Boulogne-Sur-Mer_Nausicaá_Centre national de la mer © CRTC Hauts-de-France - Anne-Sophie FlamentBoulogne-sur-Mer, Nausicaá, Centre national de la mer
©Boulogne-Sur-Mer, Nausicaá, Centre national de la mer |CRTC Hauts-de-France - Anne-Sophie Flament

Be amazed inside the giant Nausicaa aquarium

Who says you need flippers and a snorkel to dive down into the depths of the deep blue ocean? Choose the drier, more family-friendly option of Nausicaa in Boulogne-sur-Mer, Europe’s largest aquarium and home to over 100,000 fish. Children will be riveted by the amazing creatures that live in this extraordinarily bountiful yet so fragile world. A hypnotic and soothing experience where they can come face to face with some of Mother Nature’s most fascinating and unique creations!

Northern France _ Boulogne-Sur-Mer_Nausicaá aquarium © CRTC Hauts-de-France - AS FlamentNorthern France _ Boulogne-Sur-Mer_Nausicaá aquarium © CRTC Hauts-de-France - AS Flament
©Northern France, Boulogne-Sur-Mer_Nausicaá aquarium|CRTC Hauts-de-France - Anne-Sophie Flament

Europe’s largest aquarium

At Nausicaa, you can get up close and personal with the ocean’s most fearsome predators  — sharks. They will casually come to say hello on the other side of the glass in Europe’s biggest aquarium. The kids will be completely hypnotised by the immersive spectacle.

But sharks make up only a small percentage of the ocean’s (and Nausicaa’s) inhabitants! As you move from room to room, you’ll meet compass jellyfish, hatpin urchins, sea lions, pig-nosed turtles (yes, they exist) and even have a chance to stroke rays in the petting pool. After a final farewell to the penguins, there’s time for a quick stop at the shop and bookstore, teeming with fantastic souvenirs and other interesting treasures.

Not only will your children come away with some amazing memories and perhaps a new favourite animal, they will also have learned all about the marine environment and how we must protect it.

Local's tip

Caroline Géneau_guide nature©CRTC Hauts-de-France - Anne Sophie FlamentCaroline Géneau, guide nature
Hike along the dunes of the Slack

 

The Slack is a small coastal river that spills out into the sea at the Fort of Ambleteuse. It’s my favourite walk as the scenery is never the same. There are lots of stories to tell and even things to eat. The route is protected and well maintained to ensure it is accessible to all. A 3-mile walk takes you past pine woods, dunes and freshwater ponds all the way up to the sea and you’re bound to meet all sorts of interesting fauna and flora along the way. From atop the dune, there is a fantastic view of Boulogne-sur-Mer and even England! At the finish, you can visit the Fort of Vauban, the sole survivor of its kind on the Opal Coast. It is open on public holidays and Sundays in high season.

Caroline Géneau, Nature guide at the Les Deux-Caps, between Wimereux and Calais
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