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What to see and do in Calais, France

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Sayuri87's pictureby Sayuri87 review
added on 31st of August, 2009

Calais is a seaport, actually the busiest French passenger port, and manufacturing town in northern France It is located in Pas-de-Calais department and it is the shortest way from France to Britain. It is only 21 miles (34 km) from Dover and when the weather is clear there can be seen Dover's breathtaking white cliffs on the other side. Calais has approx. 80,000 inhabitants, most og them work in the fishing industry, which maked Calais have an aspect of a huge fishing vilage. The weather is mild in Calais, always a little windy with temperature between 5 and 25ºC and you should also bring a raincoat with you.

Calais – Overview- English or French

Almost 9 million British visit the town every year, this because of the common past of the town and Britain. It was British territory from 1346 until 1558 when, after loosing Calais, Mary Tudor said: "When I am dead and opened, you shall find Calais lying in my heart.” British are still very fond of the town and even the French admit that Calais is very British. I think this dual cultural aspect is the very essence of the town's atmosphere.

Calais – Overview – Attractions

Calais is a beautiful spot for travelers, especially for those who love the sea. You can take a ferry trip to the Dover across the Channel and see the beautiful white cliffs or go and see the Tour du Guet, the watch tower that was used to be a lighthouse. The beautiful city hall is located in the center of the town. It was built is Flamish Reaissance style and has a Rodin statue in front of it, ‘The Six Burghers of Calais’. The church of Notre-Dame was built during the English rule, it has a fine altar from the 17th century. It is interesting that the tower of the church still serves as a landmark for the sailors who are coming home. The town has a beautiful gateway from the 14th century with tiny turrets is a relic of the Hotel de Guise, a former gild hall built for the English wool staplers. Many of the famous places in the town can be visited with the Little Train of Calais but you have to take in consideration that the train is functioning only from 1 July to 30 August.

Calais – Overview – Accommodation and leisure

There are lots of lovely inns and hotels in Calais that can serve all the tastes of the visitors. Calais hotels have very good restaurants but if you want to try something special, go to one of the restaurants in the harbor of Calais or on the seafront, there you can see, hear and feel the ocean.

It also worth looking around in Calais’ region, long miles of empty beaches invite us to breath into the fresh air and enjoy the silence. You can easily visit Dunkerque or any of the nearby towns.

We hope you enjoyed our foretaste of the beautiful Calais as you will enjoy your trip to the town. Bon voyage!


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