There is no place like home, the old adage says. I cannot but agree with this. I had the chance to grow up near one of the most beautiful bay in the World, la Baie de Somme. That’s not only me saying it, the UNESCO agrees ; it is a World Heritage site, and officially one of the 30 most beautiful bays in the World.
I think the North of France is not appreciated enough as a touristic destination, which is a shame. On top of being one of the cheapest region you could pick for a holiday, it is a lovely, quiet and very interesting region to discover. It’s full of history, and if you’re a nature lover, this could be your dream destination!
The Bay of Somme
The Bay of Somme is located just two hours drive from Calais, along the same coast. It is basically just sea, sand, and natural parks, with picturesque typical french villages in between. That’s the place to be if you’re looking for a quiet weekend away in the countryside, especially in Summer! There are a lot of nice beaches where you can lay for hours and enjoy the nice summer weather, and plenty of visits and activities to do.
Of course, I have always been able to see and appreciate the beauty of my region. Especially when I had the chance to work as a journalist for a local newspaper every summers, for three years in a row. Most of my days and reportage were spent near, if not on, the beach or in natural parks, observing birds and seals. It could have been worse for a first job, really !
But the truth is, growing up there was not always very exciting, especially for a teenager. Abbeville, the little town of 30,000 inhabitants where I come from, could become very boring for a 16 year-old looking for adventures. Leaving the region was a gift in itself : it gave me the chance to be able to truly appreciate it when going back to visit my family and friends. And how I love my home town now !
Saint Valery, the second cutest village of France
So I wanted to share with you some pics I took during my last visits. They were mainly taken in St Valery and Le Crotoy, two twin historic villages that are each located on one side of the bay, facing each other but separated with land, sea and sheep.
Saint Valery was in fact elected the second cutest village of France last year.
In Saint-Valery-sur-Somme, Jeanne d’Arc passed through the village while being held prisonner by the English, whom were taking her to Rouen, which is located about an hour and a half away from the village. You know the end of the story…
But, fortunately for teenager me, there was not only sheep, sea and fields to look at. Well, not every day anyway.
Amiens, the city where it all happens
Just a short hour drive from my home town of Abbeville, you will find Amiens, a city with a population of about 135,000 inhabitants. Amiens is very conveniently located just an hour away from the sea, from Paris, and just over an hour from Lille. A central location that makes this historic city perfect for holidays if you ask me…
I promise to come back to it another time, with more pictures, but here is a little taste of it :
As you can see, France is not all about Paris. It’s not all about the sunny South either. The North of the country is definitely worth visiting too, especially if you have interests in nature or history; the North of the country has severely suffered from two World Wars (one of the region of France that has been the most destroyed actually), and there is a lot of sites and museums to visit in the area.