte d'Opale is well worth a detour! And, if you feel like going to another country, you can just follow the wide stretch of beach all the way to Belgium... and a world of other opportunities. So are you ready for a beautiful excursion?
OUR BEST HIKES
MARITIME HOSPITAL CIRCUIT (4KM)
From Zuydcoote beach to the wooded part of Dewulf Dune, explore the diverse landscapes of the Flemish dunes, keeping a bee-line view on the Maritime Hospital of Zuydcoote, a remarkable, imposing building.
PERROQUET DUNE CIRCUIT (5KM)
A "nature" circuit you can follow throughout the year! 1h40's worth of walking, alone or with a guide... 5 km at the heart of the Perroquet dune.
FOSSILE DUNE CIRCUIT (8KM)
A hike to explore an ancient dune, more than 5,000 years old, or a hike around this unique natural landscape... to the neighbouring dune, Dune Cabourg. Set off to discover unique dune fields, unmatched anywhere in Europe, with preserved and protected flora and fauna. Walk along the marked trails, strolling, dawdling, taking your time to appreciate the landscape; or hunt around looking for specific plants in these 5,000-year-old dune ridges. You might want to get hold of a topographic guide and a published guidebook on the Fauna and Flora of our dune ridges.
DEWULF DUNE CIRCUIT (6KM)
Discover the multi-faceted dune fields, whose 83 hectares of natural treasures have been under protection as a listed nature reserve since 1974! Circuit to discover the wealth of plant and animal life in the Dewulf dune. Accessible all year round, this circuit goes through different types
of dunes, such as the incipient dune running parallel to the foreshore (beach) and the
MARCHAND DUNE HIKING CIRCUIT (8.5KM)
A nature hike along the paths of the nature reserve, exploring a variety of dune environments. Good for 1 hour's walk, or you can go the whole way around... 8.5 km of paths from the Zuydcoote beach to the wooded dune. Come in through "Ferme Nord", take the Sentier botanique (Botanic Path) and then the Sentier de la Mer (sea path) before entering the dune fields and discovering its many facets. Zuydcoote beach is lined with those famous beach-grass landscapes all the way to Bray-Dunes, where you take the Sentier des Pannes and the Sentier des Aulnes, to come into the 83-hectare dune fields and their wealth of plant life, under protection as a listed nature reserve since 1974. This circuit is part of the transborder network, "Dunes de Flandres" managed by the Conseil Général du Nord and put forward by CDT Nord.
BATTERY CIRCUIT (2.5KM)
Circuit to discover the military heritage of Dewulf Dune. Accessible all year, this circuit takes you near the bunkers and the military buildings left over from the Second World War. Visit the Fort des Dunes and the bunker, vestiges of the Second World War
CIRCUIT: GRAVELINES, PAST AND PRESENT
Gravelines, once an important fishing port with a star-shaped fortress of brick and stone,
remains to this day one of France's most beautiful fortified towns, straddling land and sea.
Set off towards the sea and cut through town to follow the numerous marked trails in
Gravelines. A hike through a countryside filled with interesting sights, by the sea.
CIRCUIT: MARITIME FORTRESS
A walk through the heart of a fortified town by the sea. A walk around the ramparts and inside them. Walk along the guard rounds to see superb historical buildings and enjoy an exceptional view over the countryside surrounding Gravelines. Let the Gravelines fortress reveal all its secrets to you...