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Arcachon Bay

A preserved wilderness paradise

In Gascony, in the heart of Pays de Buch, one hour from Bordeaux, the most famous lagoon of France is bordered by 85 km of coasts between wooded heaths, magical dunes and Atlantic Ocean. A protected natural site facing the sea, living on the rhythm of the tides and where wonders can be found nestled, such as the Bird Island and the typical huts built on stilts that stand in the middle of the cove. Many other treasures have contributed to the reputation of the area; the Banc d'Arguin, the peninsula of Cap-Ferret, the Dune of Pilat and Arcachon for the most renowned.
When walking around the Bay, we also discover pretty little hidden spots that own the same level of charm, Gujan Mestras, La Teste, Le Teich, Biganos, Audenge, Lanton, Andernos and Ares, and postcard-perfect traditional fishing villages. Finally, fascinating islands, accessible only by boat... between the immense sandbanks, all these virgin territories where nature has retained all its rights.
Who could resist to such beauty, authentic landscapes, where colors change according to the exposure, winds and changing seasons. Paradise of nautical activities, the Bay has kept its soul and it is she who makes it an attractive place all year long, epicurean and vibrant in summer, calm and relaxing in winter.

Arcachon, the fourth seasons family seaside
This is where everything began. In the middle of the XIXth century, all of the European society gave in to sea bathing and dreamed of taking the train to go to Arcachon, enjoy the sea air and the pine perfume. Fastly, the fishermen hamlets have been replaced by gorgeous villas and luxury hotels. Great place of holidays, thanks to its privileged situation, Arcachon improves today a relaxed family atmosphere. The city is divided into 4 neighbourhoods but the charm and the contentment are everywhere !

- La ville d'hiver : this is the historical heart of the city with a gorgeous collection of Second Empire villas and luxury hotels with a sophisticated architectural style. Pearls of this period are hidden in the heights, around the Palmiers square and its bandstand. The famous Parc Mauresque where the orange trees and the rare plants perfume the place, offer a unique viewing point on the city.
- La ville d'été : this is the current city center which concentrate the seaside activities along the romantic boulevard of the seafront and the beach. Summer or winter, families, lovers, young and older walk around the Thiers pier to admire the ocean colours and the view of the Cap Ferret peninsula. Before going shopping in the shops or have a dinner at the restaurant.
- La ville d'automne : this is the one of the sailors and the boats, near the oyster-farming areas of the Aiguillon. Second port of the Atlantic Coast, the Arcachon port has a picturesque fishing harbour with an auction house always full and lively.

- La ville de printemps : this is the one of the elegant tranquility toward the Moulleau neighbourhood and the Pereire beach just before Pyla-sur-Mer. Peaceful and residential, this very rating place enables to admire the sunset and to enjoy the seaside, mostly at low tide when the sandbank appears. Near, the Abatilles neighbourhood with the famous Sainte-Anne source, the deepest in France.

Pyla-sur-Mer, one-on-one with the ocean
Secret hiding place in the Teste-de-Buch wood, face to the Arguin sandbank, this seaside resort natural and cool is famous for its dune, the largest of Europe. Weaving in the middle of the pines, the wide and peaceful streets runs alongside the gorgeous Gaume villas, which earned its stripes from the famous architect. Since the twenties, these Basque inspired houses has the same simple and harmonious style, white walls and colourful panelling, in accordance with an exceptional surrounding.
The older, built in sea front, enjoy a magical view thanks to its privileged situation. More than 4000 villas have been built in 80 years and the Gaume signature stay a local reference. We must say the ocean view from the best located houses, by the water house, is literally a dream. From white sand, waves and pine forest, Pyla-sur-Mer maintain a chic and calm atmosphere, completely different from its neighbour Arcachon.
The first meeting with this extraordinary place is most of the time celebrated by a romantic diner with the panoramic terrace of one of the most famous hotel and restaurant of Pyla: La Co(o)rniche. Signed Gaume in the 30’s, it has been restyled by Starck in the 2000’s. There, there is nothing for it but to enjoy the sunset, the eyes on the Pilat sand dune, the feet in the sand, the head in the clouds.

The Cap-Ferret, a mythical peninsula
Both ultimate and intimate, Lège-Cap-Ferret succeeded in protecting its original style of fishermen and oyster farmers village, registered since 1981 at the heritage of picturesque site.
But the seaside resort also embodies a chic hot spot, where it is good to live all year, for the luckiest. There, the wooden sheds of old days are near the dream villas, hidden in the pines. The nautical sports addicts mingled with the cinema stars and other celebrities that bring to the Ferret its nickname of « Atlantic Saint-Tropez ». The eccentricity less, but with the authenticity.
Paradise of the hiker and the cyclists, the Cap Ferret reveals a fantastic richness of landscapes, shaped by winds and the tides, to the discretion of the storms. In 2000 years, the peninsula which separate the Atlantic from the Arcachon Bay stretch out.
At 57 meters high, that is to say 258 stairs, the Cap-Ferret lighthouse permits to take the measure on a stunning space of greatness and beauty. To the West, golden sand beaches protected by the dunes is spread out on 25 kms.
To the East, 15 kms of coasts with beaches, little bays, harbours and oyster- farming village. At the middle, 7000 hectares of forest that is to say nearly 70% of the peninsula total space area. Not forgetting a plunging view on the Arguin sandbank, the Pilat Dune and an incredible panorama on all the Ferret.
At the Cap Ferret, the time seems to be stopped and we discover again the simple pleasures that give its true meaning to the idea of holidays. Listen to the birdsongs, the waves, forget our car to explore the paths by bike, taste some oysters with friends in the sheds of the Bassin, enjoy the incredible feeling of being at the world’s end while being 1 hour far from Bordeaux.

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