Wissant travel guide

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Visit Wissant (Hauts-de-France, France)

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Wissant, literally meaning white sand, is a pleasant seaside village set on a 12 kilometre long sandy beach on the Opal coast.

It is just a five minutes drive from the Dover-Calais channel tunnel and sits between the Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez both of which are designated "Grand Sites de France" for their natural beauty.

Explore Wissant

The small town of Wissant has a quiet charm but it is for the incredible beach that visitors come here. The long, flat sandy beach is ideal for kitesurfing and it is widely considered to be the best kitesurfing destination in northern Europe. Its waves means it is also one of the best surfing destinations in France.

Kitesurfing at Wissant

Wissant town is small with no major sites although you can see an interesting villa built in an Egyptian style in the late 19th century by the architect Edmond de Vigne. The church of Saint Nicholas dates back to the 15th century.

The understated charm of the village led to it representing the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region in "the favourite village of the French" competition by France 2 television channel in 2013.  Apparently Wissant was also a favourite holiday destination of General Charles de Gaulle.


Because of its proximity to both the channel tunnel at Calais and the ferry port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, Wissant is a very convenient seaside destination for British holiday makers.

Evidence of the wars that affected the town during the 20th century can be seen at Wissant with several blockhouses on the beaches, and at nearby Audinghen one of these blockhouses has been turned into a museum of arms and uniforms of the war.

Sand and gravel were once quarried from Wissant and the subsequent holes have now filled forming small lakes and this area is now a natural reserve. While quarrying was taking place the skeleton and tusks of a wooly mammouth were found here by four workers.

Hotel in Wissant

Places to visit nearby

The World War II museums at Audinghen and at Ambleteuse are both interesting to visit close to Wissant.

The Cap Gris-Nez and Cap Blanc-Nez are both rocky promontaries. The Cap Gris-Nez is the closest point to England and on a clear day you get great views of the white cliffs on the other side of the channel. The Cap Blanc-Nez has dramatic cliffs up to 130 meters high.

To the south of Wissant you can visit Boulogne-sur-Mer which is home to the Nausicaa National sea life centre which is one of France's most visited attractions.

Le Touquet is one of our favourite seaside towns in Northern France and is just south of Boulogne.

You can find more travel ideas in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais guide.

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Map of Wissant and places nearby


Visit near Wissant with France This Way reviews

Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez

Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez

The Cap Blanc-Nez and the Cap Gris-Nez are classified as Grand sites de France for their beauty.

Cap Blanc-Nez and Cap Gris-Nez guide


Wimereux is a seaside town with a fine selection of Belle Epoque villas

Wimereux guide


Nausicaa is a large aquarium and sea life centre and one of the top tourist attractions of France

Nausicaa guide


The old town with its ramparts, castle and ancient streets are the highlight in Boulogne itself, while nearby there are plenty of good sandy beaches

Boulogne-sur-Mer guide


The principal attraction at Gravelines is the fortifications, built by the Spanish in the 16th century and reinforced by Vauban in the 17th century

Gravelines guide
Le Touquet

Le Touquet

Upmarket Le Touquet is probably the most popular of the coastal resorts in the region, with a lovely beach and wide range of facilties

Le Touquet guide

Address: Wissant, Marquise, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, 62179, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 50.8861, longitude 1.6636

Plan your visit to Wissant, Pas-de-Calais

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Cap Blanc-Nez / Cap Gris-Nez: grand site of france (5 km)
  • Cap Blanc-Nez: site of natural beauty (5 km)
  • Cap Gris-Nez: site of natural beauty (6 km)
  • Beffroi de Calais (Belfries of Belgium and France): heritage site (15 km)
  • Column of the Grand Army: national monument (16 km)
  • Nausicaa - Centre national de la mer: aquarium (18 km)
  • Boulogne-sur-Mer: town of art and history (18 km)
  • Beffroi de Boulogne-sur-Mer (Belfries of Belgium and France): heritage site (18 km)
  • Caps et Marais d'Opale: regional natural parc (23 km)
  • Dunes d'Écault: site of natural beauty (26 km)
  • Réserve naturelle du Platier d'Oye: site of natural beauty (31 km)
  • Beffroi de Gravelines (Belfries of Belgium and France): heritage site (34 km)

The French version of this page is at Wissant (Francais)