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Arcachon, with its stunning coastline, boasts an abundance of beautiful beaches waiting to be explored. While the central beach in Ville d’Été (summer city) boasts vibrant energy and proximity to amenities, those seeking tranquility may prefer the southern beaches,  in Ville de Printemps (spring city) and the majestic Dune du Pilat.

By the way, if you have no idea, what are these seasonal cities I’m talking about. That’s what different parts of Arcachon City are called 🙂 You can read all about it in my Arcachon guide

In this article, I’ll be talking about my favorite beaches in the southern part of Arcachon  Bay.  If you’re planning to go to the Cap Ferret peninsula, you should check out my article about the most beautiful beaches in Cap Ferret

Let’s dive into the best and most beautiful beaches of Arcachon!

The most beautiful beaches in Arcachon 

Plage Pereire

Plage Pereire with its scenic views stands out as a favorite among Arcachon’s beachgoers. Accessible via public transport, it offers convenience and scenic views. This wide beach, beloved for its safety and family-friendly atmosphere, stretches along the coastline, inviting visitors to relax and enjoy the sun. Club Plage Pereire, a beachfront restaurant, adds to the allure, providing a delightful dining experience amidst the coastal beauty. 

Plage Pereire is accessible by a short bus trip from the center of Arcachon which makes it very accessible and convenient to get to. However, the best way to get there and most beaches on my list is by bike (you can find plenty of bike rentals everywhere in the center). 

Plage Pereire – by Lost in Bordeaux

Plage des Arbousiers

For those seeking a peaceful getaway, Plage des Arbousiers welcomes you with its tranquil atmosphere and vast coastline. My favorite part is the southern stretch of this beach provides a serene escape. The northern section,  called Plage des Abatilles, is a part I don’t particularly love but it offers excitement for adventure seekers with SUP rentals and kite schools. With its laid-back vibe and convenient amenities like the Bikini bar, Plage des Arbousiers ensures a delightful beach experience to remember.

Plage du Moulleau

Often dubbed the beach of the Parisian affluent, Plage du Moulleau charms visitors with its family-friendly vibe and scenic surroundings. Whether arriving by car, bus, or bike, it’s effortlessly accessible, making it a favorite spot for families and beach enthusiasts alike. While summer days may draw bustling crowds, the charm of nearby bars and ice cream shops adds to the allure of a leisurely seaside retreat.

Plage du Moulleau - one of the liveliest beaches in Arcachon
Bars near Plage du Moulleau – by Lost in Bordeaux

So far, we’ve explored the beaches within Arcachon city limits, but now let’s venture to some hidden gems nestled in neighboring Pyla sur Mer, a charming part of La Teste de Buch town. Close to the iconic Dune du Pyla, these coastal treasures await discovery.

Plage Daniel Meller

Located near Pyla-sur-Mer, Plage Daniel Meller offers a serene escape with stunning views of the iconic Dune du Pyla. Ideal for families, it features a playground and grassy areas, providing options for both beachside relaxation and recreational activities. With its picturesque setting and family-friendly amenities, Plage Daniel Meller is a hidden gem awaiting discovery.

Plage Daniel Meller - one of the most beautiful beaches in Arcachon
Plage Daniel Meller – by Lost in Bordeaux

Plage de la Corniche

Tucked away from the crowds, Plage de la Corniche is a true hidden gem of the Bassin d’Arcachon. Accessible via stairs in Pyla-sur-Mer, adjacent to La C(o)orniche hotel, this beach offers a secluded retreat for those seeking tranquility. Surrounded by natural beauty and offering a serene ambiance, Plage de la Corniche is perfect for a peaceful day by the sea.

Le Petit Nice 

Le Petit Nice stands out as a top choice for families seeking a relaxed beach experience. With easy accessibility and free parking, it’s a convenient option for a day of seaside fun. Surrounded by lush forest, it offers picnic areas and a serene atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for a family outing.

A few minutes walk from the beach (next to the parking) you can find a restaurant and a snack bar called Restaurant Le Petit Nice. 

Le Petit Nice  - the most kids friendly beach in Arcachon
Le Petit Nice  – by Lost in Bordeaux

Plage de Salie Sud 

Venturing beyond Arcachon, Plage de Salie Sud awaits on the Atlantic coast, offering an entirely different beach experience. With its crashing waves and surfer-friendly conditions, it’s a haven for water sports enthusiasts. While less suitable for young children, this beach promises an exhilarating adventure for surfers and beachgoers alike.

Le  Salie Sud Beach also has a great surfing school and you can use it as an opportunity to take surfing lessons. You can book a group lesson here.

Whether you seek vibrant energy or secluded serenity, Arcachon’s beaches offer a diverse array of experiences, inviting visitors to explore the beauty of the coastline and create cherished memories by the sea.

If you’re lucky enough to have a few days in Arcachon, here are a few other articles you might find useful

A detailed guide to Arcachon
Best day trips to le Bassin d’Arcachon
15 best things to do with kids in Arcachon
Where to stay in Arcachon
What to do in Cap Ferret
The Best beaches in Cap Ferret
The best camping sites in Cap Ferret and Arcachon

If you’re also visiting Bordeaux be sure to check out my post about the best things to do in the city and the best hotels in Bordeaux. Arcachon is not the only day trip you can do from Bordeaux. The area is full of historic villages and beautiful nature. If you want to discover some of them, I invite you to read my article about the best day trips you can do by train from Bordeaux.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in! 

Cap Ferret is a little coastal town on the Atlantic Ocean famous for its dreamy beaches and thriving oyster culture. Located about an hour’s drive from Bordeaux (depending on traffic), Cap Ferret offers a unique blend of charming finishing villages with wild ocean beaches perfect for surfing. 

Nestled in the famous Arcachon Bay, Cap Ferret is known as the summer getaway for the French upper class, yet despite its growing popularity, it managed to keep its raw atmosphere of simplicity and tranquility. This unique blend of natural beauty, coastal charm, and tranquility makes it a dreamy vacation destination. In this article, you’ll discover the best ways to spend a splendid weekend (or a full week) in Cap Ferret with a list of all the best things to do and eat. 

If it’s your first time visiting Cap Ferret and Arcahcon I highly recommend reading my articles about where to stay in Cap Ferret and what to do in Arcachon city.

The charming villages of Cap Ferret on the Arcachon Bay
The tranquil atmosphere of Cap Ferret – by Lost in Bordeaux

So where is Cap Ferret actually located? 

Lège-Cap Ferret is a peninsula, shaped like a narrow tongue with a long string of beautiful sandy beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and a view of the eastern side of the Bassin. It consists of twelve little villages, one of them being the town of Cap Ferret, located in the southern part of the peninsula. While the town is considered the liveliest on the peninsula, here I’m going to mention other towns as well so that you have the chance to uncover the full charm of this place. 

If you’re short on time I recommend taking the Cap-Ferret, Herbe Village with Tasting Oysters waterfront tour, so you can explore the best Cap Ferret has to offer in half a day. This tour offers a blend of main sites, from the ocean to the iconic lighthouse, along with a touch of history at La Chapelle, culminating in a local oyster-tasting experience. You can Book it here.

What to do in Cap Ferret

Eat oysters of course!

Apart from its dreamy beaches, Cap Ferret is known for its ostréiculture industry, which produces some of the best oysters in France. The Bay’s nutrient-rich waters and unique tidal patterns create an ideal environment for oyster growth, resulting in amazing oysters, with exceptional flavor and quality. So tasting oysters is truly one of the highlights of visiting Cap Ferret.

oysters from Cap Ferret
Tasting oysters in Cap Ferret – by Lost in Bordeaux

Along the Arcachon Bay coast, a multitude of oyster cabins and restaurants dot the landscape. These quaint oyster huts predominantly belong to local oyster farmers, imparting an authentic charm to Cap Ferret. Observing them at work is a fascinating experience, as these traditional methods have been passed down through generations.

One of my favorite Cap-Ferret oyster cabins along the shoreline is La Cabane du Mimbeau. The name refers to the conche du Mimbeau, which is a coastal sand spit, unique only to Cap Ferret. Established in 1860 and continuing through 6 oyster farmers generations, the Cabane specializes in oysters harvested onsite, along with other local delicacies like whelks and terrine, all accompanied by Bordeaux wines. 

Other oyster cabins I recommend are La Cabane d’Hortense, which offers stunning views of the  Dune du Pilat, or Chez boulan, a renowned 1958 oyster farmer and producer with exceptional service and food quality along a beautiful setting. Another great cabin is Le Ponton in l’Herbe, a must-visit spot for oyster lovers. Situated at the end of the picturesque Village of L’Herbe, the ponton offers a serene setting right on the Basin. In addition, It has direct access to the beach, so kids can play while parents eat. A true vacation spirit!

Eating ousters is one of the bets things to do in Cap Ferret
Oyster huts in Cap Ferret – by Lost in Bordeaux

A ride on a traditional oyster-farming boat

For a truly immersive experience, I recommend taking a boat tour on a traditional oyster-farming boat, known as a Pinasse. It will allow you to enjoy the panoramic views of the coastline and learn about the special art of oyster farming from experienced local guides.

Tours you can do in Cap Ferret 

You can take your cruise tour with Pa’tchanquee from the Bassin d’Arcachone to the Dune du Pilat. With a 12-person group on board, they offer a comfortable sailing experience that combines a bit of everything Cap Ferret has to offer: swimming, sightseeing, and oyster tastings. 

You’ll also watch the quaint villages and beautiful beaches along the coastline from the boat, learn about the history of the place, and discover iconic spots like Bird Island and the Banc d’Arguin. You can book your boat tour here!

A ride on a traditional oyster-farming boat in Cap Ferret
A ride on a traditional oyster-farming boat – by Lost in Bordeaux

Compagnie Maritime de la Presqu’île allows you to rent a Pinnace with a skipper from Cap Ferret, and go on a cruise to discover the Arcachon Bay and the Cap Ferret peninsula, as well with a group of up to 12 people.

Go to the beach 

There are a lot of gorgeous beaches in Cap Ferret. From small village beaches and wilder ones on the ocean side, from crowded ones to hidden and quiet ones. La Plage des Américains, Plage de la Truquette, and Plage de l’Herbe are among my favorites, but to see the full list I recommend checking out my article about The best beaches in Cap Ferret

Plage de la Pointe Cap Ferret
Ocean beaches in Cap Ferret – by Lost in Bordeaux

It’s important to note that during the low tide, it’s impossible to swim on the bay side and it’s thus very important to check out the tide hours before going. Heres a site where you can see when the tide is high enough to enjoy the beach.

Surf on the Atlantique Ocean 

With 25 km of coastline, Cap Ferret is full of amazing surfing spots with several surfing schools that offer surfing classes and camps. 

The best surfing spots in Cap Ferret

Truc Vert is one of the favorite among surfers, due to its untouched, wild beauty. This secluded spot is perfect for those seeking tranquility and long, uninterrupted rides on the waves. The Grand Crohot Beach attracts a larger crowd, especially during peak seasons, and offers consistent waves suitable for surfers of all levels. Another busy beach is Torchère Beach, which is situated between L’Herbe and the village of Cap Ferret. It’s a hotspot for surfers during summer. 

Dunes Beach in Cap Ferret promises a quieter surfing experience. Accessible through a charming dune passage, it offers respite from the crowds, especially in the summer months. While the path may require a short walk from Horizon Beach, the view of the Lighthouse makes it well worth the journey.

The best surfing spots in Cap Ferret
A surfing beach in Cap Ferret- by Lost in Bordeaux

Take surfing lessons in Cap Ferret

You can also take surfing classes in one of the many surfing schools in Cap Ferret, as the waves of the Atlantic offer an ideal setting for experimenting and practicing surfing. The Cap Ferret Surf School is great for taking surfing lessons as surfers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the more popular spots. They offer 1 to 5-day courses for all levels, starting at the age of 5. You can book a lesson here

Two other recommended surf schools in Cap Ferret include the Tutti Frutti Surf School and Alex Surf School, both operating at Horizon Beach. Both schools offer individual and group lessons from April to October for all levels.

Enjoy the view from the Lighthouse (Le Phare du Cap Ferret)

The iconic Cap Ferret Lighthouse is a prominent landmark offering a magnificent panorama of the peninsula’s land and coastline. Listed as a historic monument, it welcomes guests for guided tours, allowing exploration of its interior and ascent to the summit via a staircase of 258 steps. 

The lighthouse also hosts changing interactive exhibits that showcase maritime history and its optical system, as well as the evolution of nautical chart creation. 

During summer, the lighthouse operates daily from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and admission prices range from 4€ for children to 7€ for adults. See more details here.

Enjoy the Cap Ferret markets

Local markets are a great way to discover unique finds, fresh delicacies, and local products. Cap Ferret has several different markets you can explore, depending on your time of arrival!

Le marché du Cap Ferret covered market is open all year, on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and daily during the summer months. This traditional covered market, located at Place du Marché, has around 120 exhibitors. You will find there clothes, jewelry, flowers, books and of course, fresh local products as well as typical products from the South-West. 

The market of Cap Ferret
The market of Cap Ferret – by Lost in Bordeaux

During the summer months, From June to September, you can enjoy the open-air markets, Le marché du Cap Ferret, Piraillan, and Claouey, that offer local artisanal goods, such as clothing, flowers, fresh oysters, and regional white wine.

Le marché de Lège is a covered market,  located near the village church. It remains open year-round on Saturdays, and though it is the smallest of the four markets in Cap Ferret, it has some really nice goods! 

Rent a bike to discover other magical parts of the peninsula 

Another fun way to discover Cap Ferret is by cycling along the beaches and through the pine forest that covers a large part of the Cap Ferret peninsula. A beautiful bike trip you can do is taking the circuit from the Plage de Bélisaire to The Pointe du Cap Ferret, which is 10 km long and takes about 1 hour. The route there is stunning and includes some of Cap Ferret’s main landmarks. You’ll see the beach and its magnificent view of the Mimbeau Conche and the Dune du Pilat, Fisherman’s Quarter, and the Lighthouse. To follow the path see the map here.

There are plenty of bike rentals in Cap Ferret, one of them is Bike Rental Cap Gyro (7 Boulevard de la Plage, 33970 Lège-Cap-Ferret). See the full list of rental places here.

Visit the most charming village in Cap Ferret – l’Herbe

l’Herbe stands out as one of the most charming villages in the Arcachon Basin. Wandering through l’Herbe’s narrow streets, while passing by the colorful oyster farmer cabins, you’ll sense the village’s unique charm that lies in its simplicity and authenticity.

The village’s focal point is the Sainte-Marie-du-Cap Chapel, a stunning architectural gem built in the 19th century with neo-Moorish influences. Surrounded by sand and pine trees, the chapel’s exotic facade adds to the village’s allure and serves as a must-visit attraction.

L'herbe - one of the most beautiful villages in Cap Ferret
L’Herbe – by Lost in Bordeaux

During the summer months, l’Herbe comes alive with plenty of water activities along the beachfront. You can embark on scenic canoe or paddleboard excursions or explore the basin’s tranquil waters, And there are even more exhilarating options like parasailing, wake surfing, waterskiing, and more. You can find more information about it here.

Taste Les dunes Blanches 

First Created in 2007 by pastry chef Pascal Lucas’s son, Les Dunes Blanches combines the simplicity of a chouquette (Choux pastry sprinkled with pearl sugar) with a creamy filling, resulting in an instant hit. You can read the full story on their creation in my article Discover the sweet specialties of Bordeaux

Originating from Cap Ferret, no visit is complete without trying these heavenly treats. Elegance, lightness, and crunchiness make Les Dunes Blanches just too good! and fit perfectly at any moment of the day. 

They gained such popularity that dedicated boutiques sprouted across Arcachon, Bordeaux, and even Paris. In Cap Ferret, you can savor them made fresh throughout the day at various locations including Piquey, Canon, and the Marché du Ferret. See the shop locations here.

A guided tour at an oyster farm 

While there are hundreds of oyster producers in Cap Ferret, most of them are not open for visits. Having said that, there are a few farms that work in collaboration with the tourist office to offer guided tours and workshops.

For example, Sylvie Latrille at Cabane 57 in the Piraillan oyster farming district will guide you through a successful oyster experience, accompanied by wine, bread, and butter. For reservations, contact the farm here

For a family-friendly excursion, join Véronique Lenoir on a fishing expedition along the beaches of l’Herbe village during low tide. Discover a variety of marine life, from crabs to starfish, and enjoy a memorable outing suitable for all ages. With Véronique Lenoir, a lively oyster farmer and guide, you have the chance to Walk through the open parks during low tide, discovering the intricacies of oyster farming. Don’t forget suitable footwear for water and sunscreen! For reservations, contact the Office de Tourisme

Sunrise in Cap Ferret
Sunrise in Cap Ferret by Lost in Bordeaux

Most tours are in French but if you’re lucky you might find one that is ready to make an effort in English. Be sure to contact the tourist office before you arrive to see what’s scheduled during your visit.

A day trip to the Town of Arcachon and the dune 

If you’re spending your holidays in Cap Ferret, you must dedicate at least one day to visit the town of Arcachon and the dune. Arcachon, the largest town in Bassin d’Arcachon, offers stunning beaches, picturesque neighborhoods, and delectable seafood. 

From mid-June to September, there’s a ferry that takes you from Cap Ferret to Le Moulleau in Arcachon, in just 20 minutes (leaving from Jetée Bélisaire). For the schedule and ticket reservation click here.
Once you arrive in Arcachon, explore its four distinct regions: the summer city, winter city, autumn city, and spring city. Each area boasts unique attractions, from beautiful beaches and historic villas to vibrant markets and charming parks. for more information, check out my article Best things to do and eat in Arcachon.

The best things to do in Arcachon France
Arcachon France – by Lost in Bordeaux

When visiting Cap Ferret, you also must visit the Dune du Pilat, Europe’s tallest sand dune. Rising to an impressive 110 m high and 500 meters wide, you’ll have plenty of room to wander when reaching up there!

You can climb the dune by stairs that are installed from the end of May to early November. If you come during the low season or just feel energetic, you can just climb straight up the sandy slopes. Once you reach the top, a stunning panoramic view will be revealed in front of you. The Cap Ferret peninsula on one side, a huge pine forest on the other, and the magnificent Banc d’Arguin nature reserve just in front. 

Dune du Pilat on the Arcachon Bay
Dune du Pilat – by Lost in Bordeaux

One of the best experiences you can do there is paragliding! There are a few companies offering paragliding experiences over the dune. Dune Parapente for example offers 10, 20 or 30-minute flights with a breathtaking view of the Dune du Pilat itself, the Arcachon Basin, or the Banc d’Arguin. You can book the experience here.

How to get to the dune: You’ll need a car or a bike to get to the dune from Arcachaon. If you’re coming by public transport, line 3 (Baia company) will take you from the Arcachon train station to Dune to Pilat. To return to Cap Ferret, you can catch the ferry from Le Moulleau, providing a convenient and scenic way to end your day trip.

End the night dancing at Sail Fish 

Existing since 1984, the family restaurant Sail Fish offers a good meal with a festive, “vacation” vibe. Located in the heart of Cap Ferret, it’s a favorite destination for visitors of all ages, offering grilled meats by the fireplace and gourmet desserts. As the evening progresses, the restaurant transforms into a lively hub for dancing, providing the perfect setting to end your night in style!

Where to stay in Cap Ferret 

I have an article with all my recommendations for the best hotels in Cap Ferret but here are three that I particularly like: 

Domaine du Ferret Balnéo & Spa offers a serene retreat, just 500 meters from the beach accessible via a scenic cycle path. With two swimming pools, a spa, and a wellness center featuring hot tubs and massage treatments, your relaxation is promised. You can make a reservation here

Located In the heart of the fishing area, near the lighthouse of Cap Ferret, La Maison du Bassin is a serine and charming boutique hotel. This peaceful retreat offers uniquely decorated rooms, a colonial-themed bar that provides a cozy setting to unwind, and an on-site restaurant for diners that specializes in regional cuisine. You can book a room here.  

If you are looking for a more nature-inspired escape, I recommend Yamina Lodge. It is nestled in the pine forest of Cap-Ferret, Just 600 meters from Dunes Beach and close to The Cap-Ferret Lighthouse. With its warm hospitality and thoughtful amenities, including free bike rentals and access to a jacuzzi, this holiday home gives an extra comfortable and relaxing stay. For reservation go here

If you’re looking for a camping site, Check out my article about the best camping sites in Arcachon and Cap Ferret.

Where to eat in Cap Ferret 

We already established that Oysters are the main product produced in Cap Ferret. But don’t worry, you won’t have to go on an only oyster diet when you’re there. Here are a few recommended restaurants in Cap Ferret:

Le Cabanon du Domaine offers market cuisine with authentic and seasonal flavors. Don’t miss the panoramic terrace in summer and their renowned Sunday brunch. You can make a reservation here.

I love the warm, natural ambiance of Roc Seven Cap Ferret. A beautiful place with good vibes, serving southern cuisine with Latin inspiration with a gorgeous rooftop. You can make a reservation here

Le Bouchon du Ferret offers fresh fish, shellfish, and seafood specialties, everything is fresh and the setting is charming, as the place was once an old Ferret fishmonger. More information on their website

When it’s the best time to go to Cap Ferret 

Cap Ferret is always stunning with its calm beaches and authentic oyster huts. So whenever you’re in Bordeaux, don’t miss a chance to visit the peninsula. However, like everywhere else, there are better and worth times to travel to Cap Ferret. 

The season in Cap Ferret starts around May, sometimes April if the weather is good, and ends at the beginning of October. Outside the season the villages of the Cap Ferret get very calm, there are no outdoor markets and many summer places are closed for winter. It’s not that you won’t find anything to eat but it definitely lacks the summer energy. 

In the high season, especially from mid-July to mid-August, Cap Ferret gets extremely busy. That’s when many French tourists, especially Parisians flock to the peninsula and it can be quite crowded. The main problem however is the traffic. Cap Ferret is a narrow piece of land, with one main road leading to the south. That means that when many people try to get there, the traffic becomes unbearable.

So, after telling you when it’s better to avoid going there, let’s talk about when should you actually go to Cap Ferret. In my opinion, the best time to go to Cap Ferret is May, June, and September. Cap Ferret is also a very popular weekend destination for many Bordelais so if possible try to visit the peninsula during weekdays.  Of course, if you’re staying in Cap Ferret for a few days, and mostly cycling from place to place then you’ll be less affected by traffic and weekends are perfectly fine for you. 

How to get to Cap Ferret 

Cap Ferret is not very easy to get to by public transport so driving is the best to get here by car. If you want to rent a car, here’s a good website to get an idea of how much it is going to cost.

In case you don’t want to drive there that should not deter you from going to Cap Ferret. There is a bus (line 601) that goes from Bordeaux to Cap Ferret. Just keep in mind that it’s quite a long journey as the bus stops in many towns and villages on the way. Here you can find the updated schedule of line 601

If you want a more comfortable way to get there, you can hire a driver for a few hours. With this service, for example, you can hire a car with a driver for 5 hours, which is quite enough for a half-day trip in Cap Ferret. A nice tour of the town and a stop for oysters for lunch. 

If you’re staying in Arcachon, you also have the option to get here by boat. From mid-June to September there’s a ferry that takes you from Le Moulleau to Cap Ferret in just 20 minutes (leaving from Jetée du Moulleau). For the schedule and ticket reservation click here.

Like the article? Want to read it again when you’re in Cap Ferret? Save it on your Pinterest board.

If you’re looking for more ideas for things to do in the Arcachon region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
What to do and eat in the town of Arcachon
Best day trips to le Bassin d’Arcachon
15 best things to do with kids in Arcachon
Where to stay in Arcachon
The Best beaches in Cap Ferret
The best camping sites in Cap Ferret and Arcachon

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

The Lege Cap Ferret peninsula is located in the Western part of Bassin d’Arcachon, a bay on the French Atlantic coast. In this blog, I frequently talk about my love for Cap Ferret with several of its villages mentioned on my day trips to the Arcachon Bay list. 

However, as a local, I can honestly say that one day in Cap Ferret is simply not enough. It’s not a place you go to with a checklist of things to do, it’s a vibe, an atmosphere you need to settle into. To explore Cap Ferret properly you need at least one night there, or even a week if possible. So for those of you ready to be captivated by the charm of Cap Ferret, this article is for you! 

In this article, I gathered a list of hotels and guest houses perfect for single travelers, couples, and families. It includes a few fancy places with a spa but also simple charming huts near the beach. More importantly, you’ll get detailed recommendations and insights on the best villages to stay in the Cap Ferret peninsula, so you can plan your vacation accordingly.
Let’s start 🙂

Where should you stay in Cap Ferret? 

The easiest answer would be everywhere because it’s simply a stunning place. But there’s always a BUT, isn’t there? 🙂 So here I want to briefly explain, why I think some parts of the peninsula are a bit better to stay in than others, depending on your needs. 

Where to stay in Cap Ferret
The beautiful Cap Ferret – by Lost in Bordeaux

The liveliest part of The Cap Ferret peninsula is the southern village called Cap Ferret. Here you will find a big daily market, plenty of amazing beaches, and a lot of restaurants and shops. As the peninsula gets even more narrow in the southern part, it’s easy to walk from the ocean side to the bay side – so you can choose from many beaches every day, without needing a car.

Great accommodations in the Cap Ferret village include La Maison du Bassin, Yamina Lodge, Les Chambres du Phare, or Hôtel Côté Sable.

And here comes the But :). In July- August Cap Ferret gets very busy, which means that the market and most of the restaurants will be packed. So if you’re looking for a slightly calmer atmosphere, without seeing so many people on your way, I’d advise going to some of the quieter fishermen villages in the peninsula. These include l’Herbe or le Canon, and Les Jacquets, which are very charming but a bit less busy. 

Here are some great accommodation opinions in this part of Cap Ferret: Les pieds dans l’eau and Villa des Sables in L’Herbe and Villa Aitama and Les Canonniers in Le Canon.

L'herbe - one of the most beautiful villages in Cap Ferret
L’Herbe

Another very lively part of Cap Ferret is the villages of Petit Piquey and Grand Piquey, which are located in the middle of the peninsula on the bay side. They are not as big and central as the village of Cap Ferret but they perfectly convey the authentic atmosphere of the peninsula. In that part of Lège-Cap-Ferret, you’ll find cute ports with typical oyster huts, some of the most beautiful beaches in Arcachon, and many boutiques. 

The beautiful beaches of Grand Piquey
Grand Piquey – by Lost in Bordeaux

Another thing to keep in mind when staying in Cap Ferret during the summer (or sunny weekends) is the traffic. It can get really bad. Now, if you’re going to Cap Ferret to relax for a few days and have no intention of moving anywhere, that shouldn’t affect you. But if you plan to use it as a base and travel to Bordeaux, Medoc, or other parts of Arcachon then staying in the southern part can be a hustle. Instead, I recommend staying in the northern part of the peninsula in or near the village of Claouey. It still has the charming vibe of Cap Ferret but you avoid most of the bad traffic. 

Here are a few fabulous places in Claouey or at the entrance to Lege Cap Ferret: Flou de Pin, Le Clos D’ignac, and Domaine du Ferret

Let’s get to the best part which is finding accommodation in Cap Ferret! Here are my recommendations with a bit more details. 

The best hotels in Cap Ferret (The Lége Cap Ferret peninsula)

La Maison du Bassin

La Maison du Bassin is one of the most stunning hotels in Cap Ferret, nestled in the fishing area of Cap Ferret, just next to the lighthouse. Staying here you’ll be located in one of the most authentic and charming parts of the peninsula. Just a few minutes walk from the Mimbeau beach and one of the most famous restaurants is Cap Ferret, La Cabane d’Hortense. 

The hotel itself is situated in a stunning wooden house, covered with greenery. It has 11 rooms, delightfully decorated with sea-themed art. The place is pure tranquility, and with its impeccable services ensures a memorable stay for its guests. One of the highlights of La Maison du Bassin is its restaurants with an amazing seafood menu. 
Book your stay here.

Domaine du Ferret Restaurant & Spa

 If you’re looking for a more elevated experience, you should check out the Domaine du Ferret. The 4-star spa hotel offers an onsite outdoor pool, an indoor pool, and a Spa and Wellness center. So to complement the already relaxed spirit of Cap Ferret you also get to enjoy massage treatments 🙂
The domain also has a bar and restaurant on site.

The Domaine du Ferret is composed of separate lodges inspired by the fishermen’s huts of the Bay of Arcachon. All the rooms are decorated in a very clean and soothing vibe and include a kitchen, an AC, and a terrace or a balcony. 

The Domain is located very close to the village of Claouey at the northern end of the Cap Ferret Peninsula. A few minutes walk will take you to one of the most beautiful beaches in Cap Ferret, Jane Boy. It’s a great location if you want to avoid traffic and if you’re planning to bike along the cycling paths of Cap Ferret. 
Book your stay here.

Hôtel Côté Sable

If you fancy a beachfront hotel, this is the place for you! Hôtel Côté Sable is located in the heart of Cap Ferret, just in front of the main beach. Its location on the main boulevard of the village of Cap Ferret puts you in walking distance of most of the restaurants as well as the fishing port with its oyster huts. 

The hotel itself is nicely designed with spacious rooms and either a small private garden or a balcony. On summer days you can enjoy their sea-facing bar and when it gets a bit chilly outside there’s a lounge with a fireplace for you to enjoy. The hotel is also home to the Clarins Spa facility which offers massages, a balneotherapy, and a hammam. You can also rent bikes and even boats at the hotel reception. 

This is an amazing option for those who want to be in the hyper center of Cap Ferret and enjoy everything without driving. Be aware though that it’s located in the south of the peninsula so if you have plans to come in July-August and travel a lot during your stay, I’d take a place in the northern part. 
Book your stay here.

Cabane Bord de Plage

Cabane Bord de Plage is located on one of my favorite beaches in Cap Ferret. Plage des Jacquets is one of the more hidden gems of the peninsula and that’s why the cabane is a perfect fit for anyone looking for a more isolated experience. Here you can enjoy the tranquility of Lége Cap Ferret even on its busiest days. 

The hotel is nestled just north of the little Forêt de Lège et Garonne which is amazing for morning walks and a great place to watch the sunrise. You’re also located within walking distance from one of the smallest oyster ports where you can see the ostréiculteurs at work. 

It’s a tiny and cozy cabane with one room and a living room with a convertible sofa, perfect for a couple or a family with kids. 

Book your stay in the Cabane here

Villa Aitama

If you’re traveling with a big family or a group of friends I highly recommend this stunning villa at the village of Le Canon. 

Villa Aitame offers nine apartments ranging from small studios for couples to an apartment that can host up to 7 people. In total, Villa Aitama can host up to 32 people if you rent all of it (you don’t have to of course). All the apartments are equipped with a kitchen as well as a separate toilet and bathroom. All of their accommodations have a terrace or a balcony so even if you travel with a lot of people you don’t have to be in each other’s face all day long 🙂 

The villa is located within a 50m distance of the Canon beach, and particularly close to its oyster port, which is the most charming port in Cap Ferret. You will be located very close to commerce and other restaurants of Le Canon, and within a 10-minute walk from the charming village of L’Herbe. The villa is also located 10 minutes by bike from the stunning ocean beaches.
Book your stay here

The cute port of Le Canon and its oyter huts
The cute port of Le Canon and its oyster huts

Yamina Lodge

Another amazing option for a big group is Yamina Lodge, located in the south of the peninsula in the village of Cap Ferret. It’s a wooden house nestled in the forest and has a bit of a rustic beautiful vibe to it. It’s a private lodge that can host up to 8 people in total and is equipped with a big kitchen, 2 bathrooms as well as an outdoor dining area. 

Yamina Lodge is located just between the ocean and the Bassin (Arcachon Bay) beaches, with the closest beach being the stunning Dune beach on the ocean. Pascal the lovely owner provides you with bicycles to facilitate moving around the peninsula. However, you can easily just walk to most of the places in the Cap Ferret village, like the fishermen’s port or the lighthouse. 
Book your stay here.

Plage de la Pointe Cap Ferret

Need more ideas for things to do in and around Bordeaux? you should definitely join my newsletter where I share all the best events in the region and all my other Bordeaux discoveries. I send an email every Friday in the afternoon– sign up here.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

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If you’re looking for more ideas for things to do in the Arcachon region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
The best things to do in Cap Ferret
What to do and eat in the town of Arcachon
Best day trips to le Bassin d’Arcachon
15 best things to do with kids in Arcachon
Where to stay in Arcachon
The Best beaches in Cap Ferret
The best camping sites in Cap Ferret and Arcachon

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

When visiting Bordeaux, you absolutely must leave yourself at least a few days to explore the magical Gironde region. The wine capital is surrounded by charming villages, impressive chateaux, vineyards, and sandy beaches. There are plenty of amazing day trips from Bordeaux however they are not very easy to find online.

In this article, I created a list of some of my favorite favorite day trips from Bordeaux. I tried to make it as diverse as possible and to include everything from famous wine areas to medieval villages and oyster farms. So I promise you that everyone can plan a perfect excursion from Bordeaux using this list.

It’s important to note that most of these locations are not very accessible by public transport, so renting a car is recommended. If want to avoid driving be sure to check out my article about the best day trips from Bordeaux by train.

A day trip to the vineyards of Bordeaux

Visiting Saint Émilion and its wineries

Saint Émilion is probably the most famous day trip from Bordeaux. The world-renowned wineries and its picturesque center abundant with wine shops and restaurants attract more than a million visitors each year.  

The charming medieval town is worth a visit even if you’re not a wine lover. Important historical monuments, dating back as far as the 11th and 12th centuries can be found here in abundance. One of the famous monuments is the 11th-century Monolithic church, the largest underground church in Europe carved from a limestone cliff.

You can plan a perfect day trip from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion with my detailed guide.

Saint Emilion - the best day trip from Bordeaux
The Medieval town of Saint Emilion – Lost in Bordeaux

The Saint Emilion region is however most famous for its fabulous wine. So if you made it all the way there, I highly recommend visiting at least one winery. I have a list of some of my favorite wineries to visit in Saint Emilion, that I’ve built following many numerous visits there. 

It’s quite easy to organize a self-guided day trip to Saint Emilion but I know that many people rather take a guided tour. In this area, there are quite a few companies specializing in tours to the wine region. One tour that I highly recommend is a full-day trip to Saint Emilion offered by Ophorus. The tour includes a visit to three wineries and a walk in the medieval city center. 

How to get there: My personal recommendation is to rent a car. It will allow you to visit any chateau you like and not only the ones that are close to the center of Saint Emilion. Having said that, Saint Emilion is one of the easiest places to get to by public transport from Bordeaux. A direct 40-minute train from Gare Saint Jean in Bordeaux will take you to the train station of Saint Emilion. You can buy the tickets online or at the train station.

The Medoc Wine Route – La route des châteaux 

La route des châteaux in Medoc is the most scenic route in the Bordeaux wine region. The famous wine route (on the D2 road) starts at the northern part of Bordeaux Metropole (in the town of  Blanquefort) and continues to the northern part of Gironde. All along the way you can admire captivating châteaux embellishing the endless landscape of lush vineyards. 

There are about 600 châteaux along the Medoc wine trail. You probably won’t have time to visit most of them, but luckily, some of the most beautiful ones can be seen from the road so all you have to do is stop for a quick photo. 

Château Cos D’estournel - one of the most beautiful wineries to visit in Medoc
Château Cos D’estournel – Lost in Bordeaux

The most famous wine houses (like Château Margeaux and Château Mouton Rothschild) are open only to professionals but don’t worry, there are plenty of beautiful properties you can visit. Some of the prettiest and more interesting are Château d’Arsac, Château Lamothe Bergeron and Château Cos d’Estournelle

I have a list of all my favorite wineries to visit in Medoc that can help when planning your day trip. Some wineries have restaurants or wine bars for a drink in the summer (like Château Marquis de Terme and Château Chasse-Spleen). Make sure you book your visit to the wineries before going there as it can get quite busy in the summer.

Personally, the Medoc is one of my favorite areas to visit around Bordeaux and I think it deserves at least a weekend. If you have the chance to spend more time here, read my article about a weekend in Medoc

How to get there: Just like Saint Emilion, I believe that wine routes are best discovered by car. Here’s a good website to look for car rentals in case you don’t have a car. However, there are a few great wineries you can visit by train from Bordeaux – here’s my article with all you need to know. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of organizing the trip, you can take a great half day guided tour to Medoc and visit two wineries.

Cognac – the town and the Brandy

Wine is not the only alcoholic drink Southwest France is known for! Bordeaux is located about 120 km (75 miles) from Cognac, an area that produces one of the most luxurious spirits in the world. 

The charming town of Cognac, located in the Charente department, merits a visit even if you’re not a big Cognac lover. The old center of the city is characterized by narrow paved streets with houses dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. You can read about the best places to visit and where to eat in my article about Cognac

Tasting Cognac
Tasting Cognac – Lost in Bordeaux

Some of the most famous Cognac houses are located right in the city center, among them, you’ll find Hennessy, Martell, and Rémy Martin.  All of them offer tours which normally include a visit to the cellars and Cognac tastings. Here’s my article on the best distilleries to visit in the Cognac region. 

How to get to Cognac: you can get there by train but not a direct one. You’ll have to change trains in Saintes or Angouleme, depending on the time of your departure. You can book your tickets here. You can also take this excellent private tour from Bordeaux to Cognac. On this tour, you get to visit the town as well as three Cognac distilleries.

Discover the best beach towns around Bordeaux

Arcachon

Arcachon is one of the most popular summer destinations in the southwest of France. A seaside resort town renowned for its beautiful beaches, impressive architecture, and vibrant atmosphere. Within an hour’s drive from Bordeaux, you get to swim in the ocean, eat oysters and see extravagant villas. 

A day to Arcachon is best to be combined with a trip to the Dune du Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe. To help you organize the trip I wrote a detailed guide about how to spend a day in Arcachon. There I included everything from restaurants, hidden gems, and ways to get there and to the dune. 

A day trip to Dune du Pilat
Pune du Pilat – Lost in Bordeaux

The Arcachon Bay is also home to many other smaller and undiscovered villages. So if you have a car and a bit more time I highly recommend visiting them too. Here’s my article about all the places to visit on the Bay

How to get to Arcachon: the town of Arcachon is one of the easiest day trips by train. However, if you want to easily visit some of the other places on Arcachon Bay, renting a car is highly recommended. 

If you don’t really want to visit another town and just wish to taste oysters and visit the dune, I recommend taking this tour.

For those who have more than a day to dedicate to Arcachon, I highly recommend spending the night there. Here’s my article about the best hotels in Arcachon.

Soulac sur Mer

This charming little town is one of the highlights of the Medoc region. It’s located on the very top of the Medoc Atlantique, about 90 km (55 miles) from Bordeaux. If this is too far for you, you can combine it with the wine trail in Medoc which I mentioned above.

Soulac sur Mer is a resort town that resembles Arcachon and is even nicknamed “little Arcachon”. The city center looks like Ville d’été and the impressive 18th-century villas look just like Ville d’Hiver. The town has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Atlantic coast, attracting many French tourists. There are plenty of cute little restaurants both in the center and on the promenade. 

Villas in Soulac sur Mer
Villas in Soulac sur Mer

When there, take a map from the tourist office and go on a discovery tour of the most interesting villas. I highly recommend coming here at the beginning of June during the festive weekend of Soulac 1900, a really fun Jazz festival.

How to get to Soulac: If you don’t want to drive for 1.5 hours from Bordeaux, you can take a direct train from Bordeaux. You can buy tickets here.

Cap Ferret

The Cap Ferret peninsula is located in the Western part of Bassin d’Arcachon (Arcachon Bay). Shaped like a narrow tongue it runs along a string of beautiful sandy beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and small villages on the Bassin side.

Its most southern village, called Cap Ferret, has been traditionally known as a summer getaway for the French upper class. Despite its growing popularity among locals and tourists, it has yet to lose its relaxing seaside village atmosphere.

Cap Ferret - on of the best day trips from Bordeaux
The Cap Ferret peninsula – Lost in Bordeaux

Cap Ferret is also known for being one of the biggest oyster-growing areas in Frace. Its strategic location on Arachon Bay creates perfect climate conditions for the ostréiculture industry. You can find numerous oyster huts in every port in Cap Ferret and other oyster-farming villages like L’herbe and Le Canon. Having a plate of oysters with a glass of cold white wine is an absolute must! 

How to get there: You can get there by bus number 601, but honestly it’s a long journey that I wouldn’t recommend. The best way is to get there by car. It’s also possible to get there by boat from Arcachon town.

The Biscarrosse lake

This one is a great option for a day in nature. If you don’t mind driving a bit longer, the beautiful Biscarrosse Lake is located about 70 km (45 miles) from Bordeaux. It is one of the biggest lakes in the area with plenty of amazing beaches and pine forest surrounding it. If you need an idea for a day out of Bordeaux with kids, a trip to Biscarrose is perfect!

Plage de Caton - Lac Cazaux, Biscarrosse
Plage de Caton – Lost in Bordeaux

There are several beaches to choose from, some of my favorites are Plage Navarrose and Plage de Caton. Aquapark, the biggest inflatable water park in France is located on Plage Maguide. If you’re into surfing, head to the beaches on the Atlantic coast. You can also start the day with a biking trail on the canal, connecting the big and little lakes.

If you prefer ocean beaches head to Biscarrosse Ocean, a seaside town with a huge beach and plenty of restaurants. You need a car to get to all these beaches from Bordeaux. 

A day trip to the beautiful villages and towns around Bordeaux

Bazas

Bazas is a beautiful little town with lovely people and a great heritage embodying the Gascony culture. It’s located at the eastern edge of the Gascon Landes forest, about 65 km (40 miles) from Bordeaux. 

A stroll in the historic center will allow you to discover the rich history of the city and its past role as an important bishopric. On your stroll, you’ll see the Gothic cathedral (a UNESCO heritage site), old mansions, gardens, and historic monuments.

Bazas
Bazas by lost in Bordeaux

Architecture is not the only attraction in Bazas, it’s actually famous for its gastronomy, especially its meat. You can enjoy the Bazas meat in one of the restaurants that are perfectly located on the main square. True meat lovers could also buy meat in one of the many butcher shops in the center. 

If you’re looking for a full gastronomic experience to discover the cuisine of the region, I highly recommend this guided tour. Anne, an American living in Bazas is an expert on everything related to food in the region. She knows all the farmers and chefs around Bazas and a guided tour with her is an experience you don’t want to miss.

Blaye

Blaye is one of the most beautiful villages in the Bordeaux area, located only about 50 km (30 miles) from Bordeaux. This little town has a long military and strategic history and is mostly known for its remarkable Citadel. 

The Citadel and the city walls are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entrance to the Citadel is free and you can explore the streets and ramparts admiring the view of the Gironde estuary which can be seen from the top. 

Blaye
Blaye – by Lost in Bordeaux

Blaye is also known for its wine, which ia labeled under the Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux appellation. You can visit the Maison du Vin on the main street (12 Cours Vauban). They will gladly introduce you to the wines of the area and the chateaux you can visit around Blaye. Château Monconseil-Gazin is one of my favorite red wines from Blaye and you can book a visit there

How to get to Blaye: The easiest way to get there is by car or by ferry if you’re coming from the other side of the Gironde estuary. The ferry is leaving from Lamarque, see the schedule.

Visit castles in the South of Gironde

South Gironde is a magical landscape of history and gascon tradition. It’s a rural area, abundant with beautiful medieval villages and ancient castles. One of the most impressive castles is Château de la Brede, located only 30 minutes from Bordeaux. The 14th-century castle, built in a Gothic style was the residence of Montesquieu. Today the castle is a museum dedicated to the life and work of the famous French philosopher. The château is open for visits from April to November.

Château de la Brede
Château de la Brede

Another castle to visit is Château de Cadillac located in a charming little town that goes by the same name. The impressive chateau is best known for being a women’s prison starting from the French Revolution until 1950. Now it serves as a museum that mostly displays the life of the royals who were occupying the estate before it became a prison. However, on the last floor, you can actually still see the cells and an exhibition about the prison.

Other stunning castles include Château de Roquetaillade, Château Royal de Cazeneuve, and Château de Vayres. You need a car to be able to visit the castles of Gironde. You can easily find a car from the center of Bordeaux here.

Bergerac

I can go on and on about day trips you can do from Bordeaux to the Dordogne region. You can visit stunning castles, gardens, and some of the most beautiful French villages in less than two hours drive. 

But for the purpose of this article I decided to choose one destination in Dordogne, the town of Bergerac. The charming capital of Purple Perigord is one located about 115 km from Bordeaux, about 1.5 hours drive, without traffic. When you decide to go there, take a look at my detailed guide to Bergerac to help you plan the day. 

Bergerac labeled as Ville d'art et d'histoire
Art in Bergerac – Lost in Bordeaux

Bergerac is seated on the banks of the Dordogne giving it a beautiful view of the river. You can take a tour of the gabarre (Dordogne’s traditional boat) and discover the history of the city as well as the natural reserve around it. In the city center, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, a great market, and long shopping streets. 

The area is also known for its wine and you can combine your trip there with a visit to a château. One of the most famous ones is the beautiful Château de Monbazillac, which is located only 15 minutes away. It’s known for its sweet white wine.

Château de Monbazillac
Château de Monbazillac – lost in Bordeaux

 If you’re going to Bergerac on a Saturday, don’t miss the great market in Sainte Foy la Grande which is just on the way from Bordeaux.

How to get to Bergerac: There’s a direct train from Bordeaux to Bergerac, the same one that stops at Saint Emilion. You can buy your tickets online or at the train station. 

It’s your first time in Bordeaux?

If you’re visiting Bordeaux for the first time, be sure to check out my ultimate guide to Bordeaux to get familiar with all the must-see places in Bordeaux. To help you choose a hotel in Bordeaux I’ve gathered a list of the best hotels in the center of Bordeaux as well as a guide to the districts of Bordeaux to help you find your preferred location.

Before I end my article, here are a few other articles you might want to read when you’re traveling around Bordeaux:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Best places to visit on the Arcachon Bay
A weekend in Medoc- Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion
A weekend in Toulouse

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

Andernos Les Bains is a lovely beach town in the heart of Arcachon Bay, situated midway between Cap Ferret and Arcachon City. While less familiar to most tourists visiting Bordeaux, this town is an amazing spot for a perfect summer vacation. Fresh oysters, beautiful beaches, summer fashion boutiques, and great restaurants are only some of the marvels Andernos has to offer. 

Andernos les Bains is one of my favorite places on Arcachon, a spot I tend to visit several times a year since moving here so I feel like writing about it is a bit overdue. In this article, I will help you discover the best things to do in Andernos les Bains, where to eat your oysters, and where to stay. 

Andernos les Bains - one of the best destinations in Arcachon
The charming Andernos – Lost in Bordeaux

If you want to discover other towns on Arcachon Bay read my article about a day trip to Arcachon. And if you want to go to the famous Dune du Pilat, you should probably combine it with the town of Arcachon instead of Andernos. I have a detailed guide to Arcachon and Dune du Pilat

Let’s discover the best things to do in Andernos les Bains!

Best things to do in Andrenos les Bains

Enjoy the cute town center

Andernos les Bains has one of the most charming town centers among the towns of Arcachon. You can find plenty of little restaurants, shops, and cute boutiques on the main shopping street Avenue de Pasteur, and around Place David Gambetta. Plenty of music and entertaining events usually take place on this square during the summer (see the events of Andernos later in the article).

Andernos les Bains - One of the most beautiful towns of Arcachon
Jazz festival in the center of Andernos les Bains – Lost in Bordeaux

I personally prefer to eat at the oyster port (see all the info about that later) but if you want to start your day with a nice coffee/ breakfast near the beach, that’s a great place to do that. There’s also a big variety of restaurants here for those who don’t like seafood. Two good ones to try are La Maison restaurant and Le Cochon Volant for more traditional local food. 

From Place David Gambetta, you will see the Jetee d’Andernos les Bains, the longest pier in France. Don’t be lazy and take a walk on the pier to see the beautiful view of the Bassin d’Arcachon. If you look carefully you’ll spot all of its symbols the beaches, the town of Arcachon, Les Cabanes Tchanquées, the Cap Ferret peninsula, and more.

Andernos les Bains -  longest pier in France
The longest pier in France in Andernos-les-Bains – Lost in Bordeaux

When the tied is low, you can take the stairs at the end of the pier and take a walk in the wide intertidal area. It’s quite an extraordinary site and feels like walking on the moon.

Andernos les Bains - a walk of the beach
Andernos les Bains in the winter – Lost in Bordeaux

Visit the Andernos market

There are several markets taking place on different days in Andernos les Bains, the main one of them is the marché couvert which is open all year long. It’s not the biggest market in Arcachon, (one in la Teste de Buch is actually my favorite one) but it’s a very nice covered market that offers all the main local food.

I particularly love the fish stand which also has a big selection of interesting seafood salads. In the late morning, you will encounter a lot of locals having an early glass of wine at the market bar. That’s a really great place to buy all the ingredients for a perfect beach picnic. 

The market is located at Place Camille Goubet, about 10 minute’s walk from the main shopping street. The Andernos market is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 7 am to 2 pm all year long and every day during the summer season. See more details about that and other markets in Andernos les Bains here.

Eay oysters at the Oyster port of Andernos

Now let’s go to my favorite place in Andernos les Bains, the Oysters Port. Port Ostréicole (oyster farming port) is a common feature in the villages on Bassin d’Arcachon and Andernos has one of the best ones. 

Stroll the alleys of the port admiring the colorful cabins, the pinasses (oyster boats), and the pools with fresh oysters you’re going to taste in a minute.

traditional oyster farmirg boats at the oyster port of Andernos les bains
traditional oyster farmirg boat – Lost in Bordeaux

It’s time to taste some oysters! 

There are tens of oyster cabins at the port, you can just stroll the port until you choose the one you like the most. Here are two that I like: Cabane Rossignol with its great service and La Station des Gus (cabane 21) which is beautifully decorated. 

Where to eat oysters in Arcachon - Andernos les Bains
Oysters plate in Andernos les Bains – Lost in Bordeaux

If it’s your first time in Arcachon, you should know that oyster cabins have a license to serve oysters, shrimps, pork paté, and some sea snails. If you don’t like any of these, you should probably go to one of the regular seafood restaurants at the port, that also serve fish. The restaurants are located in the northern part of the port, here are two good ones: Chez Huguette and Eliette.

Hiking at The Quinconces site 

If you love hiking, you came to the right place! Andernos les Bains happens to be home to one of the most beautiful natural reserves on Arcachon. The Quinconces natural site (Site Naturel des Quinconces), is part of a preserved area between Andernos and Ares. This wild nature site includes the Pointe des Quinconces, which offers a magnificent view of the Bassin.

the Quinconces natural site in Andernos les Bains - a beautiful hike
The Quinconces natural site in Andernos les Bains – Lost in Bordeaux

You can start your walk from the port, just enter the site and get lost between the marshes and the forest. At the site, you can also find a beautiful wild beach, which is one of the hidden gems of Andernos. It’s usually quieter than the regular beach of Andernos and is more scenic with pine trees behind. 

You can also take a tour of the site offered by the tourist office, here are the details to contact them.

Go to the beach

As Andernos les Bains is a beach town, going to the beach is one of the primary activities here! 

However,  you should remember that Andernos is located on Arcachon Bay, which means that the tide changes are quite big. When the tide is at its lowest, the sea is so far from the beach that you can barely see the water. So before going, check out the daily tide hours

There are three main beaches in Andernos les Bains. Plage de la Jetée is located in the city center. It’s very central and kids friendly, however when the tide is high the beach can become quite narrow especially close to the pier.

Plage de la Jetée - the central beach of Andernos les Bains
Plage de la Jetée – the central beach of Andernos – Lost in Bordeaux

La Plage du Betey is the bigger and better beach in Andernos. It’s located at the Port de Plaisance du Betey (the marina of Andernos). It has many beach activities, showers, toilets, and some fast restoration options. 

My favorite beach is located just next to the port (Plage du Port Ostreicole), it’s a bit calmer and has a lot of space even when the tide is high. As I mentioned earlier, if you want something a bit more quiet and wild, go to the Plage de Quinconces.

Water activities in Andernos les Bains 

There are plenty of water activities you can do around Andernos. Everything from sailboarding to SUP and surf classes.

In the summer the region gets quite busy so be sure to book all these activities a bit in advance.

andernos les bains

How to get to Andernos les Bains from Bordeaux 

The best way to get here is by car. It’s one of the places in Arcachon where traffic is not bad even in the summer. And usually, parking is not that hard to find, so if you have the option to rent a car I highly recommend it. 
But you can actually get here by bus from Bordeaux too. Line 601 leaves from the Quinconces station every 30 – 45 minutes during the day and has several stops in Andernos les Bains, including the center. See all the info, including the timeline – here.

Where to stay in Andernos les Bains 

Andernos les Bains has plenty of small boutique hotels and amazing camping sites. One hotel I particularly like is L’Anderenis Boutique Hôtel, a beautiful boutique hotel in the hyper center of Arcachon and a minute’s walk from the beach. 

If you’re coming here with a group of friends or a big family, this villa in the city center is perfect for you. It’s located within a few minutes walk from all the shops and restaurants and not far from the oysters port. 

What events not to miss in Andernos les Bains 

There are a lot of small events taking place in Andernos les Bains, I update about these in my newsletter throughout the year.  However, there are a few big events that attract many people from Bordeaux and other towns in the region. 

Here are the best events in Andernos les Bains:

Andernos Jazz Festival – a big Jazz festival at the end of July with plenty of free concerts in the city center and on the beaches. 

Cabanes en Fête every December, Andernos is celebrating its oysters with a weekend of music, white wine, and oysters of course. 

The Jazz festival in Andernos les Bains
The Jazz festival in Andernos les Bains – Lost in Bordeaux

I have plenty more articles about the Bassin d’Arcachon to help you plan the perfect stay there, so check them out!

Where to stay in Arcachon
Best camping sites in Arcachon and Cap Ferret
Best beaches in Cap Ferret 
What to do with kids in Arcachon 
Best things to do in Arcachon 
All the best towns to visit around the Arcachon Bay

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

Arcachon is one the prettiest resort towns in the Southwest of France. You can make it a quick day trip and wholly enjoy it, but I highly recommend spending a few nights to fully absorb the Arcachon experience. In this article, I gathered a list of the best hotels in Arcachon as well as some tips regarding the best places to stay in Arcachon. 

This list includes hotels only, so if you’re looking to stay on a camping website – check my article about the best camping sites in Arcachon and Cap Ferret

 If you have a few days to spend around Arcachon Bay, check out my article about the best places to visit in Arcachon

Where to stay in Arcachon and some important tips

Where should you stay in Arcachon? 

The city is divided into 4 parts, the most central one is Ville d’Ete (the summer town). That is where most of the restaurants, shops, and other attractions are located. So if you want to be close to everything within a short walking distance – that’s where you should stay.

However, other parts of the city are not less charming so if you’re traveling by car/ bike, you should consider them as well. Other parts of the city include the winter city with its amazing 19th-century villas, the port, the beaches, and the Le Moulleau neighborhood. In my Arcachon guide, I have a detailed explanation of what to expect in every neighborhood. 

Ville d'hiver  - one of the best neighborhoods in Arcachon
Ville d’hiver

A few important tips when booking your hotel

The southwest of France can get very hot in the summer, so be sure to book a place with AC if you are visiting during peak season around July-August. It has become a must in the last few years but not all places provide it so double-check.

Parking is not easy to find in Arcachon during the summer season and even if you do find one close to your hotel it can be rather expensive. So if you’re coming by car, try to look for a hotel that offers a parking option. These are not free but it’s usually cheaper per day than the ones offered outside.

Restaurants on the riverfront of Arcachon
Coffee places in Arcachon

Breakfast – most hotels offer that option. If you’re located in Ville d’Ete, just know that you have plenty of coffee places where you can have a light breakfast, so don’t feel obliged to have one at the hotel.

Best hotels in Arcachon

Le B d’Arcachon

Le B d'Arcachon - one of the best hotels in Arcachon
Le B d’Arcachon

If you’re looking to stay as close as possible to the main beach of Arcachon this is the hotel for you! Le B d’Arcachon is a popular 4-star hotel with direct access to the beach. The hotel is located in Ville d’Eté,  a few minutes walk from the train station, the theater, and the market. 

The rooms have a modern clean design to them, as well as other spaces such as the breakfast hall. Breakfast is not included in the normal price of the room but you can add one if you want a nice start to the day with a view of the beach. 

Many of the rooms have a little balcony with a beautiful view, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy on the beautiful summer days of Arcachon. You can also rent bikes at the hotel and go on a ride along the beach.

Pets are welcomed upon request. There’s a private parking option at the hotel at an extra cost. 

Book it here

Residhome Arcachon Plazza

People traveling with kids or for a longer period of time will probably prefer staying in an apartment. If that’s something you’re looking for, I have a great option for you – Residhome Arcachon Plazza.

This beautiful aparthotel building is located at the most central place in Arcachon in Ville d’Ete. It’s a short walking distance from the main beach, the market, the train station, the casino of Arcachon as well as other important facilities. 

Every room has a small kitchen complete with a refrigerator so you can buy the best ingredients at the Arcachon market and cook in your apartment. The rooms come with air conditioning and Wifi. 

Private parking is available on-site, however, it’s an extra cost. 

Book your room here.

Where to stay with kids in Arcachon
Arcachon – a family friendly vacation

If you’re traveling with kids, learn about all the best kids-friendly activities Arcachon has to offer

Hôtel Villa-Lamartine

Another great hotel in the center of Arcachon (Ville d’Ete) is Hôtel Villa-Lamartine. It’s a 3- stars boutique hotel situated in a beautiful Arcachon villa. Located within a few minutes walk from the main beach and the train station, and surrounded by plenty of boutiques and restaurants. 

Hôtel Villa Lamartine - one of the best places to stay in Arcachon
Hôtel Villa Lamartine

This small hotel offers only 20 rooms, which include a few simple rooms as well as larger family rooms and beautiful suites. The rooms are beautifully designed but in a more traditional way with darker colors and heavy wooden beds. It’s fully renovated and has some great facilities like terrace tables for breakfast and a spa. 

The hotel has two conference rooms and is often rented to companies attending the events at the conference center of Arcachon.

The hotel provides private parking at an extra cost of 25 euros a day.

Their prices are very good considering their amazing location and great facilities.

 Book your room here

Victoria Boutique Hotel

Victoria Boutique Hotel is a great option for an affordable modern hotel. It’s the newest hotel on my list, opened in 2020 so all rooms are new and spotless. 

The hotel is quite chic and would please people who love a more modern clean design. It’s a very small boutique hotel with only 3-4 rooms on every floor. Pro tip: If you choose the ground floor rooms they come with a small private garden 😉

The hotel also has a cool rooftop where you can have breakfast or a drink.

Victoria Boutique Hotel good value for money
Victoria Boutique Hotel

Victoria Hotel is not as central as the other hotels on this list but still located within a walking distance from the beach and the commercial center of Arcachon. 

The gives is great value for money, as during the season you can find rooms at around 200 euros per night, which is quite rare for a 4-star hotel in Arcachon.

Book your room here.

Hôtel Ville d’Hiver

Now moving to one of my favorite parts of Arcachon City – Ville d’Hiver. The winter town, built on the hills of the city in the late 19th century, attracts many visitors thanks to its gorgeous architecture. While it’s a bit farther away from the beach and the restaurants, it offers a calm magical atmosphere. 

If that sounds like a place you want to stay in this next hotel is for you!

Hôtel Ville d'Hiver  - the best hotel in Ville D'Hiver  in Arcachon
Hôtel Ville d’Hiver

Located in a beautiful complex with several separate villas for the guests. It has a beautiful garden inviting you to walk around and enjoy the scenery. The highlight of this hotel is the restaurant which offers a big menu of local specialties. 

The hotel is located about 15 minutes walk from the main beach. But to compensate for that in the summer you can enjoy their pool as well as a small spa facility. 

The only disadvantage is that the hotel can be a bit somber in the lobby and the rooms on the ground floor. Try to get a room with a terrace if you stay there. 

Other than that it’s a very cool well kept hotel. 

Book your room here.

Hotels close to Dune du Pilat

La Co(o)rniche

If you’re looking for a luxury experience, I would highly recommend going to La Co(o)rniche!

La Co(o)rniche is a 5-star hotel designed by Philippe Starck with the most amazing view of Dune du Pilat and the Bassin d’Arcachon. It has a very chic pastel-colored design and each room is unique. Every room has a balcony or a private terrace with a beautiful view. 

The Co(o)rniche is located just a few minutes by car from the Dune du Pilat but you can also access the dune by foot from the beach. 

infinity swimming pool at La Co(o)rniche

The highlight of this hotel is the infinity swimming pool with a view of the ocean, where you can relax and enjoy the stunning scenery with a cocktail at their outdoor bar. The hotel is open all year long and when it’s too cold to use the outdoor pool, the hotel guests can use the indoor pool at their sister hotel Ha(a)ïtza.

Book your room here.

Ha(a)ïtza

As previously mentioned Ha(a)ïtza is the sister hotel of La Corniche and another project of Philippe Starck. It has a delicate style with warm white tones and touches of steel. 

It’s yet another 5-star luxury hotel that hosts one of the best restaurants in Arcachon – the two-Michelin-starred  Le Skiff Club. They also have a bistro with great food and more affordable prices. 

Haaitza - one of the bets hotels near Dune du Pilat
One of the restaurants at Ha(a)itza

The highlight of the hotel is the covered swimming pool under a glass roof that’s open all year long. Ha(a)itza also offers other great facilities like a spa, a fitness room, and a hairdresser. 

The hotel is located on the main street of Pyla sur Mer, the quiet town of Dune du Pilat. Within a few minutes walk from the hotel you can enjoy the calm beaches of Dune du Pilat which are the best ones to go to when the main beaches are getting too crowded. 

Book your room here.

Hope this article will help you find the best place for your Arcachon vacation!

Don’t forget to check all my other Bordeaux-related articles before traveling to the region!

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

Apart from luxurious wine, the Bordeaux area is also known for its beautiful beaches. Arcachon is one of the most popular beach destinations in the region, however, there are quite a few other beaches Gironde has to offer. In this article, I want to share my favorite beaches, the ones I consider to be the best beaches near Bordeaux.

My list includes both lake beaches, ocean beaches, and of course the best beaches on the Bassin d’Arcachon. There are many more gorgeous beaches in the Southwest of France but I made sure to include only those that are located within a reasonable distance from the center of Bordeaux. Hope you’ll enjoy the article and the beaches around Bordeaux 🙂

best beaches around Bordeaux in Gironde
Beaches near Bordeaux

*Note: most beaches require a car to get to, click here if you need to rent a car in Bordeaux. Also, my article doesn’t include beaches in Cap Ferret, as I have a dedicated article for that.

Before we start, here are a few other articles you might want to read when you’re traveling around Bordeaux:
Best places to visit on the Arcachon Bay
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches and villages 
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport

You can also join my Facebook group “Travel in the southwest of France” where many enthusiasts of the region share their recommendations for places to visit and things to do in the southwest of France.

Lake beaches near Bordeaux 

Plage du Lac d’Hostens – South of Gironde

Hostens Lac is one of the highlights of the South Gironde region. Domaine des Lacs d’Hostens is located at the heart of the Landes de Gascogne forest (50km from Bordeaux) and has one of the most beautiful beaches in our area. 

There are actually 5 lakes at the domain but the beach is located on the shores of Lake of Lamothe. There’s also a restaurant and a snack bar next to the beach so no worries if you didn’t come prepared. 

Lac d'Hostens - one of the most beautiful beaches around Bordeaux
Lac d’Hostens – Lost in Bordeaux

This place is much more than just a nice place to swim. Hostens offers plenty of water activities such as kayaks and pedaling as well as hiking trails, mountain bike trails, and more. You can get more information about the activities at the tourist information point which is located next to the parking at the entrance to the Domain or read some of it here.

Bordeaux Lac – in Bordeaux city

If you’re in Bordeaux and prefer to avoid renting/using a car, this beach is perfect for you. Bordeaux Lac has everything you need, a sandy clean beach and a lot of shade from the nearby trees for those who don’t really like the sun. The lake is located in the North of the city and can be reached by tram c.

Bordeaux lac
Bordeaux lac by Lost in Bordeaux

The beach is open to the public daily during the summer (July and August) and starting July 1st it offers water and beach activities such as sailing, kayaking, mini-golf, and more. See more details here. If you’re hungry, you have a really nice restaurant within a few minutes’ distance, called la Ferme de Bruges.

Plage Laouga – Close to Arcachon

Plage Laouga and Plage Caton– Close to Arcachon

Plage Laouga on Lac Cazaux is a fine sandy beach located about 400 m from the main beach of this beautiful lake (Plage Cazaux). Its calm warm water makes it one of the best places for families. This part of the lake is sheltered by the pine forest of Landes de Gascogne, which creates a lot of shaded spots on the beach (a must in the South-west summer). 

The beach is supervised during the summer season (mid-June- mid-September) and has free parking just next to it. Plage Laouga is located about 70 km from Bordeaux. If you get hungry, you have two restaurants on the main beach Restaurant Lauga and Chez Juliette. 

Plage de Caton on Lac Cazaux one of the lake beaches near Arcachon
Plage de Caton – Lost in Bordeaux

Another beach I really love in the same region is Plage de Caton in Sanguinet. This beach is located on the other side of Lac Cazaux, about 60km from Bordeaux. 

La Plage du Moutchic – Lacanau

Plage du Moutchic is located on the banks of Lacanau Lake, about 50 km from Bordeaux. This beach has a nice supervised swimming area, a shaded picnic area, and sports facilities like boat rentals, windsurfing, canoes, and paddle boats which makes it very popular with families from the region.

La Plage du Moutchic - a fun beach near Bordeaux
La Plage du Moutchic by lost in Bordeaux

In case you forgot to bring food, there’s a snack bar and two restaurants with a beautiful view of the lake.  For those who don’t like sand (my hubby including 🙂 ), part of the beach is covered with soft green grass. There’s big free parking behind the beach.

You can also turn it into a nice weekend discovering the Lacanau region, there are a few nice hotels just next to the lake. One of the most fun hotels in Lacanau is called O Lac and you can book it here.

Best Beaches in Arcachon– close to Bordeaux

In this list, I didn’t include beaches in Cap Ferret. They are stunning and worth a visit and that’s why I have a dedicated article with my favorite beaches in Cap Ferret.

Plage Pereire in Arcachon

Plage Pereire is one of the most popular beaches in Arcachon. The beach is located in Ville de Printemps (the spring city of Arcachon) about 67 km from Bordeaux. It’s a beautiful three km long beach with white sand and an amazing view of the Cap Ferret peninsula on the other side of the bay. 

Plage Pereire is equipped with many sports facilities, a cycle path, and green lawns for people to have a picnic on. When coming from Arcachon Center, one of the best ways to get there is cycling. A flat cycle path stretched from the central beach to the Dune du Pyla and passes through Plage Pereire and other Arcachon beaches. 

Plage Pereire one of the most popuar beaches in Arcachon
Plage Pereire – Lost in Bordeaux

On a hot summer day, you can enjoy a cold rosé or lunch at Club Plage Pereire, one of the best beach restaurants in Arcachon.

Le Moulleau beach

Le Moulleau, while officially a part of the city of Arcachon, feels like a completely separate little resort town with its own center, beaches and restaurants. It’s a very popular beach that attracts both families and many young people. 

The Moulleau is located midway between the center of Arcachon and the famous Dune du Pilat which is always a great spot to finish your day. There are a few bars and restaurants very close to the beach so you can easily spend the whole day in this resort. 

Day trip from Bordeaux

You can also take a ferry and check the beaches on the other side of the Bassin at Cap Ferret. The beach can be reached by car, bike, or bus from the train station of Arcachon.

If you’re going to Arcachon for the day check out my guide to the best things to do and eat in Arcachon.

La Plage du Petit Nice

Le Petit Nice is located on the Atlantic coast, south of the Dune du Pilat. It is a long, calm, and beautiful beach which is attracting many families in the summer. What makes it very special is the stunning view of the dune and le banc d’Arguin (the Island in Arcahcon). 

Plade le Petit Nice - a beautiful beach near DUne du Pilat
Plade le Petit Nice – Lost in Bordeaux

The beach has big parking and a descent ramp between the parking lot and the beach for wheelchair accessibility. It’s supervised during the summer. The beach is located about 70 km from Bordeaux, with quite heavy traffic during the summer, so be sure to leave early.

Near the parking, you’ll find two restaurants for snacks or lunch called Restaurant Le Petit Nice and Restaurant & Bar de Plage Chez Aldo. The restaurants aren’t situated on the beach but have a great view nonetheless. 

Andernos les Bains

Andernos les Bains is one of the most attractive beach town on the Bassin d’Arcachon.  It has a cute little center leading to the main beach that is abundant with restaurants, ice cream shops, and beach clothing boutiques. 

While the main beach is really nice, if you want a more isolated and relaxed atmosphere you should continue in the direction of the oysters port and go to the remarkable nature reserve of les Quinconces

A  more isolated beach in Andernos les bains
A more isolated beach in Andernos les Bains

After a short walk from the port into the reserve, you’ll discover a beautiful beach with the forest as your background. This beach is quite isolated so there are no facilities here and it’s not supervised. Andernos les Bains is located about 50 km from Bordeaux.

Plage de la Hume – Gujan Mestras 

Plage de la Hume is a family-friendly beach located in the touristic part of Gujan Mestras, a little town known as the capital of oyster farming on the Bassin d’Arcachon. Its location on the bay makes the water very calm and easy to swim in. 

Plage de la Hume
Plage de la Hume on the Bassin d’Arcachon

However, if you’ve come for more than the beach itself and really want to swim, check the tide hours first. They are changing daily and at some hours of the day, you can barely see any water. Click here for the daily hours. 

The beach is supervised in July and August (from 10:00 to 19:00), which makes it a very safe place for kids. Plage de la Hume is located just next to the ports that Gujan Mestras is famous for, so if you’re getting hungry you can always stop in one of the cabanes on the port for fresh oysters.

Beaches on the Atlantic coast

Plage du Grand Cohort – Lège Cap-Ferret

Grand Cohort Beach is located on the Ocean side of the Cap Ferret peninsula. As opposed to the calm water on the side of the Bassin d’Arcachon, on the ocean side, the waves are strong which makes it a surfing paradise. 

This beautiful white sand beach attracts both kite surfers and families that love to swim in the ocean. In the summer the beach tends to be quite busy and sometimes parking can be an issue so try to come early. 

If you’re coming with kids, this beach is supervised during the summer. This beach is located about 60 km from the center of Bordeaux.

Lacanau Ocean beaches

If your idea for a beach day is a more active one, this is the beach for you. The Lacanau Ocean beach begins right at the end of Boulevard de la Plage at the Lacanau Ocean town, which is located about 55km from Bordeaux. 

Lacanau-Ocean - surfing beach near Bordeaux
Lacanau-Ocean main beach

It’s one of the longest beaches in the Aquitaine area, spreading to 15 km of white sand. The beach is considered a perfect place for surfing and windsurfing and it has become known for surfing competitions and events. This long beach is also a great place for bathing in the sea with your family and has all the facilities you need, including many restaurants and shops in its little center.

There are plenty of other amazing beaches near Bordeaux but I think that these ten beaches will give you a sense of how beautiful and magical the Gironde region is! 

For more places to visit around Bordeaux check out my guides about day trips from Bordeaux by car and by train.

Like the article? Want to read it again when you’re in Bordeaux? Save it on your Pinterest board

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |EmailFacebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

In the last year, with Covid restrictions, we started doing much more hiking than before, which I’m very happy with. However my kids are still small, so a not very well-planned trip usually turns into a whining journey and ends with me and my husband carrying them half the way. That is why in the last few months I did a lot of research to find kids-friendly walking paths in Gironde. In this article, I chose the hiking trails I enjoyed most when traveling with my kids. Most of them had also longer trails which you can enjoy with older kids that can walk longer distances. 

I have to warn you though that some parts of most of the trails are not very stroller friendly so if you are hiking with babies I strongly recommend bringing a carrier with you. In any case, for stroller-friendly hiking I recommend going to the parks of Bordeaux, you can discover the best ones in my article about the most beautiful parks of Bordeaux
Also, check out my article about the best hiking trails around Bordeaux for additional locations in our beautiful region.

If you’re interested in more ideas for things to do with kids in the region I invite you to follow me on Facebook/Instagram. Now let’s start! let’s dive into family-friendly hiking trails around Bordeaux!

Family-friendly hiking in Bordeaux Metropole

The city center itself is very friendly for kids but here I’m mostly going to talk about trails in nature so I didn’t include it.

Ecosite du Bourgailh in Pessac

family-friendly-hiking-in-Gironde

One of the most pleasant and kids friendly hiking trails in Bordeaux is located in Pessac. The Ecosite of Bourgailh is not just a park, it’s a universe of plants put together in a great landscape design. The area of the Foret du Bourgailh includes a 2.6 km walking trail, the largest tropical greenhouse in the region, sports facilities, a skate park, an amphitheater, a zoo, and a really fun wooden animal theme playground.

Parc Floral 

Parc Floral, located in the north part of Bordeaux is part of the Réserve écologique des Barails, a beautiful natural reserve spreading over 156 hectares. The reserve consists of different parts each with its own characteristic: the forest, the park, the meadows, the wetlands, and the ecological corridors. All of them are great for hiking but the one that kids love the most is Parc Floral.

The park starts with beautiful flowers and continues to the surprising twin cities gardens with sculptures and structures donated by some of Bordeaux’s twin cities like Ashdod (in Israel), Fukuoka (Japan), and Casablanca (Morocco). Kids usually use the twin gardens as a playground, climbing and running around the different statues. The most magical part of Parc Floral is the Torrent de Montagne, a mountain river with stones from the Pyrénées.

Parc floral in Bordeaux - one of the most kids friendly hiking trails in Bordeaux

Parc Floral is located in the Bordeaux Lac neighborhood and to get there straight without passing the forest first you will need to enter through entree roseraie (next to the Golf de Bordeaux Lac). Before heading there check out the information about the different entrances and parking spots on the official site of Bordeaux.

Hiking with kids in Arcachon 

Arcachon is heaven when it comes to hiking with kids. Everything is flat, the landscape changes a lot depending on the timing of your arrival and it has a rich flora and fauna to explore during your trip. There’s also always the option of going to the beach at the end to motivate kids to finish the trail. Here are some of the best family-friendly hiking trails in Arcachon.

The Domain of Certes-Graveyron

If you want to explore the nature of Bassin d’Arcachon at its best, Domain of Certes Graveyron in Audenge is the place to go. Located at the very heart of the Arcachon Bay, this natural reserve of 530 hectares is an amazing place for hiking with kids no matter what age they are. There are several trails you can take to discover the salt meadows and the migrating birds passing through Arcachon. The most kids-friendly one is Boucle de Graveyron, a 5.5 km circular hiking trail that goes through some of the animal farms in the region, the cute port of Audenge, the Audenge beach, and the blue colored salt marshes.

Domain of Certes Graveyron in Audenge, Arcachon

What I especially love about the Domaine de Certes is that it looks different every time you visit it. Due to its location at the heart of the Bay, the reserve completely changes its looks depending on the tide hours during the day of your visit so every visit there feels like you’re exploring a new location.
The reserve is free and can be visited whenever you want. Bicycles are not allowed on the walking paths of Domain de Certes et Graveyron. There are maps and good trail markings on site.

Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Prés Salés d’Arès

La Réserve des prés salés d’Arès is a huge natural reserve that offers several short and long hiking trails. The hiking starts at the port of Arès which is a nice place to stop for a plate of oysters before you hit the road 🙂 The most family-friendly trail is the 4.5km Boucle d’Arès, a path that goes along the salt meadows and then continues in a beautiful forest. The one downside is that this path ends on a road so you have to walk a bit along passing cars. However as the road is in the village itself, the few cars passing there are driving quite slow so it doesn’t really ruin the experience.

Hiking with kids in Ares, Arcachon

Les Prés Salés Ouest 

Prés Salés Ouest is another beautiful natural reserve, located on the other side of the Bassin d’Arcachon in La Teste de Buch. I love recommending this one to parents with small kids as it’s one of the only stroller-friendly hiking paths in the region. You can start the 2.2km trail from the port of Teste de Buch or from the Avenue du Général Leclerc (you will see a big parking from the road).

Prés Salés Ouest - a beautiful hiking trail in Arcachon

We started hiking when the tide was still quite low and finished it when it started to rise, the change in the landscape was spectacular. If you want to make it even more fun, stop at the port for some fresh oysters. The entrance is free and open for cycling as well.

Hiking with kids in other parts of Gironde 

Réserve Naturelle des Dunes et Marais D’Hourtin

Let’s now move to the Medoc region which offers a lot of great hiking trails. Hourtin is the biggest lake in Gironde surrounded by beautiful beaches and a lot of natural spaces. The Réserve Naturelle des Dunes et Marais D’hourtin is located at the northern point of the lake. It offers several trails which are all quite easy to do with kids, with the shortest one being the green path (Le Sentier de la Lobelie), a 2 km path along the lake. If it’s hot enough, finish your day at the beach nearby!  To start the hiking trail park your car at the Piqueyrot beach.

The trails of the Réserve Naturelle des Dunes et Marais D’hourtin

You can see more details about all the trails in that reserve here

Lac Bleu and Lac Vert

I love hiking around lakes! I think that water in combination with the greenery around it gives it a very meditational vibe 🙂 Luckily there are a few beautiful lakes in Gironde where you can have a lovely walk and admire the colors of the water. The first one is Lac Vert (the green lake) in Canejan and the second one is Lac Bleu (the blue lake) in Leognan, both located about 15/20 minutes’ drive from Bordeaux. Their names derive from the color of the water and they are both stunning. They are both great to visit with kids, although the green one is easier to do with strollers.  If you have a dog, they would love Lac Blue!

Lac Vert near Bordeaux

Forêt de Migelane

Forêt de Migelane is a 280 hectares forest situated on parts of the Saucats, Martillac, and la Brède towns in Southern Gironde. The calm forest has several hiking trails to offer, from the most kids-friendly one we have la Petite Boucle circular (1.4 km), La Petite Boucle circular trail to la Balade Forestière (2.7 km), la Balade Géologique (5.2 km) and la Grande Balade (6.5 km). See more info here.

If you’re looking for more ideas for day trips in the Bordeaux region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches and villages 
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc – Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

Lège-Cap-Ferret is a narrow peninsula that sits on the western part of Arcachon Bay about an hour or two drive from Bordeaux, depending on traffic. Albeit its growing popularity, notably among Parisians, Cap Ferret managed to keep its raw atmosphere of simplicity and tranquility. The area consists of twelve little villages, one of them being the town of Cap Ferret, located in the south part of the peninsula. Its position between the bay and the Ocean turns it into an amazing place for a summer vacation with tens of small village beaches and wilder ones on the ocean side.

In this article, I’ll help you discover the most beautiful beaches in Cap Ferret. It’s important to note that during the low tide, it’s impossible to swim on the bay side and it’s thus very important to check out the tide hours before going. Here’s a site where you can see when the tide is high enough to enjoy the beach.

The best beaches in Cap Ferret
The best beaches in Cap Ferret – by lost in Bordeaux

If you have a few days to spend in Arcachon I have two other articles you might want to read. One is about all the best places to visit in Arcachon Bay and the other is a detailed guide for visiting Arcachon (the town) and the dune

One last thing before we start, traffic to Cap Ferret can be quite heavy, especially in the summer. So you can either try to get there as early as possible or stay the night :). If you love camping check out my article about the most recommended camping sites in Cap Ferret. If camping is not your thing, here are a few recommended hotels in Cap Ferret: Domaine du Ferret Balnéo & Spa in the north part of the peninsula, the 4- star hotel Hôtel Côté Sable in the center of Cap Ferret town, or Les Chambres du Phare, a beautiful bed and breakfast, located near the lighthouse of Cap Ferret. 

You can also rent a house near the beach, here are two recommendations: Cabane Japajo, a wooden cabin on the beach of le Four, or this rental unit in Claouey. Both are located in cute villages in the north of the peninsula. 

Now let’s dive into the most beautiful beaches in Cap Ferret

The best beaches in Lège Cap Ferret

La Plage des Américains

La Plage des Américains - cap ferret
La Plage des Américainsby lost in Bordeaux

Visiting the peninsula, many people go straight to Cap Ferret, which is the largest village in Lege Cap Ferret. You can find a number of nice beaches here, including the central one, but the best one in my opinion, is the Plage des Americains. This little piece of heaven is located a few minutes’ walk from jetée de Belisaire, the pier of Cap Ferret.  The narrow beach with its beautiful water and the forest behind it will immediately put you in a state of tranquility. It feels like nothing in the world could bother you here. When the tide is low you can get there walking on the beach from the main pier of Cap Ferret. 

Plage de la Pointe aux Chevaux

Plage de la Pointe aux Chevaux - beach in Cap Ferret
Plage de la Pointe aux Chevaux – lost in Bordeaux

One of the most popular beaches in Cap Ferret is Plage de la Pointe aux Chevaux. The beach is located right next to a little oyster-port and you can see plenty of pinasses (oyster farming boats) floating on the calm waters of the bay. When the tide is low you can enjoy a beautiful walk on the beach and then continue into the foresty route located at the southern part of the beach. If you continue to ’avenue de la Pointe aux Chevaux’ you will reach a beautiful viewpoint overlooking the beach. 

Finish your day with a plate of oysters at La Dégust du Grand Coin, which is located right on the beach. The beach is located between the two port-towns of Grand Piquey and Petit Piquey. Access to the beach is easier from the latter.  

And here’s a pro tip from me, make the effort to get there early in the morning to see the amazing sunrise. If you’re not an early bird, you can do it in the winter when the sun rises after 8 am. 

Plage de la Truquette

Plage de la Truquette - hidden gem in Cap Ferret
Plage de la Truquette -by lost in Bordeaux

Plage de la Truquette is a little hidden gem located right to the north of Plage de la Pointe aux Chevaux. The beach is tucked in Foret Dromanile de la Lege et Garonne, so the access there goes through the forest. It’s one of the rawest beaches in Cap Ferret with solely the pine forest in the background. 

Another way to access it would be through the little oyster port of Petit Piquey, Les Parcs de l’Impératrice. Park the car at the oyster park and walk through the Impasse des Pecheurs to get to the beach.

This beach is located in Petit Piquey which has plenty of cute little shops on its main road. 

Plage de l’Herbe

L'herbe - one of the most beautiful villages in Cap Ferret
l’Herbe – by Lost in Bordeaux

L’Herbe is definitely my favorite place on Bassin d’Arcachon. Nothing matches the charm of this little village with its colorful oyster farmers’ cabins. Along the shore, you can find a handful of little oyster cabins where you can eat fresh oysters accompanied by white dry wine. 

In the north of the village, you’ll find the main beach, Plage de l’Herbe. It’s a small beach with a few vacation houses of people that are coming here every year. It’s one of the most kids-friendly beaches on Bassin d’Arcachon with plenty of space for them to run around even when the tide is high. 

When you go to l’Herbe you must do the little trail to the upper part of the village and enjoy the view of the cabins from the top. To go up, take the stairs from the southern part of the beach (just next to the public toilets ).

The best beaches in Cap Ferret – Ocean side 

Plage Du Truc Vert

Plage Du Truc Vert - on the Atlantic ocean
Plage Du Truc Vert – by lost in Bordeaux

Surfers’ favorite, le Truc Vert is one of the wildest beaches in the region. This beach is so long that if you walk far enough, you’ll have the beach all for yourself.   

The beach is located on the ocean side of Cap Ferret and you have to walk a bit to get there. Park your car in the forest near the Truc Vert camping. Then cross the route Forestiere du Truc Vert and walk along the path to the Truc Vert beach. 

If you have little kids who hate walking (like mine do) I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going there. Otherwise, it’s a perfect beach for surfers and anyone who loves the ocean and long walks on the beach. 

Plage du Grand Crohot

Grand Crohot beach is located on the Ocean side of the Cap Ferret peninsula. As opposed to the calm water on the side of the Bassin d’Arcachon, on the ocean side, the waves are strong, making it a surfing paradise. This beautiful white sand beach attracts both kite surfers and families that love to swim in the ocean.  In the summer the beach tends to be quite busy and sometimes parking can be an issue so try to come early. If you’re coming with kids, this beach is supervised during the summer. The beach is located in the north part of the peninsula which makes it a good choice if you want to avoid the heavy traffic of Lege Cap Ferret. 

Plage de la Pointe Cap Ferret

Plage de la Pointe Cap Ferret
Plage de la Pointe Cap Ferret – by lost in Bordeaux

Plage de la Pointe Cap Ferret is located at the most southern point of the Cap Ferret Peninsula which makes it one of the most special places in Arcachon. Due to its position, you can see both the ocean and the famous Dune du Pilat on the other side of the Bay. The beach is quite isolated and requires a bit of a walk to get to. 
It’s important to note that due to the strong current of the bay it’s considered quite dangerous for swimming. Also, due to the erosion of the Cap Ferret point, the beach can be closed to the public from time to time. However, when open, it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in our region. 

Need more ideas for things to do in and around Bordeaux? you should definitely join my newsletter where I share all the best events in the region and all my other Bordeaux discoveries. I send an email every Friday in the afternoon– sign up here.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

If you’re looking for more ideas for day trips in the Bordeaux region here are a few other articles you might want to read:
The best beaches around Bordeaux
Day trips around Bordeaux – wine, beaches, and villages 
10 day trips from Bordeaux by Public transport
A weekend in Medoc – Bordeaux wine tours
What to do and eat in Saint Emilion

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

Arcachon is one of the most popular destinations in France. Beautiful beaches, cute villages, amazing oysters, and the proximity to Bordeaux make it the perfect place for a summer vacation. While there are many good hotels in Arcachon, many people prefer to go to camping sites which offer plenty of activities, especially for kids. Here are some of the best camping sites in Arcachon (in Cap Ferret and next to Dune du Pilat), recommended by me and my avid traveler friends in my Travel in the Southwest of France group. Before going there be sure to read my articles about What to do and eat in Arcachon and the best places to visit in Arcachon and Cap Ferret.

Camping sites in Cap Ferret

Camping Aux Couleurs du ferret

This is one of the nicest campsites around Arcachon Bay, located in the northern part of the Cap Ferret peninsula, close to the port towns of Ares and Andernos les Bains. Camping Aux Couleurs du ferret is very family-friendly, with a big playground and a bike rental service, which is the perfect way to discover some of the beaches in Cap Ferret. This is a great camping site for people looking for a quiet holiday close to the beach. If you’re looking for more entertainment, go on to the other options on this list. 
Book your stay here

Camping Aux Couleurs du ferret - camping site in Cap Ferret
Camping Aux Couleurs du ferret, Credit: Booking.com

Where: 101 Avenue du Médoc, 33950 Lège-Cap-Ferret

Camping Village Sublu Les Viviers – Maeva

If you want to have the full Cap Ferret experience this is the place for you. The Les Viviers camping site is located at the heart of the Cap Ferret peninsula, next to the le Four village, surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches of Arcachon Bay. The Camping has a private beach and offers a lot of different sports activities and a huge outdoor pool. It’s located just next to the cycling path of Cap Ferret which allows you to get to the ocean beach in 15 minutes. 
Book your stay here

Camping Village Sublu Les Viviers- Camping in Cap Ferret
Camping Village Sublu Les Viviers, Credit: Booking.com


Where: 1 carrière, Avenue Léon Lesca, 33950 Lège-Cap-Ferret

Camping le Truc Vert

This camping is located just a few steps from one of the best ocean beaches in Cap Ferret, le Truc Vert. It’s set up in the midst of a beautiful pine forest, which makes it one of the most idyllic locations on our list. Camping le Truc Vert offers many amenities like restaurants, shops, a play area for kids, different events and more. This is a perfect place for campers but offers no mobile houses like some other camping sites on this list so you need to bring your own camper van or tent.
Book your stay here.

Where: Route du Truc-Vert – 33950 Lège-Cap-Ferret Ocean

Best Camping sites near la Dune du Pilat (the Dune of Pilat)

Camping Panorama du Pyla

One of the most popular groups of camping sites in France, the Yelloh campsites, has a great site just at the foot of the Dune du Pilat. Camping Panorama runs a kids club during the summer for kids over 5yo. They offer plenty of services such as bike rentals and a restaurant with a beautiful view of the beach. 

Book your stay here.
Where: Route de Biscarrosse, 33115 La Teste-de-Buch

Camping La Forêt (Camping La Forêt du Pilat Tohapi)

Another fun place right at the base of Dune du Pyla is Camping La Forêt. The campsite has several types of accommodations such as air-conditioned cabins, mobile homes, parking for camping cars, and more. They offer plenty of entertainment options such as free activities for kids over 4 years old and disco nights and concerts for adults. 

Book your night here
Where: Route d’Arcachon À Biscarrosse, 33115 La Teste-de-Buch

Pyla Camping

Another good option just next to the famous dune is Pyla Camping which offers several accommodation options: mobile homes, furnished lodge tents or pitches for camper vans, caravans, and tents. Pyla Camping is one of the best places in terms of entertainment with activities such as sports tournaments, mountain biking, horse riding, and karaoke nights. The facilities are not as good as some of the other campings on this list, but the prices are very affordable and it’s generally a fun experience. If you bring your own tent the price is less than 20 euros a night.
Book your night here.

Pyla Camping - Camping in Arcachon
Pyla Camping, Credit: booking.com


Where: Route de Biscarosse, 33115 Pyla-Sur-Mer


If you’re looking for other options such as an hotel or a bed and breakfast here are a few recommended places: Hotel Domaine du Ferret Balnéo & Spa in Cap Ferret, La Maison du Bassin in Cap Ferret, Hotel Le B d’Arcachon in Arcachon city, and the fancy La Co(o)rniche hotel next to the Dune du Pilat.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

If it’s your first time in Bordeaux you may also like to read some of the following “intro to Bordeaux” articles I wrote:
The Ultimate Guide to Bordeaux 
The best districts in Bordeaux 
Where to stay in Bordeaux 
What to do in one day in Bordeaux
Things to do with kids in Bordeaux

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂