Unspoilt and picturesque, Equihen-Plage’s simplicity and gentle pace of life is entrancing. The former fishing village sits on top of a clay cliff and looks out over a huge beach of small coves, and is much enjoyed by families. Photo enthusiasts can capture sublime sunrises and sunsets while walkers will yearn to explore the numerous hiking trails and unspoilt natural areas. The famous coastal path allows the curious to follow in the footsteps of the excisemen and smugglers!
The beach known as La Crevasse, which is accessible via wooden steps, is in unique surroundings. Here, land-based fishermen and fans of shellfish can be found amongst the rocks. A little further away at Plage de Ningles, a waterfall tumbles down onto the beach. This is also a beautiful spot. This chattering stream marks the boundary with the neighbouring village of Le Portel. It’s so relaxing!
A land of artists
The beauty of the landscape around Equihen has inspired many artists. René Bazin paid homage to it in his book ‘Gingolph l'abandonné’ and the Catalan painter Vicente Gil-Franco set up his studio there in 1926. Much like Antoine Chintreuil and Jean-Charles, Cazin (a superb painter from Boulonnais) captured the many landscapes and scenes from the daily life of the fishermen. The Town Hall and Saint-Pierre Church house many paintings by these artists.
Quilles en l’air
Equihen-Plage is also the land of the ‘quilles en l'air’ (houses made from upturned boats) At the start of the 20th century, fishing boats became stranded on the beach with every tide change. Their wooden hulls were quickly worn down by frequent contact with the sand. The poorest families salvaged them to make shelters. Until the Second World War, the ‘Quilles en l’Air’ became a neighbourhood in its own right but successive bombardments destroyed this incredible maritime heritage. Several years ago, the community revived this tradition by building several ‘quilles en l’air dwellings, mod cons included, on the municipal campsite. They are available to rent and are popular with holidaymakers who can enjoy the breathtaking view over the coast.