Take a map of the region, point at Pointe de Grave, where the Gironde estuary pours into the Atlantic ocean and draw a straight line 270 kilometres long down to Spain! Your fingers will hover over fine sand, dune grass and steep cliffs on the Basque coastline, a nature reserve and open spaces. And there’s plenty of diversity along the way.

Dégustation au Port Ostre

What about tasting oysters?! Port de La Teste-de-Buch © LaVélodyssée J.Damase

The ideal holiday cocktail

There are thousands of ways to spend a holiday here: tonic activities on ocean beaches, or peace and quiet by the lakes just over the dunes; gourmet experiences at oyster farms and fascinating insights into heritage and history; outdoor sports and festivities in resorts. You don’t even have to choose, since you can fit it all in!

Landes , Côte d'argent

Promenade en galupe sur le Courant d’Huchet © Laurent REIZ CRTA

One part nature

In the nature reserves on the Atlantic coast, you can indulge in your love for the great outdoors, your curiosity for botany and your love of animals.

Most sites can be visited freely, however guided tours and special animations bring that little extra. Some examples Leyre Delta and salt meadows at the tip of the Arcachon basin by canoe; observing grey cranes in Arjuzanx; walks over the Dune du Pilat as the sun sets; fairy tale tours and dancing through the Hourtin marshes, taking the coastal path along to the Basque ledge in Hendaye…

All year long, naturalist guides, the Birds Protection League and the Landes de Gascogne nature park offer excursions. Did you know that the great lakes behind the dunes are the result of brooks that all join up?

Plage Lacanau Océan

Plage Lacanau Océan © Alban GILBERT / CRTA

Another part sport and relaxation

Imagine all you can do in this immense play area, how many different sports are available. Surfing and sailing for a start, and cycling, with a great network of cycle paths including the Vélodyssée, which goes right along the coast from Roscoff to Hendaye.

For those who don’t actually feel like doing anything, the fine sand on the beaches is great for lazing about.

Swimsuits are optional, since you can go to Montalivet, the oldest naturist holiday centre in France, opened in 1949. You can also enjoy being pampered by relaxation and well-being professionals in the water spas of Aquitaine.


Domaine Abbadia © EyeSea Production

Yet another part ambience and culture

Resorts also play an important role in seaside pleasure. Take a stroll as you enjoy an ice cream, listen to an open-air concert, share a meal at a market where vendors tout local produce – why not try the local squid?

And then there are restaurants on the port, with the lights playing on the water at night: a hint of romance as a perfect finishing touch! The beauty is not only natural.

There are heritage landmarks like the Cordouan lighthouse, the Winter town in Arcachon, oyster villages, the Cité de l’Océan and Sea Museum in Biarritz, Marquèze eco-museum in the Landes.

Not forgetting the vestiges of Iron Age and Gallo-Roman villages at Sanguinet lake. There’s a museum exhibiting dugout canoes, religious items and ceramics, explaining the scientists’ achievements since 1977. As for culture, events are laid on all year round, with the surfing competitions in late summer and autumn.

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