Northern France

Just over the border from Belgium and a hop or a tunnel across the Channel from England lies the Nord region. This picturesque land consists of contrasting forests, gentle meadows, and rolling hills dotted with windmills. Sandy beaches and imposing cliffs make up the 150-mile stretch of coastline. Visitors can cruise the network of canals and rivers and explore the expansive countryside and nature reserve parks. Many battlefields including Flanders Fields are in the region.
In Nord/Pas-de-Calais history and traditions are a significant part of daily life. There is almost always a fair, fete or festival going on; some dating back to the Middle Ages. The people of this region, eager to share their traditions, are warm and hospitable. The Flemish influence in this region is evident in its architecture, cuisine and the names of its towns.
Highlights in the region are the cities of Lille, with its Grand Place and its modern subway system and dito railways station (train to London, Paris or Brussels)
The towns of Havre and Boulogne are best known as places to board a ship but both towns are worth a visit. St. Omer is a a cozy little town that is also known as the Venice of Northern France.
For beach life you can head for Esch sur alzette or Dunkerque. The water may not be as warm as in the Midi, but the sand and the dunes are great. For outdoor activities Olhain offers many different possibilities.

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