The colourful resort of Berck-sur-Mer
Originally a modest fishing village, in the XIX Century Berck-sur-Mer became a town renowned for its therapeutic qualities, well-known for its specialist treatment centres and exceptionally fresh air; some of the most invigorating in France! But the resort town of Berck (nearly two thousand hotel beds!) is also and above all a dynamic seaside resort. Fuss-free and lively all year round thanks to its countless events; it takes especially good care of families, as demonstrated by its “Famille Plus” label. A huge blue flag beach, water sports galore and international kitesurfing events: Berck is on a high!
Berck, kingdom of kite flying and sporting activities
Berck-sur-Mer’s beach is a fabulous playground!
On the central beach, opposite the Agora, the first thing that catches your eye is a strand of pastel-coloured cabins. Lavender, pink or almond, from a distance they look like delicate marshmallows that could have been made by Succès Berckois, a local confectioner that has been delighting kids for almost 100 years…
These beach cabins can be accessed along a path of planks, which can also be used by wheelchairs. It’s only natural that we should have thought of our disabled visitors.
Proudly displaying its Blue Flag, a guarantee of exceptional environmental quality, the beach of Berck-sur-Mer unfurls a twelve kilometre ribbon of sand. This provides the ideal playground for sand yachting, of which this resort is the birthplace, and much more besides. Berck-sur-Mer is a sporting town and a paradise for all board, sea and wind sports with kitesurfing, catamarans, stand up paddle-boarding, kayaking, Optimist, canoeing and boat trips too.
Beach huts – Berck-sur-Mer © Frédérik Astier
Musée Opale Sud – Berck-sur-Mer © Frédérik Astier
Architecture and intimate religious heritage
Architecture enthusiasts can set off in search of the elegant seafront villas of the XIX and early-XX Century that are dotted around the town and survived the bombardments of the Second World War unscathed. Or they could visit the many shrines, chapels, oratories and statues constructed over the years by this religious seafaring community.
Berck-sur-Mer – the windswept stage for kitesurfing
An immense and exposed beach means kite surfers can take to the skies at low tide, in summer and in winter. Every April the International Kite Festival transforms Berck-sur-Mer into one gigantic windswept stage upon which everyone can rediscover their childhood as they explore this colourful world filled with poetry and elegance…
The delicate colours of Berck-sur-Mer showcased at the museum
Well before the tourists of the XXI Century arrived, another type of holidaymaker would come here to bathe in the colour and light of Berck-sur-Mer. The artists of the Berck School set up their easels here from 1870 onwards. Lepic, Roussel, Tattegrain, Lavezzari, Chambon and many other painters have their works on display at the Opale Sud Museum that is housed in the old police station.
They were able to capture the subtle and ever-changing light of the Opal Coast better than anyone else. Pinks and mauves in the twilight, the greens and greys of an angry sea; all their talent is on display here!
Local delicacies in Berck-sur-Mer
Le Succes Berckois sweet maker – Berck-sur-Mer © AS Flament
This is an iconic spot in Berck-sur-Mer! Succès Berckois is a shop but, above all, it’s a family business that has been creating sweets since 1922. Lollipops and candy canes are available in dozens of different flavours ranging from the traditional to the more surprising, like seaweed or champagne. You can also enjoy local flavours like chicory, juniper or gingerbread.
These products are all made before your very eyes in the shop, whetting your appetite before you finally get to try them.
Le Comptoir de l’Authie
To fill up on local delicacies head to the Comptoir de l’Authie. Here you can find a wide range of products that showcase the rich terroir of the Baie d’Authie and its neighbouring bay of the Somme: samphire, sea aster, whelks and herrings.
You will also come across the emblematic Flemish dishes of the region such as Potjevleesch, Carbonnade and Waterzoï. We should also mention waffles and the preserves made by Nick and Judith, but we’d advise you to pop in on these shops instead!
Seals in the spotlight; the stars of Berck-sur-Mer
Absent from the area for many years, they are now back with a bang! At the southern end of Berck-sur-Mer, near the red and white lighthouse nicknamed the « Chaussette », or sock, the Promenade Debeyre leads directly to the Baie d’Authie, one of the last remaining truly wild bays. It’s here that a colony of grey and harbour seals comes to rest on the sandbanks when the tide starts going out. The spectacle begins around 2h30 before low tide and it’s a good idea to bring binoculars to get a good look at these giants as they relax and enjoy a leisurely siesta…
Berck-sur-Mer by bike or on foot
Berck-sur-Mer is a lively town with a wealth of local shops, but it also offers beautiful nature walks and 8 kilometres of cycle paths. Strolling along the seafront on the Esplanade Parmentier or following the Promenade Debeyre along the coast are Berck’s great classics. But you can also explore the dunes along other paths, such as the recently developed La Plaine trail or, of course, take the GR 120, which runs along the entire Côte d’Opale.
Seals resting at low tide – Berck-sur-Mer © Yannick Cadart-CD62