Le Bassin d’Arcachon (Arcachon Bay) is a 100km triangular-shaped stretch of coastline that runs around a small area of the Atlantic Coast. Known as one of France’s key areas for outdoor activities and unspoilt scenery, the bay contains a number of interesting towns and villages, including the principal town of Arcachon itself, which lies at the southern-central point of the ‘triangle’. Arcachon has a varied range of attractions that make it a popular holiday rental destination with visitors of all ages.
The surrounding coastline and countryside are the main draws of holidays in Arcachon, with young and old often enthralled by the combination of pine tree-clad forests, countryside walks and unspoilt coast.
Arcachon has long been revered as a great spot for sea bathing, with a mild climate meaning that the waters are pleasant to swim in for much of the year. The beaches around this part of the coast are always a big draw, particularly during the height of summer, with sports-lovers going for the surf, families enjoying the clean, supervised beach, and everyone else just soaking up the sun and enjoying the atmosphere.
Arcachon town centre dates back just 150 years, so you will not find an abundance of centuries-old buildings around its centre. Buildings are more functional than architecturally stunning, but house a combination of great shops, cafes, bars and supermarkets. Arcachon is a family-friendly destination, and it is easy to feel at home straight away when traversing the town’s streets and chatting to both locals and tourists. With a good selection of bars and restaurants the nightlife is busy and enjoyable, and there is even a popular casino for those that fancy a flutter.
Around the Bassin d’Arcachon are a number of other attractive towns and villages well worth visiting when holidaying in Arcachon. A good example is Lege Cap Ferret (47km), a slightly upmarket resort on the peninsula of the same name which boasts some of the finest shopping and dining options for miles around. Also worth a day visit is Pyla sur Mer (7km), which is the home of the largest sand dune in Europe.
Arcachon is something of a year-round destination, with mild temperatures even during winter months. Summer months, however, have always been the most popular, with the daily average high temperature just a shade under 30°C. Late spring and early autumn are also warm and sunny – ideal for those on a golfing or outdoor adventure break.
Arcachon is best reached via a flight to Bordeaux – Merignac Airport (BOD), which lies 70km to the north-east of the town. A good selection of flights can be found between the United Kingdom and Bordeaux, but with the best prices usually available months in advance, it pays to book in early. easyJet offers some of the cheapest prices on flights to this destination.