The town of Berck-sur-Mer in the Pas de Calais at the border of the Somme is known for the therapeutic properties of its extremely salty air. The Story of Berck is closely linked to many hospitals that were built in the late nineteenth century to treat in particular bone tuberculosis and other bone diseases. The first hospital, made of wood, dated from 1861. Over time, it became a maritime hospital. The story continues today. The first thing that strikes the visitor is that all the ancient and modern buildings devoted to medicine are built on the waterfront so that the patients enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. The old buildings have a lot of character and are located in the north, quiet, a little away from the centre. Others, more recent, are based on the edge of the city.
A culture shock between the modern waterfront and the charm of the maritime hospital
And then, the huge and beautiful beach of Berck sur Mer is noticed. It is better to say beaches because Berck has four. They are the joy of lovers of water sports and sand yachting. This vast beach allows all this to be possible. You can also walk the 12 kilometres of stretch of sand at low tide.
The large beach of Berck sur Mer - Photo taken at the maritime hospital
In the south, Sternes Beach and then Dobin Beach, more central and the only supervised and the recommended beach for swimming in the summer season. Yellow tags mark the limits. North, you’ll find the North Beach and a naturist beach, the Sables d'Opale Beach, indicated by a large sign on a bunker. Lovers of the sea can walk to Le Touquet and enjoy the changing colours of the landscape and in good weather the incredible contrast of the blue water and white waves and seagulls.
To the north, the beaches are bordered by dunes. In the distance, the Merlimont resort
The centre seems to suffer from the economic crisis with many shops closed (off-season) and buildings in poor condition. We must seek to unearth some beautiful villas that reflect a more auspicious time. There are many such as the one in Nordic style in front of the casino, but unfortunately they are not really publicised, such as the Regina hotel in Belle Epoque style.
A stylish villa in Berck
The waterfront was destroyed during the Second World War, and it is better to look toward the sea than look at the buildings.
A waterfront without real charm
It is unfortunate that an effort has not been made to make the embankment more pleasant, as the stretch of sand is so beautiful.
The promenade at the beach with the road and the buildings of Berck
However, this should not prevent holidaymakers to enjoy the sea, and the Agora pool which offers direct access to the beach.
The Agora centre with entertainment on the waterfront
Nothing is more pleasant than to walk at low tide along the coastline, the open area by the sea, or in the dunes where a loop route is offered. In the south, the Debeyre promenade, arranged for pedestrians allows you to go to the Bay of Authie.
Authie Bay view from the dunessouth of Berck