France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Arcachon, Gironde, France
Where do Bordelais go to the beach? The delightful Atlantic seacoast town of Arcachon.




The seaside resort town of Arcachon, at the mouth of the Bassin d'Arcachon an hour's ride (73 km/45 miles) west of Bordeaux (map), is a great place to get away on a day trip or for a few days on the beach.

Frightfully crowded on mid-summer weekends, it's most pleasant on weekdays in late spring and autumn.

Arcachon has a variety of hotels, seaside cafés and restaurants, a nice long beach of coarse golden sand, and piers so you can walk out above the sea a short ways. More...

Arcachon is also known for its Ville d'Hiver, or Winter Town, with its beautiful Victorian mansions. A striking contrast to the modern seaside-resort architecture, these elegant mansions reflect Arcachon's history as a fashionable resort.

Near Arcachon is the curious Dune du Pilat (also spelled Dune du Pyla), proudly heralded as "the largest sand dune in Europe," which it is.

True, Europe is not noted for its sand dunes, but it is still a curiosity to have a very large mass of sand here among the pines, growing several meters larger year by year.

TER Trains and buses depart the Gare de Bordeaux St-Jean several times daily for Arcachon.

House in Ville d'Hiver, Arcachon, France
Victorian house in the Ville d'Hiver, Arcachon, France.


Dune du Pilat

Médoc Vineyards




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Beach at Arcachon, France

Above, The beach at Arcachon on a cool day.



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