Take a day trip with a difference and cruise over to Calais from Dover on the short sea crossing with Irish Ferries. Enjoy breakfast on board before you spend the day exploring what Calais has to offer before heading home to the White Cliffs of Dover, not forgetting to use your generous on board Duty-Free allowance, for your convenience you can even Click ‘n’ Collect , this day trip practically pays for itself.
Calais Town Hall, an UNESCO world Heritage Monument, is a renaissance revival style building with a magnificent 75 metier high belfry that also is a great lookout spot. In front of the Town Hall on the edge of the Parc Saint-Pierre is one of Auguste Rodin’s best-known works, the Burghers of Calais, unveiled in 1895. There are plenty of museums and Church of Notre Dame to explore as well as cafes, restaurants and shops.
Calais historical fishing district is home to Musée Des Beaux-Arts Calais / The Museum of Fine Arts and Tour du Guet, a medieval watchtower from the early 13th Century. Just a short stroll away is Fort Risban has controlled the harbour since the middle ages, and in its time has been controlled by the English, French, Spanish and Germans.
Relax on the Beach
Calais’ beaches with their golden sand, offer a great play to swim or paddle depending on how adventurous you are. The rows of charming beach huts painted white are one of the beach’s main attractions and there are plenty of bars and restaurants on the promenade to sit back, relax and take in the sights.
Discover the History of Lace
Calais has historically been associated with lace considered to be the height French luxury. The museum is set in one of Calais’ last collective lace factories, established in the 1870s and the modern façade belies the history within. A highlight of any tour is the not to be missed demonstration of the mechanical looms with explanations provided by a former lace maker.
Shop ‘till You Drop
The main shopping street in Calais is Rue Royale where there is also lots of restaurants and 10 minutes from the port is Cité Europe with 120 shops, restaurants, cinema and a bowling Alley, there is something for everyone here. If that’s not enough shopping, there are plenty of discounts to be found at the Channel Outlet with discounts of up to 50% at Galeries Lafayette Outlet you can find top designers clothes or high street fashion from Adidas, Nike, Hugo Boss and Kalvin Cline stores to name but a few.
Enjoy some French Cuisine
No trip to France is complete without a trip to a local café, boulangère or restaurant and Calais has a diverse number of restaurants to cater for all tastes. Given the proximity to the English Channel, its no surprise that the local dish Moules-Frites (mussels and French fries). The popular way to enjoy the mussels is in a sauce with white wine, shallots and parsley and while a sharp white wine can be enjoyed – a beer is generally what the locals have.
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