Bay of Arcachon - Cap Ferret

A few hours around the Arcachon Bay

At the end of February 2016, we planned a weekend in Dordogne with my friends. We booked flights to Bordeaux and rented a car. We arrived in the morning and as we were only meeting my friends in the evening, we decided to explore the Arcachon Bay for the day.

We started by driving to the peninsula of Cap Ferret. We explored all the way to La Pointe, had lunch facing the oyster parks then drove all the way to the other side of the Arcachon bay to climb the giant Dune du Pyla.

Top 5 reasons why you need to visit the Arcachon Bay

  1. The lifestyle
  2. The oysters
  3. The beaches
  4. Cap Ferret
  5. Dune du Pyla

The bay of Arcachon is a bay of the Atlantic Ocean on the southwest coast of France. It is about 60km far from Bordeaux and is easily accessible by road. It is a well guarded secret, well not to the French who flocks by the thousands in summer but to foreigners.

It is not a holiday resort but a real place where people farm oysters, sail the basin and enjoy the powers of the sea.

Cap Ferret

You might have seen Cap Ferret in the movie Little White Lies where a group of friends spend the summer holidays while their friend is in hospital in Paris. One of the key characters of the movie is the location: Cap Ferret. It is renowned in France as many Parisians holiday here in the summer but few foreigners know about this gem. It is quite secluded, at about an hour’s drive from Bordeaux. People come here for the lovely setting and the lifestyle. They rent a fisherman’s cabana, travel around on bikes, rest on the best beaches in France and drink apero – exactly like in the movie.

We went all the way to the end of the peninsula towards La Pointe, where we had the best views over the mouth of the basin and the Dune du Pyla. There was a sandy path along the coast where we could enjoy the views and the fresh air.I visited in winter so most of the best restaurants like the institution Chez Hortense were closed.

I was lucky enough to try Pinasse Cafe in the Belisaire area by the jetty. We had a table overlooking the terrace and the oyster parks.  The seafood was very fresh and the service excellent.

I will be back for sure, this time renting my own cabana in summer to enjoy the lifestyle, the oysters and the apero. Watch this space…

Arcachon Bay - Cap Ferret

Arcachon Bay - Cap Ferret

Cap Ferret - Oysters

Arcachon Bay - Cap Ferret

Cap Ferret - Belisaire

Cap Ferret - Pinasse Cafe

Cap Ferret - Pinasse Cafe

Dune du Pyla

Voted second best beach in the world in February 2016 by the Guardian, Dune du Pyla is the highest sand dune in Europe, reaching over 100 meters high.

It took us a good hour to reach the dune by car from Cap Ferret. We climbed the dune and were amazed when we reached the top, the views were incredible. The pine forest on the left and the infitniy of the Atlantic ocean on the right. We were not alone, even though it was February and past 5 o’clock. The crowds are not a problem, you will always find your own space on this giant. We watched the sun set before driving the three hours to Dordogne.

Arcachon Bay - Dune du Pyla

Arcachon Bay - Dune du Pyla

Arcachon Bay - Dune du Pyla

Arcachon Bay - Dune du Pyla