Although Dunkerque (59 Nord, Hauts de France) is not the most attractive of Channel ports, the DFDS ferry from Dover to Dunkerque has meant that many travellers now by-pass Calais and can explore this part of the French coast, with its history and traditions. There is more to the place than the memories of 1940, although these do have their place.

The DFDS ferries are no longer just freight ferries, but comfortable, well-appointed passenger ships. And Dunkerque is well-positioned for onward travel to Eastern France and Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland and beyond. Even if you are heading for Paris, the South or West, the autoroute network is well-established and often the difference in distance is minor compared to Calais.

Drivers should beware though that the ferry terminal is some miles west of the town of Dunkerque (at Loon-Plage) and to look for signs to Ferry not Port or Centre Ville.

Should you get to the city centre it is worth visiting the fishing harbour and each year there is the Dunkerque Christmas Market (2 December 2023 – 7 January 2024) in the Place de la République, Place Jean Bart, and Place Charles Valentin. The town hall will even turn into the Santa’s castle to welcome Santa Claus,  There will be 50 chalets offering a variety of handmade gifts, Christmas decorations and delicious delicacies, a Ferris wheel, an magic Christmas forest with its Christmas elfs, a free ice rink

And each Spring there is a major Carnival which is well worth visiting. This is French Flanders – Dunkirk is a lovely seaside destination with 10 miles of white sandy beaches and 1,700 acres of protected parkland, the coast of Flanders is a dream location for kite surfing, sand-yachting, cycling and hiking.

For more info see

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