The Hauts-de-France region is often misunderstood. A victim of its stereotypes with regard to the North, it contains many surprises and discoveries. So let’s start the 10th stage of this regiontrip without further ado!

A region surrounded by nature:

If you are a nature lover then you are in the right region 😉 The Sommes bay is one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It especially protects the ecosystem and is home to many species of animals. And if you take the time to walk around the Merquenterre park you can discover a lot of different bird species. In particular, migratory birds that you don’t see everywhere. If you are more of a marine animal, then go for a walk along the Pointe du Hourdel, you will surely see seals!

In the same spirit but offering a different landscape, the Opal Coast comes to mind. There are many tourist towns like Boulogne sur Mer but that’s not all. There are incredible landscapes, fine sandy beaches and the Caps Blanc-Nez and Gris-Nez are breathtaking! For those who love water sports or hiking, this is the place to be!

And to keep with the theme of water activities, here are some good places to go and enjoy them! Kitesurfing in Wimereux, water skiing and jet skiing in Amiens. Or kayaking or canoeing at the Saint-Laurent-Blangy water sports centre.

Its history :

The Hauts-de-France region has a strong and important historical past. It contains the history of France at different times. Numerous museums and memorial sites can be found throughout the region. Among the most famous is the Ring of Memory. It was built in 2014. The names of the 580,000 soldiers who fell on the battlefield in the Nord Pas de Calais are inscribed on it. This structure finds its originality in its form. It is suspended in the air and cantilevered over a hill.

Then you can visit the Louvres-Lens museum. It has a strong symbolism, that of representing the will of post-industrial reconversion of the Hauts-de-France. Where it was built on a former coal mine, there is all the symbolism. It is a beautiful cultural discovery for all ages.

To continue with the industrial heritage of the region you can also visit the pit n°9-9 bis. It is located in Oignies and includes the pit, the De Clercq garden city and the slag heap 110. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also a good way for new generations to discover a relic of the past when we are now in the era of a particularly modern and connected world.

And this is the end of this historical tour of the region with the Dragon’s Cave. It is one of the most striking museums of the Second World War. Moreover, it is underground and located under the Chemin des Dames, in the Aisne. You will need 1h30 of visit and a coat! It is rather cold underground.

Its places of interest :

Our tour starts with the Notre Dame Cathedral in Amiens, a must-see. If you are in the Hauts de France you must visit Amiens and its nationally renowned cathedral. To continue with the big cities of the region, we stop in Lille. It is the capital of the Hauts-de-France. Small personal recommendation, go and lose yourself in the old Lille. It is a district full of history, small streets and small shops. It’s a very pleasant walk to discover the city. And on your way, take the opportunity to stop at La Grande Place or at the Hospice Comtesse.

We then move on from the towns to the villages with two unmissable events. Firstly, the village of Gerberoy. It is considered as one of the most beautiful French villages. What makes it special? Its hundreds of rosebushes! It’s original and atypical, that’s why we love it! The second village we are thinking of is a classic, a reference. It is of course Maroilles that we are talking about! Particularly known for its cheese! You can visit a cheese factory or taste some typical dishes! And if you really love the smell, we don’t judge you 😉 you can even bring one (or more) with you!

To conclude this paragraph rich in culture, we tell you about two particularly famous domains in the region. The domain of Compiègne and the famous domain of Chantilly. Let’s discover the first one. Compiègne is a city rich in monuments, historical and tourist sites! The Château de Compiègne must be on your list when you visit the region. For those who are passionate about history, you will discover the residence of Clovis and Napoleon III. It’s no mean feat! And now the famous one through the ages, notably known for its whipped cream which we admit we are crazy about… The Chantilly domain. But it’s not only its whipped cream that the domain is famous for. It is also very well known for its horse races, notably the Prix du Jockey Club and the Prix de Diane. And of course, its castle, completely restored, is a jewel of the region. You can visit it between a whipped cream tasting and a horse race 😉.

His personal touch:

A lot of culture, history and memories are condensed in this region but the Hauts-de-France region is not only that. It is also particularly well known Carnivals. One example is the Dunkirk carnival. A crowd of locals always gathers behind the Tambour-Major band for Mardi Gras. In Bailleul, too, there is a spectacular carnival with huge floats.

It is also a culinary repertoire that can make many people jealous. Mussels and chips to be enjoyed during the Lille street market. The ficelle picarde, an emblematic dish of Picardy. Carbonade, Bêtises de Cambrai and the list could go on and on. If you want to eat well, you should go to the Hauts-de-France region 😉.

And it’s also interesting family activities for young and old alike. The Nausicaa site in Boulogne sur Mer will plunge you into the heart of marine life. It is the largest aquarium in Europe and it is particularly well done. Thanks to its marine life awareness programme, you can learn while having fun!

We leave Hauts-de-France with our eyes, our stomachs (😉 ) and our heads full of memories. We hope that this article has made you discover the richness of this beautiful region. Until we meet again next week in another region of France, don’t forget to update your booklet. It is your vision of your region 😊 !