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Escape to the countryside- The 100 faces of nature

Escape to the countryside- The 100 faces of nature

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From the marshland of the Audomarois area to the gentle valleys of the Ternois and 7 Valleys region, the landscapes of Pas-de-Calais are unspoilt. From copses to marshes, everything here exudes softness and a return to nature.

The parks and gardens are open to the public and craftsmen invite the curious visitor to pop into their workshops to learn about their craft.

  • Cathédrale St Omer  ©A.Chaput Pas-de-Calais Tourisme
  • Conchy-sur-Canche © Marion - Pas-de-Calais Tourisme
  • Rue du Clape en Bas Montreuil ©A.Chaput Pas-de-Calais Tourisme
  • Jardin public St Omer ©A.Chaput Pas-de-Calais Tourisme
  • Lac d
  • Velo StMartin au laert  ©Y CADART CD62
  • Eglise Notre Dame, Buire-au-Bois ©A.Chaput Pas de Calais Tourisme
  • Rando environs de Carly ©Géraldine Léger

Saint-Omer: a city surrounded by nature

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On a fragile “bacôve” – light craft of the Audomarois Marsh – you can appreciate the vastness of the Natural Regional Park. Cauliflowers, chicories… about 440 hectares are farmed by forty-or-so market gardeners! 1500 kilometers of pedestrian, equestrian and cycling paths make you travel across the Saint-Omer region – made of nature reserves, forests, moors, chalky hillsides and green hills… From the Canton de Fauquembergues to Pays de Lumbres and through La Morinie… the surroundings offer breathtaking landscapes !
Saint-Omer is peacefully nestled in this natural setting. Its bourgeois XVIIIth century architecture with a Flemish influence is omnipresent, and can be seen in its museum – the prestigious Hotel Sandelin – built “entre cour et jardin”. Other monuments from the medieval era make Saint-Omer a charming town that you can discover from streets to streets, wandering between noble houses and mansions. As a border region, Saint-Omer area has more than once been used as a military base of defence and attack. Thus, as guardians of memory, La Coupole in Helfaut and the Blockhouse in Epelercques immerse the visitors in a complete historical and cultural experience. Because in this place, history and nature keep all their promises.

Focus on: Montreuil-sur-Mer, a fortified town forged through the ages

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In the former fortified château that became a Citadel, Montreuil appears to be a town with the allure of times past. Set on an outcrop that overlooks the River Canche, the town boasts a privileged geographical position, isolated from the neighbouring plateaux by the Ecuries and Madelaine valleys.
This commanding natural position is responsible for its long-standing defensive vocation. 
Although located more than 10km from the sea, in 988 Montreuil was nevertheless the only sea port held by the French crown at the time of Hugues Capet.
At the start of the XIII Century, Philippe August built a mighty royal château there and then, in 1567, Charles IX commissioned the construction of a citadel on the site of the former château. Finally, around 1670, Vauban took up the work of his predecessors by adding a gunpowder store and an arsenal.
Nowadays a museum, the Citadel wonderfully showcases collections from the Middle Ages.
When it comes to art, the town is reputed for its son et lumière show: 'Les Misérables'. 
The festival of opera, theatre and music 'Les Malins Plaisirs' also brings a touch is, more than ever before, an ideal stop-off for connoisseurs of history and fine gastronomy.

Focus on: The Pays des 7 Vallées, a haven of peace in the heart of nature

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From the verdant high meadows of the 7 Vallées, the first thing you notice is the tranquillity of the site. Welcome to the green lung of Pas-de-Calais! Situated to the south-west of the department, close to the seaside resorts of the Côte d'Opale, the 7 Vallées stretches across an area of 670km². A land of rivers, bocage hedgerows, winding paths, woodland and forests, everything here is calm and serene.
There is no shortage of activities possible on the waters of the Canche, the Authie, the Ternoise, the Planquette, the Créquoise... The Bras de Brosne and the Lys fight it out for the affections of anglers and lovers of nature. On the riverbank, visitors can take a moment to breathe and the beauty of the location stirs your appetite. Luckily, the locals are always delighted to share some bread and honey on the stalls of the region's markets. Breeders, farmers, market-gardeners, cheesemakers, traders, cabinetmakers... they all have something in common: a love of the land that they share with visitors. From simple pleasures to more refined tastes, the authentic flavours of the terroir are showcased with great subtlety by local producers and restaurateurs. You simply have to stop at a rural gîte or head out for a walk to sample the bounty of this extraordinary garden.