Arcachon Bay

Holiday Travel Guide

Europe’s largest sand dune, beaches and an island filled with birds await you at this beautiful bay on France’s southwest coast.

When oyster farmers flocked to the Arcachon Bay in the 19th century, wealthy Bordeaux residents started to vacation here and the bay area developed into a tourist attraction. Today, it is a major tourism hub with resort towns, beaches, wildlife and lots of activities on land and sea.

Visit the main resort of Arcachon for its beaches, markets, port and grand 19th-century villas. The town is divided into four sections, named after the seasons. Take a boat tour around Bird Island (Île aux Oiseaux) that lies in the middle of the bay. It is named for the thousands of migratory birds that make their temporary homes here. As you get close to the island you will see two cabanes tchanquées (stilted cabins). These are oyster farming cabins perched on stilts to accommodate changing tides.

Another good ferry trip is over to Cape Ferret, the peninsula that extends south from the top of the bay. There, you will find the red and white Lighthouse of Cape Ferret (Le Phare du Cap Ferret), the bay’s only lighthouse. Climb the 258 steps for gorgeous views of the bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Put on your swimwear for a day of activities at Pereire Beach, the largest of Arcachon’s beaches. The long, sheltered expanse is popular with families with young children.

If you enjoy hiking, take advantage of the footpaths that run along the bay. Walk to the top of the Dune of Pilat, the highest sand dune in Europe. At up to 341 feet (110 meters) tall, the dune has superb views of the Banc d’Arguin, a large sandbar close to the shore. Many oyster farms have their oyster beds here and the site also provides a home for migratory birds.

Arcachon Bay is a 1-hour drive southwest of Bordeaux and its international airport. During the summer, join vacationing Bordeaux residents on the beaches of this delightful bay.

Top Trending Hotels Near Arcachon Bay

Residhome Arcachon Plazza
Residhome Arcachon Plazza
4 out of 5
49 - 51 Bis Avenue Lamartine, Arcachon, Gironde
The price is £60 per night from 14 Nov to 14 Nov
Located in the heart of Arcachon, this residence is within a 10-minute walk of Casino D'Arcachon, Mauresque Park and Winter Town. Plage d'Eyrac and Arcachon ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (598 reviews)
"Brilliant location near to the beach, shops, cafes and the lovely market. The apartment was large and really well equipped."

Reviewed on 6 Aug 2020

Residhome Arcachon Plazza
Hôtel La Pergola d'Arcachon
Hôtel La Pergola d'Arcachon
2 out of 5
40 cours Lamarque de Plaisance, Arcachon
The price is £84 per night from 26 Oct to 26 Oct
Located in the heart of Arcachon, this golf hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Mauresque Park, Casino D'Arcachon, and Winter Town. Arcachon Bay and Arcachon ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (94 reviews)
"Very nice, small hotel in the centre of Arcachon! Friendly service and small, but nice and clean romm. Also a very good breakfast - without a lot of frills."

Reviewed on 20 Feb 2020

Hôtel La Pergola d'Arcachon
Hôtel Point France
Hôtel Point France
4 out of 5
1 Rue Grenier, Arcachon, Gironde
The price is £105 per night from 26 Oct to 26 Oct
Located in Arcachon, this beachfront hotel is next to a golf course and within a 10-minute walk of Casino D'Arcachon, Arcachon Beach and Arcachon Bay. Mauresque ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (146 reviews)
"Our first vacation in two years due to COVID! We enjoyed our stay immensely, thank you for the awesome staff that made this possible. Wonderful clean/comfortable room with a balcony made our stay homey and hassle free. The hotel location is amazing, right by the beach front! Parking facility on premise ..."

Reviewed on 29 Aug 2021

Hôtel Point France
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Top Hotel Deals

Residhome Arcachon Plazza
Residhome Arcachon Plazza
4 out of 5
49 - 51 Bis Avenue Lamartine, Arcachon, Gironde
The price is £60 per night from 14 Nov to 14 Nov
Residhome Arcachon Plazza
Hôtel La Pergola d'Arcachon
Hôtel La Pergola d'Arcachon
2 out of 5
40 cours Lamarque de Plaisance, Arcachon
The price is £84 per night from 26 Oct to 26 Oct
Hôtel La Pergola d'Arcachon
Hôtel Point France
Hôtel Point France
4 out of 5
1 Rue Grenier, Arcachon, Gironde
The price is £105 per night from 26 Oct to 26 Oct
Hôtel Point France
Hôtel Le B d'Arcachon
Hôtel Le B d'Arcachon
4 out of 5
4 rue du Professeur Jolyet, Arcachon, Gironde
The price is £86 per night from 14 Nov to 14 Nov
Hôtel Le B d'Arcachon
L'Anderenis
L'Anderenis
4 out of 5
The price is £109 per night from 8 Nov to 8 Nov
L'Anderenis
Arc Hôtel sur Mer
Arc Hôtel sur Mer
3 out of 5
89, Boulevard de la Plage, Arcachon, Gironde
The price is £92 per night from 1 Nov to 1 Nov
Arc Hôtel sur Mer
Grand Hôtel Richelieu
Grand Hôtel Richelieu
3 out of 5
185 boulevard de La Plage, Arcachon
The price is £112 per night from 26 Oct to 26 Oct
Grand Hôtel Richelieu
Domaine du Ferret Balnéo & Spa
Domaine du Ferret Balnéo & Spa
4 out of 5
40, Avenue de Caperan, Lege-Cap-Ferret, Gironde
The price is £79 per night from 15 Nov to 15 Nov
Domaine du Ferret Balnéo & Spa
Beautiful studio feet in the water WiFI + 2 Bikes
Beautiful studio feet in the water WiFI + 2 Bikes
Beautiful studio feet in the water WiFI + 2 Bikes
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.