Beach bell tents near Calais

White-chalk cliffs, sandy beaches, and a fire-breathing dragon await at this northern French port.

97% (51 reviews)
97% (51 reviews)

Popular camping styles for Calais

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Beach bell tents near Calais guide


The port city of Calais is so close to the UK—just 21 miles or a 90-minute ferry ride—that you can spot the White Cliffs of Dover from the shore on a clear day. With England’s quickest ferry links and the Channel Tunnel, the Pas-de-Calais capital is a clear front-runner for motorhome campers and caravanners, and options are plentiful, from quiet coastal camping pitches to 4-star holiday parks with a swimming pool. Once you’ve visited Calais’ Lace & Fashion Museum and marvelled at the Calais Dragon, you’ll find sandy beaches, water parks, and white-chalk cliffs within a short drive.

Where to go

Opal Coast

Stretching south of Calais, the Opal Coast runs all the way south to Berck. Check into a seaside campsite or caravan park in the beach towns of Boulogne-sur-Mer, Le Touquet, or Wimereux; enjoy sweeping coastal hikes along the cliffs of the Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez, or escape inland to the hills and marshlands of the Marais d’Opale Regional Natural Park.

North Sea Coast

North of Calais, the windswept North Sea Coast is another popular spot for a coastal camping holiday. Swing by the fortified city of Gravelines, with its sandy beach and postcard-ready blue-and-white beach cabins, then dive into WWII history at Dunkirk. The Belgium border is right nearby, so you can even enjoy a day trip to Bruges or Ypres.

Lille & around

A 70-minute drive inland from Calais, Lille is the capital of the Hauts de France region and the heart of French Flanders, brimming with grand Flemish architecture. Use the city as a springboard to explore the WWI battlefields and memorials that dot both sides of the Belgium border and take in regional highlights, including historic Arras and the Louvre-Lens Museum.

When to go

Ferries bring campers to Calais all year round, but the main camping season on French shores runs from April through October. If you can, avoid the peak months of July and August, when huge crowds of holidaymakers and day-trippers descend upon the port city, and accommodation prices rise accordingly. Northern weather can be temperamental, but June and September are still a safe bet for sunny skies.

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