For active little voyagers and hurried parents, Le Touquet offers a throwback to a gentler holiday pace. With old-fashioned ‘unplugged’ fun, friendly and relaxed places to eat, and a catalog of activities that will leave the tiny adventurers tuckered out but leave the entire family with wonderful memories to take back home.
Start off the day with breakfast at one of the great bakeries in town, and let kids choose their favourite-buttery pastry. Then, it’s off to the beach. With miles of sandy playground, there’s not much more needed to have a great time. Tidal beaches are supervised, and they use the 3-colour system: if the green flag is up, swimming is allowed without any particular danger; orange means there is a lifeguard, but swimmers should be extra careful; and red means no swimming allowed. There are plenty of beach-side shops selling buckets, spades, kites, and boogie boards to those needing to stock up on equipment. When the gang begins to feel peckish, head to any of the great beach cafés for a delicious meal, sandwich, or healthy salad. The menus even accommodates the little ones and offer a view that can’t be beat.
More waterside fun this afternoon with a choice of activities including Aqualud Water Park. Located smack in the center of Le Touquet’s beach, it has an interior space with heated swimming pool, paddling pool, slides, jacuzzis, and water games (in case the weather doesn’t cooperate) as well as an outdoor area with summer pool and slides overlooking the beach. They also offer swimming lessons.
If the kids are up for something more nautical, head to the Centre Nautique further south down the beach. There are ‘tiny boat’ initiations for beginners age 10 and over—either on a self-righting dinghy that accommodates two sailors, on a sand yacht, or they can take their first wobbly steps on a stand-up paddle.
The rendezvous this morning starts back in front of Aqualud. This time, the adventure heads inland. Hop on the Petit Train for a fun and relaxing overview of the town. The trains leave every 45 minutes, and the ride takes approximately half an hour. Back at the beach, rent bikes and head to the northern side to the Parc Naturel de la Baie de la Canche and follow the nature trail on the sand dunes, leading to the beautiful Canche River estuary. This activity not only offers amazing views of the ocean and magnificent tides, but also gives the chance for visitors to learn about the native flora of the forested areas. The dunes will also provide endless fun rolling down the soft-sandy slopes while adults take a break perching above.
Back in town, head out to lunch at one of the restaurants on the pedestrian rue Saint Jean—like the beloved institution Aux Mignardises—where kids can expand their French vocabulary as they pick the topping for their savoury pancake. Make sure to leave a little room for a delicious waffle or home-style ice cream.
The most iconic building in Le Touquet is the lighthouse. Within an easy 15-minute walk from the pedestrian center, the lighthouse provides the perfect opportunity to learn a little about the history of Le Touquet and what life was like for the first settlers and successive lighthouse keepers. Climbing 274 steps to the top can be strenuous, but those who can make it are generously rewarded with the best view of the shimmering Côte d’Opale. If the steps are too much for the little ones, they can watch the live images from the webcams installed at the top of the structure and visit the adjacent museum set up in the old keeper’s home.
Then it’s back to the beach to catch the sunset and pay homage to the long-local tradition of golfing. Why not enjoy a round of mini-golf before turning in for the night? It’s right on the seashore with a great view, and it offers the perfect spot to take stock of all the fun moments of the past 48 hours and time to plan your next visit to Le Touquet!