Arcachon - chic seaside resort
Arcachon is a popular place for holiday makers and tourists on the Gironde coast. It lies on the Bassin d'Arcachon. It is on the Bassin d'Arcachon, less than half an hour from Bordeaux. From the Boulevard, where it is always pleasantly busy, you have a beautiful view over the basin. Behind it lies the headland with Le Cap Ferret, the favorite place of French film and TV stars who live along the Bassin in expensive villas.
Arcachon is a beautiful place: terraces, boutiques, the sun, sea and beach, it's all there.
The Development of Arcachon; Currently a Holiday Destination
Around 1860, Arcachon was no more than a fishing town. That was all until the railroad was built to develop the fishing village. During this time, swimming in the seas also started to become fashionable. Two bankers from Bordeaux bought a piece of dune at Arcachon and developed a casino, large villas, shops and places to go out. This had great appeal to the rich at that time. Since they mainly stayed home in the winter, the winter city (ville d’hiver) was created. Rich citizens could safely recuperate here during the winter in the fresh and pure sea air.
The Division of Arcachon into 4 Seasonal Neighborhoods
Over the years, the city has grown enormously and has therefore been divided into 4 districts. The names are related to the 4 seasons: "Ville de printemps" - "Ville d'automne" - "Ville d'été" - "Ville d'hiver"
Ville d’hiver - This part is known for the beautiful villas that were built, it isalso where the famous French go to live. There are special routes available to view this prestigious part of Arcachon. The villas are from the end of the 19th century and built in very different styles: from Swiss chalet to English cottage to neo-Gothic country house. It also houses luxury villas, including villa Toledo, villa Trocadéro, villa Alexandre Dumas, villa Teresa, villa Craigcrostan or villa Brémontier.
Ville d’été - The summer city lies by the sea, between the pier of Eyrac and the pier of la Chapelle. It has a beautiful sandy beach, shopping areas, terraces for drinks and restaurants to enjoy a seafood dish or a refreshing cone of ice cream. There is also a large aquarium, casino, bars and discos. There are also many activities organized throughout the summer. Popular is the Thiers pier: a pleasant place to be, and to admire the boulevard and the Archachon basin.
Ville de printemps - This district is known for its mineral water source Les Abatilles, the thalassotherapy center, the beach and the Pereire park.
Ville d’automne - In the autumn city is the fishing and marinas. There is a water sports center for sailing, kite surfing, kayaking or stand up paddling.
The Beach of Holiday Resort Arcachon
Arcachon is known for its stunning sandy beaches. Many people enjoy making use of it by sunbathing. During the day you can walking into Arachon and have a bite to eat or to drink. For children it is a safe place to go swimming as it is located in a basin, there are no high waves and the sea runs slowly into the beach.
Shopping during the holidays
Many people also enjoy being able to peacefully shop during the holidays and in Arachon there is plenty of it. There are all kinds of souvenir ships and also shops that offer many delicacies, clothing, shoes and shops of major brands such as Aigle, Oetit Bateau and Jean Vier. There is a prepossessing square with a market and a food hall. Here there are plenty of vegetables, meat, fish and fruit for sell.
Arcachon is located on the Bassin d'Arcachon. This is a large bay of 1,500 hectares. It is a unique inland sea that is in open connection with the Atlantic Ocean and that’s tide rises twice a day, large parts of this seas are not navigable during low tide.
At the entrance to the Bassin d'Arcachon, between Cap Ferrte and le Dune de Pilat, is a huge sandbar: Le Banc d'Arguin. During low tide, it is a large island where many people go to enjoy a picnic. During high tide, only the higher parts are visible, and it all looks like a bunch of small islands. Due to the different types of grass that grow on this island, it is a favorable spot for all types of birds.
L’Île aux Oiseaux
There is also an island in the basin. At low tide the island has a circumference of no less than 16 kilometers, at high tide that is reduced to only 5 kilometers. On the island there are famous cabins which used to be inhabited, which is no longer the case. Oysters are cultivated on the island, and the quality of these oysters is very high. During your visit to Arcachon, it is certainly advisable to taste these oysters.
Boat trip around the Île aux Oiseaux
It is possible to take a boat trip on the Bassin d'Arcachon. This boat trip takes you around the bird island. During this boat trip you have the ample opportunity to view these birds. The oyster parks, houses and the fishing villages of the Cap Ferret peninsula should also be visited. At the height of the passage to the sea you will have a beautiful view of Dune de Pyla on one side and Cap Ferret on the other.
Cycling and walking
The area around Arcachon is particularly suitable for walking and cycling. There are many kilometers of car-free cycle paths. These paths lay along the coast and through the pine forests, you can choose to explore these with or without a guide.
There is also the possibility to try off-road cycle paths with an electric scooter. For safety, you will first receive a brief instruction and a helmet after which you are free to go explore these paths by yourself. However, if this is something you are not comfortable with you can also choose to bring a guide along with you. During this time, you will receive plenty of information regarding the area, such as the culture and its history.