Le Touquet-Paris-Plage, commonly referred to as Le Touquet,
is a coastal town and commune of the Pas-de-Calais département, in northern France.
Population (2005): 8,500.
Le Touquet has a reputation as the most elegant holiday resort of northern France -
the playground of rich Parisians, with many luxury hotels.
Ever since the mid-1990s Le Touquet's villas have become extremely fashionable
amongst architecture lovers throughout Europe, rediscovering the "folie" of
seaside architecture of both the Roaring Twenties and the Thirties.
The most famous local architect is Louis Quetelart, whose style was named after
him Louis Quetelart Style.
read full wikipedia reference about Le Touquet, France
Situated among dunes and
wind-flattened tamarisks and pines, LE TOUQUET is a kind
of French Hollywood on the sea, with ambitious villas freed from
the discipline of architectural fashion hidden away behind its
trees. Now dully suburban, the town was the height of fashion
in the 1920s and 1930s and for a spell after World War II, ranking
alongside places on the Côte d'Azur. At one time flights
arrived from Britain every ten minutes, but the opening
up of long-distance air travel put an end to this era. Nowadays,
air traffic consists of private aircraft, most of which are piloted
by Brits benefiting from the short hop over the Channel.
To get to Le Touquet, take
the train from Boulogne to Étaples, from where
a local bus covers the last 4km; alternatively, you can take
one of the four daily buses (Mon-Sat only) directly from Boulogne
(tel 03.21.31.77.48 for times) from outside the ANPE office on
boulevard Daunou; the bus heads on down the coast to Berck. Le Touquet's
is in the Palais de l'Europe on place de l'Hermitage (Mon-Sat
9am-7pm, Sun 10am-7pm; tel 03.21.06.72.00, fax 03.21.06.72.01)
and can furnish you with a free map of the town.
If you're looking for somewhere
reasonable to stay the night, try the hostel Riva Bella , 12
rue Léon Garet (tel 03.21.05.08.22), or the Armide , 56
rue Léon-Garet (tel 03.21.05.21.76, fax 03.21.05.99.77).
There's also a campsite
, on the waterfront of the Canche estuary, but this requires
three-nights' minimum stay. If you fancy splashing out, you have
the choice of several luxurious hotels: Le Manoir on avenue du
Golf (tel 03.21.06.28.28, fax 03.21.06.28.29, www.open-golf-club.com ; over 800F/?122) is the most
palatial; others include Le
av du Verger (tel 03.21.05.48.48, fax 03.21.05.45.45), and Le Bristol , 17 rue Jean-Monnet (tel 03.21.05.49.95,
Places to eat are also
generally expensive in Le Touquet. For a treat, visit Le Café
des Arts , 80 rue de Paris (tel 03.21.05.21.55; closed Mon),
or Auberge de la Dune aux Loups , on the avenue of the same name
(tel 03.21.05.42.54; closed Tues & Wed), where you can eat
their speciality fish on the terrace. More affordable than these
is Les Sports , 22 rue St-Jean, a classic brasserie.
A more affordable treat
worth indulging in - especially if you've got kids - is Le Touquet's
Aqualud swimming complex right on the front, which boasts three
giant water slides; there's also the vast Bagatelle amusement
park , 10km south of Le Touquet, on the D940 (April to mid-Sept
On the other side of the
River Canche is the much more workaday Étaples , a picturesque
fishing port whose charm lies in its unassuming air. Between
April and September daily boat trips departing from the port
can be booked via the tourist office (Mon-Fri 9am-noon &
2-6pm, Sat 10am-noon & 3-6pm; tel 03.21.09.56.94, fax 03.21.09.76.96),
at le Clos St-Victor, bd Bigot Descelers; you can choose between
a fifty-minute sea jaunt or a more rigorous twelve-hour fishing
stint with experienced fishermen. Étaples also boasts
a good seafood restaurant , the Pêcheurs d'Étaples
, on quai de la Canche (tel 03.21.94.06.90).
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