Discover the Atlantic Coast’s unforgettable beaches and panoramas from Hendaye to Marais Poitevin. It is the kingdom of water sports, cycling paths and lively seaside resorts.
PAYS BASQUE, BETWEEN MOUNTAIN AND SEA
In the south of the region, the Basque coast meanders like a geographic marker that separates the peaks of the Pyrenees and the in nite horizon of the Atlantic. Welcome to the paradise of surfers and lovers of sea spray and Basque gastronomy!
A little further north, the ne sandy dunes stretch endlessly between the largest softwood forest in Europe and the silvery sheen of the ocean that gave the “Silver Coast” its name.
THE LANDES, 100 KMS OF SANDY BEACHES
Unspoilt beaches, lakes dotted along the coast and the huge Landes de Gascogne pine forest: a wonderful destination for lovers of cycling, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, golf and surf-casting (angling in the ocean waves). The Landes holds something special in store for every season. In autumn, treat yourself to a visit to Bas Armagnac to discover the secrets of how this eau de vie (spirits) is distilled and aged in oak. Also take time to visit Mont-de-Marsan, “capital of the Landes” and Gascon walled city, a peaceful town dotted with many sculptures.
ARCACHON BAY, A LAGOON-LIKE INLAND SEA
Between the large lakes of the Landes and Médoc, Arcachon Bay is a 1,500 hectare bay supplied with water from the ocean and from many waterways. An inland sea whose colours are lagoon-like, bordered by a crown of ne sand culminating at 104 metres: the amazing Pilat Dune! Listed as a Natural Marine Park since 2014, Arcachon Bay is renowned for its “island of birds” and shermen’s cabins built on stilts. There are a number of charming seaside resorts along the rim of this exceptional site, including Arcachon, a city founded in the 19th century with the development of “sea baths”, which at the time was considered a new “therapeutic” fashion.
Still heading north, the Cordouan lighthouse, the last remaining offshore lighthouse still open to the public, guards the entrance to the Gironde estuary.
MÉDOC ATLANTIQUE: THE MOST SPECTACULAR APERITIF IN THE WORLD!
Whether with your toes in the water or at the top of the dunes, you’ll be intoxicated by the sea air, enchanted by the so- special fragrances of summer nights, and be highly impressed by the antics of the surfers, reluctant to return to shore. Not far from there, let yourself be charmed by the town of Royan – that can be reached by road, by train or by the car-ferry Le Verdon-Royan – a renowned seaside resort since the 19th century, and wonderful Palmyre zoo.
ROYAN SHINES ON THE BEAUTY COAST
Royan is a bold 50s style architectural ensemble, dominated by the arrow on top of the Notre-Dame church and the beautiful boulevard Garnier, and also the long sandy beach that made the resort so popular.
LET’S HEAD TO ROCHEFORT
Travelling along the coast to La Rochelle, you can discover the oyster-farming villages of Marennes and Ile d’Oléron, the largest Atlantic island and nicknamed “the luminous”, and enjoy a seafood platter. Nor should you miss the city of Rochefort, home to the Hermione frigate which became famous thanks to La Fayette in the 18th Century, during the American Independence era. Opt for the “sailor’s visit” led by a topman who tells of his journey, revealing the story of the frigate, along with daily life on board.
Discover the oyster and its history. The oyster city of Marennes, a vast museum complex, covers 10 hectares, around an oyster farm teaching and five thematic cabins. Mysterra, nestled in the heart of the forest of Montendre, just minutes from the estuary of the Gironde, opened its doors in May 2018. This new park combines 11 hectares of woods at the edge of a lake with digital technologies to play and discover an environment of labyrinths. Located in the heart of Saint-Martin- de-Ré (Ile de Ré), the splendid Relais & Châteaux Villa Clarisse offers charm and calm. In a soothing environment, discover the spa opening in 2019, inspired by the principles of Sylvotherapy, a gentle therapy based on trees. Grab your wicker basket before leaving the hotel and make your choice at the sh or covered market. Upon your return at the Villa Clarisse, the chef will cook a delicious meal following your suggestions and assembling your discoveries.
- 720 km of coastline in Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
- Wellness at its top with a great choice of thermal stations and thalassotherapy centres.
- An ideal playground for all water sports – surfing, kite surfing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, sand yachting… – and for fishing.
- Biarritz Pays Basque (BIQ)
La Rochelle-Île-de-Ré (LRH)
Nantes Atlantique (NTE)
- Biarritz TGV Paris: 4hrs 10mins
Arcachon Paris: 3hrs 10mins
Royan Paris: 4hrs 10 mins
Rochefort Paris: 3hrs