Just one figure will tell you a lot: 250 kilometres of ocean coastline! Aquitaine has quite simply Europe’s biggest beach of fine sand. Added to this are the 500 kilometres of shores alongside the lakes and estuaries.
Imagine all the things you can do in this huge leisure area, how many sports you can practise – surfing and sailing, of course, but equally cycling, with a massive network of cycling tracks.
If, on the other hand, you would rather do nothing at all, the fine sand of the Atlantic coast is ideal for relaxing on, either in the traditional way or naturist style. Similarly, there are plenty of professionals specialised in relaxation and well-being to take care of you in the many thalassotherapy centres in Aquitaine.
This vast coastline is also home to a great many boating harbours and seaside resorts, from the beaches of the Médoc in the north to those of the Basque Coast on the Spanish border, via the shores of the Landes region.
Of course, all these sites are to be found in a remarkably well-protected natural environment, with highly diverse plant and animal life. Several nature reserves can be visited (Le Teich Ornithological Reserve in the Bay of Arcachon, Marais d’Orx Nature Reserve in the southern Landes…); in fact the large number of these reserves is one of the features of this multifaceted coastline.
Other special features? The almost straight, vertical line formed by the Atlantic coast as it heads southwards from the Pointe de Grave to Spain; the presence of huge dunes along most of the shoreline, including the highest in Europe, the Dune du Pilat (104 metres) which looks over the Bay of Arcachon; and the big lakes just a few miles from the ocean.
Aquitaine Oceanside is also a way of life, with its festivities, its trades, its crafts, its gastronomy. Something for everybody!
To find out the quality of the water in all swimming areas (ocean and
freshwater) in the départements of Aquitaine, visit the website of the
Ministry of Health: