Slow Holidays: 6 Nature Plans in Arcachon

Bassin d’Arcachon (yes it deserves a capital letter) is at the top of the Top 3 of the most prominent places on the Atlantic coast. It is plural, multifaceted, fascinating. We discover the Dune du Pilat, the Banc d’Arguin, the bird island, the surrounding oyster farming villages … and a thousand and one other pleasures.

Pine forests – the cradle of sylvotherapy in France – border white sandy beaches as far as the eye can see. Wise on the pool side, undisciplined on the sea side, Arcachon welcomes those seeking nature, beauty and tranquility. In an eco-chic Atlantic spirit, discretion is a “must”.

The basin is a rare country. Pond booby, book in two volumes, must be carried in one’s luggage. Its author, Christian Moguérou, journalist, author, has chosen to live in Arcachon, distills beautiful poetic texts and brings us some good addresses as a bonus. We immerse ourselves in the special atmosphere of the soul of the pool.

Yoga among the trees or on the beach

Let’s take advantage of the summer to do yoga “outside the walls”. With Aurel, we test a Vinyasa class at the Domaine de la Montagnette, at the gates of the Teste-de-Buch forest. An entire program!

Beautiful trees accompany our workout at sunset. We get carried away by the flow of yoga poses based on Indian music. An herbal tea offered at the end of the session allows us to exchange between the participants.

Aurel also offers Yin Yang yoga sessions at La Corniche, a stone’s throw from La C (o) rniche, the indispensable trendy five-star hotel restaurant bar. Access to the beach via a wooden staircase. We roll our blanket out by the sea overlooking the Dune du Pilat and the Banc d’Arguin. The Maldives can go and get dressed.

Smart bike rental for the day

A bike-restaurant-beach day does not look like a metro-work-Sunday. But you still have to get up – relatively – early. Ideally, we are at the bike rental company in Arcachon at. 10.00. Vélos d’Albret leads us to a “Vélo de Ville” electric bike (yes, that’s the name of the brand) rented with horns (important if you double), integrated padlock and basket as a bonus.

A beautiful toy that facilitates long rides on bike paths until 6 p.m. Time flies like sand between our fingers. The timing is ric-rac. With this equipment we can aim for 50 kilometers a day, including breaks. Of course ! We are on vacation.

Trip to the beach in La Salie Sud

One of our favorite walks goes from the center of Arcachon to the beach of La Salie Sud.

We happily walk along the famous Pereire beach, and then arrive at the Moulleau district. It is a village in the town, very charming. A stop is important to take a few steps to the jetty, which is in perfect line with Notre-Dame-des-Passes, an amazing Byzantine-style church built on top of a dune.

After the Corniche and Dune du Pilat, we take the bike path by the sea beaches towards Biscarosse. On our right we leave the campsite “Les Flots bleus”, famous since the filming of the “Camping” trilogy. For the beaches of Petit-Nice and La Lagune, we prefer the less visited Salie Sud beach. It is deserved! A few more pedal strokes.

On a large communal wooden table, the restaurant “Paillotte” pampers us with a delicious gazpacho of peas, a crab maki and a walnut pie with maple syrup. Meeting place for surfers, bream and bass fishermen, the beach stretches its arms out to us … after a 10-minute walk on a duckboard path. A little corner of paradise. But be careful! The waves are violent and the swimsuit elastics cannot withstand them.

Ascent of Dune du Pilat at sunset

A surreal pile of sand, a geological curiosity. At least once in your life, it’s fun to climb the Dune du Pilat, the highest in Europe with its 102 meters high, its millions of m3 of sand and its 40 centuries of history. The dune does not hold in place! Under the influence of the wind and the tide, it loses one to five meters of sand a year, which will cover the forest.

We reveal our secret to you: there is a hidden entrance at 31 avenue des Dunes. It is recognizable by its rust-colored lattice and its walls covered in graffiti. This avoids being in the stream of climbers, on the side of stairs and giant parking lots.

In a sporty way, we climb barefoot, all excited about the idea of ​​joining the lovers of the sunset at the top. These are mainly young people, many foreigners. Some walk on the dune in all directions, opening a bottle, while others immerse themselves in immersion. The views are breathtaking over the forest, the Banc d’Arguin and at the far tip of Cap Ferret.

The sun god disappeared, we tumbled down the sandy slope with roaring scrolls and laughter. It’s not a black race, but it’s worth a few pictures to immortalize the grimace that comes with the farm.

Tour of Île aux Oiseaux and its cabins on stilts

A true declaration of love for Ile aux Oiseaux, Pascal Obispo’s song “Tombé pour elle” launched his career. How to approach Bird Island? Luxury version: we rent a pinnace with its skipper. Economic version: take advantage of the annotated circuit from the Union des Bateliers Arcachonnais (UBA) to Cap-Ferret.

Île aux Oiseaux, which covers three square kilometers, is home to more than 150 bird species that can be found at La Réserve Ornithologique du Teich. Everyone loves the two tchanquées cabins (from Gascon “chancas”, which means “mounted on poles”). The white cottage belongs to La Teste-de-Buch (one of the largest municipalities in France); the one with the red shutters for a private owner. Many painters, especially Anne-Marie Lateyron, have been inspired by it. At Bassinet, the oyster farmers delimit their place with five meters of wooden poles. Many oyster beds have been abandoned, but you can still enjoy the oysters from the pool in serious establishments such as Aloir et fille Sarl, a multi-medal winning establishment located at the head of Aiguillon. In the very charming port of La Teste, oyster farmers open oysters so we can order or offer tastings on site.

Walks in Mauresque Park and in Ville d’Hiver

Transformed into an arboretum, Mauresque Park is worth a detour for its rare trees and beautiful rose garden. This peaceful oasis in the Belle Epoque is located in the Ville d’Hiver on the heights of Arcachon. Do not miss !

We discover extravagant homes, fascinating in their beauty, panache and excellence. They were designed with an abundance of towers, balconies, porches and arched windows.

At the Place des Palmiers there is the gaming stand, a herbal pharmacy in retro look, a post office that functions as a community center. We can imagine the time when this top resort in the 19th century welcomed wealthy patients who came to treat their tuberculosis in the pine forests. Since then, sylvotherapy sessions have been offered to friends of trees.

Our expert

Former Grand Reporter of the L’Express group, Corine Moriou has interviewed 5,000 people, visited 70 countries, worn 100 pairs of shoes, shared 10,000 smiles and laughs. Today, she is particularly concerned with the topics of personal development and well-being. She is leading a yoga and sylvotherapy course from 24 to 29 July 2022 at the Domaine du Taillé in the Ardèche.

Leave a Comment