When you think of sandy beaches, sun and France, what first springs to mind is the south of France. But I’m here to tell you that France has a lot more to offer. At just one hour from Bordeaux, you’ll find sublime beaches and majestic forests. The Biscarrosse area has all this to offer.
If you like exploring on the weekends and on holidays then this is the perfect place for you. Bike rides, surfing, walks along the beach are the main activities in the area of ‘Biscarrosse Plage’, a small town, right beside the ocean.
The beach is one of the nicest I’ve ever seen, it seems to go on for miles and you can walk right out to the tide at low tide. The waves also never seem to stop which is why you’ll find plenty of surfers. There’s many surf schools in the area and places to rent surfboards, if that’s your thing. The beach is also really clean, although I was there during the low tourist season.
One of the things I loved about the beach was that the colour of the ocean and the patterns in the sand changed every time. In the morning, for example the sea is a really green blue colour, and you can find lots of seashells and pebbles washed up along the shore! And in the evening time, the sunsets are just breathtaking with pink and orange skies!
Biscarrosse Plage itself has lots of cute cafés and restaurants. Unfortunately I was there when they were closed due to covid but I can recommend the bakery ‘Boulangerie Lou Pan d’Aqui’ and ‘Poissonnerie de la plage’, which are on the main street and 5 minutes from the beach.
When it comes to accommodation, there are lots of part time rentals in the area and air bnbs. I stayed in an air bnb called ‘La Baleine Rose’, a cute little apartment right beside the sea!
La Dune du Pilat
After you have explored the beach, a 15 minute car drive or 30 minute bike ride will take you to the ‘Dune du Pilat’, the tallest sand dune in Europe. You can park in the private car park which you have to pay for but it’s worth it, if you don’t want to get your car stuck in the sand.
Talk the main walk to the ‘entrance’ of the dune where there are steps to walk up the dune! When you get there, it is truly breathtaking, you wouldn’t think you are in France but in Egypt or the Sahara desert. When you eventually get to the top of the dune, it offers amazing views of the Arcachon Bay, Cap Ferret and the nearby pine forests. You can even walk along the top of the dune or go down to the beach on the other side!
A word of caution though, it is extremely windy up there with sand blowing everywhere so I recommend wearing long loose trousers if you don’t want to get hit with sand, wear sunglasses and a hat if it’s sunny! Also remember that if you go down, you have to come back up and trekking upwards in the sand is not as easy as it looks, so ‘courage’! I recommend not bringing too many belongings with you but you can eat up there if you wish to bring snacks or lunch. There are stands along the walk to the dune but they can be a bit pricey!
In any case, the dune is definitely worth a visit, it really is an amazing place!
If you fancy going further afield, you can head north to the coastal town of ‘Arcachon’, in the ‘Girondes’ region. It has a lovely beach, a ferris wheel and you can walk along the whole beach until you come to the port.
You can even take a boat ride to ‘Cap Ferret’, which is an area of land that lines the whole Arcachon Bay and offers views of the ‘Dune du Pilat’.
So there you have it, if you are looking for a new place to visit in France I really believe there is something for everyone. You won’t regret it!
Lots of love,
Le petit accent,