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 🙂
*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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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:
*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 🙂