Time off? Bathing in the Atlantic


After a few days in the Bordeaux area, where you've been basketing wines from morning to night, a change is in order. That change is a trip, preferably combined with a swim in the ocean. And if you want to elevate it to a sporting and educational dimension, then Dune du Pilat is the ideal choice.

Dune du Pilat is the largest sand dune in Europe, which "falls" straight into the Atlantic. If you go on a sunny day and climb to the top, you'll be treated to a beautiful view of the ocean and the surrounding forests (some of which were engulfed by a wave of fires in the summer of 2022). When you've had your fill of the splendour, just run down to the water and freshen up.




There are two ways to approach this trip:

1, sporty, with dune climb

  • drive to the forest car park, where you will be directed by signs along the main access road. Parking is not expensive
  • in the parking lot there are stands with refreshments, souvenirs and toilets
  • there's no food stand at the dune itself, or down by the ocean. At least bring a drink in plastic
  • you walk a little way through the woods and you come under a dune. You go up either through the sand or up the stairs
  • if you then go back from the Atlantic, I recommend not to climb up the dune again, but to go slightly left through the "pass" and then along the contour. It's less strenuous
  • on hot days, I strongly recommend getting up early in the morning and getting out as early as possible. It is best to be in the parking lot around 8am or 9am at the latest. Firstly, you will avoid the convoy of cars that starts to form after 9am, as well as the crowds of tourists, which are really numerous before noon. Also, count on the sand being so hot after 11am that you can barely walk on it barefoot - this is especially true on the way back from the ocean.




2, recreationally, just bathing

  • you will not park in the "classic" forest parking lot, but on Av. Louis Gaume, i.e. in the place of the nearest asphalt road under the dune. The street is wide enough and parking is pretty much the entire length of the street
  • you walk down the stairs to the Atlantic and then turn left, following the coastline all the way to the bottom of the dune.


If you want to make the whole trip more enjoyable with good food and drink, you can take advantage of the recommendations given to us by Lionel Tonnerieux, Sales Director of Château Dauzac. This is the restaurant (and hotel) La Co(o)rniche, designed by the famous French designer Philippe Starck.


See this map for more suggestions on places to visit around Bordeaux.