Arcachon & Dune de Pyla, France

Arcachon beach resort aerial, France

Arcachon resort aerial, France. Photo by Mtu33260

Why visit Arcachon?

The town is a seaside resort on the Atlantic Ocean in western France, 60 kms from Bordeaux.  It’s famous mainly for oysters and enormous Dune du Pyla. One of the town’s curiosities is that its districts  are named after the four seasons with Summer City as the main activity area of shopping streets,  beaches, and extravagant casino while Winter City is where the rich and famous from Paris and Bordeaux own lavish 19C villas. 

Some kid-friendly activities in the region are – apart from the obligatory climbing of Dune du Pilat –  Kid Park Adventure Island, a small space with water features; Aqualand Bassin d’Arcachon offers another watery experience but with more facilities including a lagoon-style swimming pool; The Ladybug, a fun park with animals to feed  or pet as well as games;  Zoo of Arcachon Basin, a sizeable zoo in a reasonably natural setting.

Arcachon Promenade, France.

Arcachon Promenade.

Arcachon Beaches

Arcachon Beach games, western France on the Atlantic Ocean.

Arcachon beaches are numerous and stretch along the coast for seven kilometres. Photo by Marc Ryckaert.

Taichi on Pereire beach, Arcachon, France. Photo by Pline

This stretch of sand on the Cote d’Argent is one of France’s best beaches. It runs more-or-less for 200kms south to Biarritz, the largest mass of sand in Europe and relatively people free other than the peak season of July-August when Bordeaux/Paris hordes arrive to occupy the town. Pereire beach is the place for exercising, Arbousiers beach for Kite and Windsurfing, Moulleau beach for swimming.

A couple of kilometres away is the stunning Dune du Pilat/Pyla (see below).

Dune du Pilat

Dune du Pyla-Pilat, Arcachon, france. Photo Mtu33260

An aerial view of 2.7km long Dune du Pilat (aka Pyla), with Arcachon Bay visible just to the north.

The largest sand dune in Europe – Dune du Pilat (Pyla) – is set in the largest wooded area in France, the Landes Forest,  next to the Atlantic Ocean and near the town.

Dune Pilat, Arcachon, France. Photo Dennis Jarvis

Climbing the 100m high Dune du Pilat. Photo Dennis Jarvis

The top of Dune du Pyla/Pilat, Arcachon, France. Photo Steven Lek