Published On: Sat, Jul 6th, 2024
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Arcachon: French seaside town with long sandy beaches | Europe | Travel


Paris and Nice may be the typical tourist hotspots but Brits should also eye the lesser-known coastal charm of the southwest of France.

Arcachon tempts with its sunshine-filled seaside appeal, relaxed atmosphere, and picturesque natural beauty.

If you’re steering across the channel, a car trip would take eight long hours from Calais, but a one-hour and 40-minute flight assures quicker access.

Bathing in average summer highs of 25C, this “hidden gem” offers a beautiful coastal expanse perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports enthusiasts.

Its calm, blue waters and serene setting make it especially attractive to families seeking tranquillity.

While significantly smaller than more popular French holiday hotspots, Arcachon still has a rich assortment of attractions.

The popular Plage Pereire beach ensures plenty of swimming and paddling fun. A boat ride across the scenic Arcachon Bay is a must-have experience, as is a visit to the nearby Ile aux Oiseaux, a paradise for bird watchers.

The town’s seafood is of exceptional quality and surprisingly affordable. Gastronomy enthusiasts can enjoy a tour of local oyster farms imbued with the region’s deep-seated oyster culture.

Local oysters, mussels, and seafood platters can be enjoyed at the waterfront restaurants or markets, with prices as low as £5 for a dozen if purchased from the markets.

The Marche Municipal, a daily indoor market, is a must-visit for fresh produce, cheeses, and other regional delicacies.

A stroll through the town centre reveals stunning Belle Epoque architecture and iconic sights such as Villa Tosca and Villa Algerienne.

The town serves as an excellent base for exploring the wider Aquitaine region. Day trips to nearby Bordeaux, known for its world-class wineries and historic landmarks, or the wine-growing region of Saint-Emilion, are highly recommended.

Castles, cathedrals, and lush gardens are also within driving distance for a quintessential French holiday experience. Additionally, Parc de La Coccinelle, a theme park, offers rides, slides, and a petting farm.

Flights to the nearest airport, Bordeaux-Merignac Airport, can be found from as low as £14 via Opodo. Additionally, there are some incredibly picturesque hotel stays in the area.

A night at Hotel Le Dauphin, a scenic castle-like building just 500 yards from the beach, will cost you £96 a night for two. Beachfront apartments are also available for rent from £110 per night.

For those on a budget, there are several campsites in the area Huttopia offers camping spots starting from £27.



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