Famous for its Dune du Pilat, its oyster farming villages, its oysters and its beaches, the Bassin d'Arcachon never ceases to delight its visitors who come from all over the world in search of nature and exceptional landscapes. A true tourist destination all on its own, it continues to reinvent itself to offer activities all year round! So welcome to the Bassin d'Arcachon!
Must see and do
La Dune du Pilat
📍 La Teste-de-Buch
- Exceptional natural monument, the highest dune in Europe (109 m) offers a breathtaking panorama. To admire the Dune du Pilat, head for Teste-de-Buch. This protected site can be discovered with the family thanks to numerous free nature activities, alone or with friends during a picnic, for example. More than 6 hectares are classified under the law of May 800, 2 on natural monuments and sites. Strong protection at the national level allows the dune to be preserved in its natural state.
- The Winter Town
Did you know ? The town of Arcachon is divided into 4 towns each representing one of the 4 seasons. We can thus discover the city of summer, autumn, spring and especially the famous city of winter. High place of the Arcachonnaise holiday resort, here are revealed the most beautiful houses of the city in a pleasant labyrinth of winding alleys. The singular architecture of its villas makes them precious vestiges of the great hours of the city's history.
- The huts on bird's island
Located in the middle of a small wild paradise of 3 km2, they represent today a true symbol of the destination. These huts, particularly loved by photographers, are called here “ the Tchanquées cabins ". The tchanquées representing in Gascon the traditional stilts of the shepherds. A getaway at sea is necessary to admire these fifty-three wooden huts on the Île aux Oiseaux up close, where among them are the two most famous huts proudly erected above the water.
- Cap Ferret Lighthouse
Classified Historic Monuments, Cap Ferret Lighthouse as we know it today dates from the year 1947, the first having been built in 1840 but subsequently destroyed by the Germans deserting the place. You can still find the "vestige" of the bunkers there. Inside, we discover maps of yesterday and today, an evocation of navigation on the Basin and the history of the lighthouse. Then once you have climbed the 258 steps, you can enjoy an exceptional panorama, probably the most beautiful on the peninsula. At the end of the visit, don't forget to stop at the shop to bring back a small souvenir in your suitcase.
- The oyster huts
An unmissable stopover during your stay, these cabins typical of the region line the Bassin d'Arcachon. Used to store fishing equipment, they are also used today to welcome oyster lovers in order to offer a tasting as close as possible to the source. There are nearly a thousand huts scattered all around the Bassin d'Arcachon, including 81 dedicated to the tasting of oysters on site, enough to find what you are looking for.
Don't leave without tasting...
- The MIRA*
This is THE beer you must try during your stay! Brewed with spring water from the Bassin d'Arcachon, this craft beer is available from many distributors (restaurants, bars, sports clubs, etc.). It offers light blond or white beers with surprising and unique aromas, fresh on the palate, floral and low in alcohol. A 100% local product with a unique and authentic character!
- Arcachon-Cap Ferret® Oysters
Recognized worldwide, these oysters carry with them the iodized spray of the ocean. Traditionally accompanied by crépinettes, small flat sausages, they can be eaten in summer as in winter to the delight of our taste buds.
- Pastries from Guignard
This well-known institution of the Arcachonnais offers its artisanal specialties made from fresh, quality products. You can taste the famous canelé, the Notre Dame des Passes (macaron dough, vanilla mousseline cream and fresh raspberries), and the famous Guignardises (chouquettes filled with whipped cream flavored with bourbon vanilla). Special mention for the chocolate fondant that we advise you to try with your eyes closed!
- The Dunes Blanches, Chez Pascal
Originally from Cap Ferret, in a few years they have become a culinary must in the Bassin! This little puff that you swallow in one bite is filled with a light vanilla cream with a unique texture. To be tested without further delay!
The shopping moment
- The MAZETTE
It is the meeting between a shop and the Tourist Office of Cap Ferret. In this concept store with its powdery decoration and raw materials, you are sure to find what you are looking for. A privileged address for visitors looking for souvenirs signed Cap Ferret.
- JANE DE BOY
it is THE essential clothing store in the Bassin. Founded in 1999 in Cap Ferret, this brand, born of true women's fashion enthusiasts, is one of the great success stories of the region. Its development continues to grow, particularly on the net but also in stores with the creation of new points of sale in Bordeaux and Arcachon.
- ÉCUME D'ARCACHON
The story of these products begins in the workshops of Jean Bourdier, a herbalist by trade in the 1930s in Arcachon and has continued to conquer the South-West ever since. You can discover a whole range of treatments and perfumes with delicious notes of Écume gardens.
Finally, to be as close as possible to the atmosphere and the craftsmen of the Bassin, we can only advise you to test the different markets that take place there. Each has its own character and atmosphere, but they are all worth the detour to unearth souvenirs and taste artisanal dishes!
For several years, Arcachon Basin institutions have been mobilizing to limit car use. Many routes have therefore emerged, on foot, by bike, by canoe, here is our selection:
- 50 SHADES OF OYSTERS
Created by the Syndicat Intercommunal du Bassin d'Arcachon and its partners, this circuit aims to introduce the oyster in all its forms! From simple tasting in the natural version to that cooked by chefs, passing its use for detox, revitalizing and purifying treatments, there is something for everyone. To make these discoveries even more fun, a stamp collection system is offered and allows whoever wins them to win gifts for every 15, 30 and 50 shades stamped.
- Visit of the source of Abatilles
You may have already tasted it during a meal, at home or in a restaurant, and now you will know all its secrets. During this visit, we discover this natural mineral water and the 7 steps required for its production. A small museum is also available to teach us the whole history of these bottles with blue and red labels.
- Canoeing down the Leyre
During this walk, we discover this incredible river 115 km long which crosses the Landes Regional Nature Park. We go to meet the 300 species of birds and animals that live there, migrate or nest in the forest that surrounds the Leyre. A slow activity in perfect cohesion with nature and where we take the time to observe what surrounds us. A real moment of calm, far from the noise of the city.
- Boat trip on the Bassin d'Arcachon
On board this typical flat-bottomed boat of the Bassin d'Arcachon, we set off to discover the unmissable places of the bay in the company of Richard, guide and sailor. On the program, cabins on stilts on the Île aux Oiseaux, Cap Ferret peninsula, Banc d'Arguin, oyster ports, the Leyre delta and the gateway to the ocean. Available throughout the year, these visits along the water offer us a new point of view to admire these classics of the region.
The crush ❤ of the editorial team
Cabanes en fête
This is THE event of the year in the Bassin d'Arcachon! Organized on the first Saturday of December, it combines the perfect combination of oysters from the Basin and delicious wines* from Entre-deux-Mers. No less than 400 local actors (oyster farmers, wine growers, restaurateurs, artists, volunteers) come together to make this celebration an unforgettable day for the more than 25 participants. Not forgetting the traditional fireworks display at sunset! So we'll give you an appointment for the next edition?
Our good addresses
- Villa Le Moulleau : little haven of peace a few minutes from the beach and the city center.
- Winter City Hotel : charming establishment facing the forest with swimming pool and hammam.
- Villa Palissy : intimate house in the heart of the Winter Town.
* Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health, consume in moderation.