Le Touquet has a reputation as the most elegant holiday resort of northern France - the playground of rich Parisians, with many luxury hotels.
Ever since the mid-1990s Le Touquet’s villas have become extremely fashionable amongst architecture lovers throughout Europe, rediscovering the “folie” of seaside architecture of both the Roaring Twenties and the Thirties. The most famous local architect is Louis Quetelart, whose style was named after him: Louis Quetelart Style.
The resort was created in 1876 by the owner of the Paris newspaper, Le Figaro. Then this was an area of wild sand dunes and forest - part of a hunting estate. It became known as “Paris by the sea”, and strict building regulations encouraged the most talented architects to create imaginative and innovative developments.
In 1903, a British Gentleman bought the land, and set out to sell properties to the rich from across the English Channel. In the 1920s, Noel Coward and the “smart set” from England spent weekends here, and commissioned more outstanding villa designs echoing traditional and ultra-modern domestic styles. Today the town tourist office offers organised trails to see outstanding examples of 19th and 20th century domestic architecture, which are now preserved and protected.
Inland from the beach, hotels, casino and horse racing course, a wide range of sports, particularly golf are offered. The casino provided the inspiration of the casino of Royale-les-Eaux in Casino Royale.
Every year in February, a motorbike & quad race called 'Enduro' where bikes race along the beach and through the dunes.