Le Touquet, France Hotels, Resorts & Hotel Accommodations

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Country FRANCE

LE TOUQUET
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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 tourist office 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 Westminster, 5 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, fax 03.21.05.90.93).

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 daily 10am-7pm).

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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