Malo-les-Bains is a seaside resort of the North, in the Hauts-de-France region, located on the territory of Dunkerque.
From 1891 to 1969, it was an autonomous municipality, then it merged with its "great" neighbor, of which it is now a district. There are just over 16,000 permanent residents.
Since 1989, Malo-les-Bains enjoys the classification "Seaside and tourist resort".
It takes its name from Gaspard Malo (1804-1884), son of a Napoleonic corsair, shipowner, who contributed to the urbanization of the station.
The main feature of Malo-les-Bains is its 4 km beach on the North Sea, which was one of the sites of Operation Dynamo in 1940 (evacuation of British troops following the German breakthrough).
The beach and the residential districts bordering on it, which are ideal for relaxing, water sports and relaxing walks, make Malo-les-Bains the most sought-after northern resort.
Before enjoying the joys of idleness and nautical activities on that which is sometimes said to be "the queen of the beaches of the north", a walk in the form of discovery of the heritage is essential.
First of all, along the dike that separates the beach from the urban part of the resort, beautiful villas built in the nineteenth century (some are classified) that form an elegant architectural ensemble even if the styles are eclectic.
Another symbol of Malo-les-Bains is the dozens of colored beach cabins where you once changed before walking on the sand. Inside the former "autonomous" commune, see also the Town Hall of Flemish style (in the courtyard of which was installed a statue of Gaspard Malo), the church Notre-Dame of the Sacred Heart, the music kiosk of the Place Turenne.
Guided tours of the resort in summer. Information on +33 3 28 58 10 10 or +33 3 28 66 79 21.
For walks in the open air, you can choose the park of Malo, the park Ziegler, the wind park and of course the dyke itself (access pedestrians and bicycles protected).
For sports enthusiasts, besides nautical activities, the sports complex of the Licorne offers a multitude of disciplines (possibility of qualified supervision). Information on +33 3 28 26 27 17.
To begin or practice sailing, the base of the Unicorn houses the sailing school of the Dunes of Flanders. Information on +33 3 28 28 27 27.
For the followers of the sand yachting and other disciplines related to the sea, information on +33 3 28 58 10 10 (possibility of courses discovery for the children and adolescents).
In addition, Malo-les-Bains also has swimming pools (swimming pool Deleersnyder, rue des Poilus, tel +33 3 28 26 27 12, and Olympic swimming pool Paul Asseman, tel +33 3 28 51 98 40) and an ice rink (contact the +33 3 28 63 39 32).
Between beaches, dunes and land, many hiking or mountain biking are obviously possible. Tours, brochures and information on +33 3 28 58 10 10.
It will also be noted that the resort has a casino.
In a more cultural or pedagogical way, finally, several institutions deserve a visit.
This is the case of the Maison de l'Environnement, which offers documentation, exhibitions and activities on the theme of the discovery of the coastal ecosystem (contact +33 3 28 20 30 40), as well as the Dunkerque 1940 museum devoted to the battle of Dunkerque and Operation Dynamo in May-June 1940. Admission: 5 and 8 euros, free for children under 10 years. Information on +33 3 28 66 79 21. The museum, housed in a former casemate, allows visitors to discover, through a collection of photographs, maps and military equipment, this episode of the Second World War immortalized in 2017 by Christopher Nolan's film.
Still at the western end of Malo-les-Bains, the Regional Contemporary Art Fund (FRAC) offers collections throughout the year highlighting the works and creations of visual artists today. Workshops and activities for children and adolescents. Free or guided tours from Tuesday to Friday from 2 pm to 6 pm and on weekends from 11 am to 7 pm. Prices: 2 and 3 euros. Information on +33 3 28 65 84 20.
For a discovery of products of the northern soil and the sea, the market of Malo-les-Bains takes place place Turenne every Tuesday morning.
But the main festive event of the resort, in the great carnival tradition of the town of Dunkerque, is the Violette band (a giant in the shape of a bather) on the Sunday following Mardi Gras.
Other highlights include the Provinces market in May, the August night market, the dyke, the firework display that ends the summer season at the end of August, Saint Martin in November, and Santa's stride in December.