It is with great pleasure that we will make you discover this region which has kept its authentic and natural side...
As you walk, you will understand why so many painters (including Eugène Boudin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, or Delacroix) were keen to lay down on canvas these landscapes with their changing lights and colors! And what about skies with such varied hues!
As for writers and poets, big names such as Colette, Jules Verne, Victor Hugo or Anatole France have appreciated the calm and serenity of our Baie de Somme to draw their inspiration and write some of their masterpieces.
We therefore suggest that you follow the coast starting from Baie d'Authie, the start of the Côte d'Opale and Pas-de-Calais, towards the south to arrive at Mers-les-Bains, the last coastal town in the department of the Somme before the Seine Maritime and the Côte d'Albâtre. Our coast is called the Picardy Coast.
It's up to everyone to find, according to their tastes and desires, among all these places, the one that suits them best, knowing that there are still plenty more to discover...
Our house is located 12 km from the beaches of Fort-Mahon and Quend-Plage, on the Picardy Coast, and 16 km from the beaches of Berck-Plage, 26 km from Merlimont and 30 km from Le Touquet (Paris-Plage) on the Opal Coast. These immense sandy beaches allow swimming, but also the practice of sand yachting, speedsail, kite surfing, windsurfing, horse riding, hiking, kites...
You can also access water sports with the Aquaclub of Belle-Dune, or the Aqualud of Berck-Plage, or play golf at Belle-Dune or Nampont Saint-Martin.
If you want to meet seals and sea calves, you will find them at low tide at spur 17, near the Berck Nautical Base. At this place, you can admire the Baie d'Authie, swim and/or take the coastal path for a short hike!
Want wild and unspoiled nature? The Baie de Somme (3000 hectares) is the place for you! Far from the pollution and the hustle and bustle of the cities, come and "recharge your batteries", breathe the iodized air and savor the pleasure of admiring these great wild expanses that are available to you! On foot, by car, by bike, on horseback, everyone will find the way that suits them best to make this walk a good memory! You can even, if you have the sea legs, offer you a discovery of the Baie de Somme aboard one of the boats, such as the Charcot, whose captain will be able to share with you his love for tradition, architecture and Bay wildlife.
Discover the Marquenterre Ornithological Park (260 hectares of forests, marshes and dunes) and its many facets. Depending on your tastes and physical abilities, various possibilities are available to you for a pleasant visit!
You can also visit the towns of Crotoy and Saint Valery sur Somme, cross the Bay on foot with a nature guide, or go to meet the seals at the tip of Hourdel. The little train of the Baie de Somme (steam train) will take you through the countryside and the marshes, where you can observe the birds, the sheep of the salt meadows and the huts, because the hunt for the hut is very important in this region, and hunters are keen to preserve and maintain this little corner of paradise... The Maison de la baie et de l'Oiseau will allow you to learn more about the fauna and flora of this region.
The fine sandy beaches gradually give way to expanses covered with pebbles... "Cayeux" means pebble in Picard! The Hâble d'Ault reserve then allows you to discover multiple species of birds, then here is Ault and the Bois de Cise (we advise you to walk there in April-May, when the rhododendrons are in full bloom) where the chalky cliffs are eaten away little by little by the sea...
A few more kilometers and you will arrive at Mers-les-Bains, which forms with the neighboring towns (located in Normandy) of Eu and Le Tréport a trio called "the sister towns". This seaside resort has the particularity of offering a pebble beach at high tide and sand at low tide. In addition, thanks to a policy of protection of the seaside heritage, certain districts which have resisted wars and urbanization are preserved and are part of the "saved sectors". The engineer Gustave Eiffel even designed a few balconies on the esplanade!
We are now going to go up towards the North, in the Samarian hinterland, and join the Authie, the river which represents the natural border between the departments of the Somme and the Pas-de-Calais. Its valley is rich in little corners of paradise, whether for hikers, cyclists or fishermen... at the top of the list, here is Valloires, its abbey and its gardens. You can visit the abbey, walk in the adjoining gardens, and depending on the season, discover the many plant species, trees or flowers. In the magnificent rose garden, you will admire the "Rose of Picardy", created by David Austin and baptized in 2004 to celebrate the Franco-English cordial agreement.
You can even eat at the Table du Jardinier, with a flowery meal...
On leaving the abbey, if you go to the left, you will head towards Maintenay, where you can admire a 12th century water mill
If you want to enjoy the shade of a forest and discover many remarkable trees, we recommend, in Ponthieu (19 km) the forest of Crécy and its circuit of old oaks. You will easily find pretty clearings for picnicking or simply relaxing, as well as car-free paths for walking or cycling.
If you are interested in history, visit (about 50 km away, in the Vimeu), the fortified castle of Rambures, dating from the 15th century and in perfect condition. Its rose garden will enchant you!
In another style, the 16th century Gothic troubadour castle of Regnière-Ecluse (7 km away, in Ponthieu) and its English-style park await you!
For gourmets, here are some dishes and products from our region.
In the Baie de Somme, you can find:
- glasswort (or sea bean, or pass-stone). This plant is eaten raw in salads, pan-fried like a vegetable or preserved in vinegar.
- pig's ears (or maritime asters or sea spinach)
- sea buckthorn berries, which grow on thorny bushes and are used for jellies, fruit juices, cosmetics
Among our pastries, here is the beaten cake, between the brioche and the cake, which accompanies all family reunions or ceremonies, and of which each baker carefully keeps his little manufacturing secret.
- ficelle picarde, a savory crepe in which you insert a duxelle of mushrooms and a slice of ham as well as fresh cream and grated cheese
- the bisteu, or potato flamiche
- pre-salted mutton, sold under the "Estran" label
- cockles or hénons (in Picard) picked up by fishermen on foot. They also fish for gray shrimp (or "grasshopper" in Picard)
- on the coast, the most practiced fishing is sole, plaice, bass, herring
- bouchot mussels (piles driven into the sand)
- waterfowl (hunt hunting is very popular)
As for drinks, you can find farm cider, sparkling strawberries, apple juice...