If you’re looking for some waterfront R’n’R, Gironde has lots to offer, whether you are into surfing at the roaring Atlantic coast or swimming in the safe, family-friendly lakes a few kilometres inland.
The only downside is, that you’ll have to share the space with loads of other tourists, as its proximity to Bordeaux, Bayonne – and even San Sebastian in the Basque country – makes it a popular destination for French and Europeans alike.
We spent a few lazy days in the seaside town of Arcachon, our base for trips to Bordeaux and the vineyards of Merlot. The Arcachon Basin is used for oyster farming, so most of the restaurants offer “degustation“; a tasting of 6 oysters with a glass of chilled white for under 10€.
The town of Arcachon became popular at the time of Napoleon III and was later considered a popular spa destination in wintertime for those with lung diseases. You will therefore find a lot of stunning, individual residences in the Ville d’Hiver, the Winter City, which offers both priceless architecture and great views of the Basin.