Discover upon arrival in Le Touquet an unusual forest landscape built of large residences surrounded by vegetation. Houses and green spaces alike are remarkably maintained. Wide sidewalks allow bicycles and cyclists to wander around quiet streets leading to the city centre. The waterfront is very lively on sunny days, strollers can enjoy the very large seawall, and vast car parks complete the set. One can only regret that the buildings built on the waterfront do not fit in with the landscape and only leave small room to the few beautiful homes "Belle Époque", which survived amidst more modern constructions.
Le Touquet Beach with numerous events and sand promenade
A few beautiful houses on the seafront in Le Touquet
Le Touquet Beach is beautiful; it is huge at low tide. Strollers are fascinated by the waves at high tide in windy conditions. Bathing huts with colourful doors integrated in the seawall go along the beach without altering the landscape.
Bathing huts on the beach of the nautical center
Many sand yachts await fans when the sea retreats. In the direction of the northern part of the beach and up the seawall, the Aqualud awaits you in place of the old pool destroyed in 1985, as it was non compliant and too difficult to maintain, and of which remains the old diving board integrated into the new construction.
The Aqualud center
Aquatic Games on North Beach in Le Touquet
Sand yachting: the local sport on the beaches of northern France
If one wishes to go to the city centre, one can cross the famous Rue Saint-Jean, which is very crowded, and lined with chic boutiques and restaurants and cafes. Some perpendicular streets are also very lively.
Rue Saint-Jean: lots of shops
However, if one is looking for some peace and quiet, one won’t have far to go, the side streets are nice as beautiful Belle Époque residences are located there. These are very colourful buildings with wood painted balconies, cornices, and mosaic mouldings. One must remember that the Belle Époque period stretched from the late nineteenth century to the First World War, when the nations of current Europe were at peace and knew social, economic and technological progress.
The indoor market
The small town has a remarkable historical heritage; the indoor market is classified, as a dozen of other buildings, in the inventory of historical monuments. It is held twice a week on Thursday and Saturday mornings, and on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays in summer. One can find local produce, fish, of course, and clothing and other goods there.
Le Touquet post office
The post office, painted yellow above the ground floor, is unusual with its bell tower, the town hall is an imposing building in Anglo-Norman style with a clock tower, the palace of Europe and its gardens are home to the tourism office, the Westminster Hotel in bricks and white stone are in Art Deco style, and one can always stay there. Finally, go to the lighthouse, which is surrounded by a square, and the Maison des Phares. It replaces since 1951 the two former lighthouses of Le Touquet destroyed during the Second World War. The caretaker’s house was spared, and this is the original building that one can see now.
Bay of Canche - Le Touquet
If one leaves the center and goes to the seafront, one can reach the Bay of Canche by the dunes at high tide and by the beach at low tide up north. One will come across the nautical base and the equestrian complex, large area where clubs, the racecourse, carousels and stables follow one another.
The spa center in Le Touquet
If one goes south, one can notice the curious architecture of the spa center, building opened in 1974 with a saltwater pool topped by a pyramid-shaped roof.
The southern beach of Le Touquet: a wild beach close to animations
The beach is completely wild at the spa center. It makes a stark contrast close to the city center. Dunes Beach (in the north towards Bay of Canche) is also very wild. A pedestrian cornice leads around it.
A stay at Le Touquet is both a stroll down memory lane thanks to the preserved architecture in the center, a disappointment in the face of the waterfront disfigured by buildings of debatable aesthetics, a bucolic walk in an inhabited forest, and a wonder when discovering the sea and the huge beach. Moreover, there are many activities; athletes will be initiated to sand yachting, horseback riding, golf, tennis, etc. Art lovers will visit the galleries downtown and the Museum of Le Touquet, which introduces modern and contemporary art exhibitions. Not to mention welfare with the spa center, which welcomes visitors for the day, for a longer stay.
There are many seaside resorts close to Le Touquet. Berck sur Mer near Bay of Authie and Picardy are worth a visit with its lively waterfront. Merlimont, Sainte-Cécile-Plage and Stella-Plage are human-scale family-oriented resorts. Further north, one can enjoy the seaside resort of Hardelot, which looks like Le Touquet but is quieter and less urbanized.