3 jours sur me Bassin d'Arcachon

Ten great ideas for three days in Arcachon Bay

So, you’ve only got three days to discover the Bay? Here’s a quick little guide for tasting, exploring, meeting and enjoying! In short, your ten commandments.

Breakfast overlooking the ocean

Nothing could be better than early morning for falling under the spell of the Bay. In your basket? Organic bread from the Fournil des Boïens in Biganos, coffee from MaxiCoffee or from Cafés Tchanqué and pastries from the [P’tite boulangerie du Ferret](https://Facebook @LaPtiteBoulangerieduFerret).

And now, choose a spot?
South-side, let’s go for the sand at Moulleau. At the heart of the Bay, the family beaches in Lanton and, towards the North, the long stretch facing the Church of Saint Eloi in Andernos.

Pedal around the Bay

You’ll find some fifty odd rental firms around the Bay. For experienced cycle tourists, count a day to ride around the Bay; two to three days for other cyclists.

Must-sees: the Pyla-sur-Mer and Arcachon cycle paths, Pereire-side and, to the North, the downhill ride to Cap-Ferret, under the pine trees. At the heart of the Bay, a little jaunt to Mios and Salles to discover the meanders of the River Leyre.

More information on cycling routes in Arcachon Bay

Watch the sun set from the Dune

The most magical experience to delight in during your stay. Settle down peacefully on 55 million m3 of sand and contemplate the symphony of lights and breathtaking panorama: the forest, the Banc d’Arguin and the Atlantic. Glance to the right and catch sight of the entrance of the Bay, Cap-Ferret and l’Ile aux Oiseaux…

Great idea: every Monday and Thursday at 8pm, the Joint Development Association of the Dune proposes strolls at dusk. Free-of-charge and open to all.

Oyster tasting

Terraces and oyster huts are the best way to taste the Bay’s shellfish. Enjoy evermore spectacular vistas whilst delighting in premium-quality products guaranteed by the “Tradition” and “Selection” labels. On the platter: oysters, whelks, periwinkles, prawns, pâtés, white and rosé wine from the region.

Observe nature and birds

The area is pure paradise for nature lovers. For visits, we suggest the Ornithological Reserve in Le Teich, nature visits proposed by the Arès Tourist Office and nature trips on the sand at Arguin, led by Sepanso guides.

And, if ever it rains: Arcachon Aquarium-Museum

Leave your car in the garage

To avoid the inescapable high-season traffic jams, check out our great ideas here: Baïa shuttles for the South of the Bay and TransGironde coaches for the North, Cap-Ferret’s “Gyropodes”, the TER (regional train) for Arcachon and even via water with the sea bus and maritime shuttle service, or by paddle or sea kayak if you prefer absolute pace and quiet.

Worth a read: “The Bassin by bike” on https://www.bassin-arcachon.com/en/bassin-by-bike/

Embark with fishermen

A handful of fishermen and oyster farmers embark tourists on their boats for an unforgettable experience of work at sea, before heading back to dry land for a tasting session. Pescatourism enchanted 1,100 passengers in 2017.

Explore secret little trails

Here are our five spots far from the maddening crowds:

Fall in love with the peninsula…

Terraces with panoramic views, concept stores, bric-a-brac sellers, best-loved, gourmet and gastronomic eateries, Mimbeau Spit, charming villages and a dash of the wild side, as if on the “edge of the world”… Taking time is a must for discovering Lège-Cap-Ferret.

By bike, on-board a “pinasse” (traditional long, narrow wooden boat) or with a Méhari, if you want to be in tune…

LEARN MORE 

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Fort Boyard

The Fort Boyard is a key element of the Naval Dockyard of Rochefort which extends all along the estuary of the Charente.
If the construction of this fortification on the "Longe of Boyard" was considered as early as the seventeenth century, the project only really started in the course of the 19th century. Built with the aim of protecting the harbor, the mouth of the Charente and especially the large dockayrd of Rochefort from the assaults of the English navy, the Fort was transformed into a prison a few years after its completion.


The Fort has been classified as an historic monument since 1950.


The Fort is 68 metres long on 31 metres large, for a total surface area of 2689 square metres. The surrounding walls peak at 20 metres. The fort is also built on a sandbak called "Longe of Boyard" which gave its name to the Fort itself.


Since 1990, Fort Boyard has been the location of a television game of the same name.


Located between the islands of Aix and Oléron, the Fort Boyard is part of the territory of Rochefort-Océan. Many departures of cruises are possible to bypass the Fort (from Port-des-Barques, Fouras-les-Bains or the Island of Aix).


There is a charge for the boat tour of the fort.

Longe de Boyard 17123 Île-d'Aix
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Batterie de Jamblet

The Jamblet battery helped to protect the Rochefort arsenal and the harbour. The fortification presents a museum space to discover the military role of the island of Aix in the defence of Rochefort and its arsenal.
The Jamblet battery helped to protect the Rochefort arsenal and the harbour where the warships anchored. A simple 2-gun battery in 1756, the battery was destroyed by the English in 1757. Under the Consulate and the Empire (1799-1815), the whole defence of the Aix harbour was rethought and the Jamblet battery was rebuilt. In use until 1926, it was abandoned after the Second World War.


The fortification presents a museum space to discover the military role of the island of Aix in the defence of Rochefort and its arsenal.

Jamblet 17123 Île-d'Aix
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Cercle Nautique de l'Ile d'Aix : sailing school

French Sailing School.
The "Cercle Nautique de l'Ile d'Aix" is a sailing club welcoming you to a wide range of sailing activities!

-> First trip: an introduction to sailing of all kinds with an instructor

-> Sailing courses for ages 5 and over

-> Trimaran trip for 5 to 6 people (including instructor)

-> Introduction to the sea world: an educational visit to the foreshore

-> Groups welcome

-> Standup paddleboard, single or double kayak, Catamaran F1 rentals

Have fun with your family or friends.

The CNIA now has a MEGA SUP AIR (paddleboard for several people), available for rent from Monday to Saturday.

Fort de la rade 17123 Île-d'Aix
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Napoleon Museum

Now a historical monument, it is the house in which Napoleon surrendered to the English.
Discover the last home of Napoleon I on French soil before his exile to Saint Helena in 1815. The Napoleon Museum exhibits numerous relics that once belonged to him (furniture, portraits, keepsakes.). By the looks of its, it's almost as if the Emperor never left the house.

30 rue Napoléon 17123 Île-d'Aix
Du 01/04/2022 au 30/09/2022
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Île d'Aix

The island of Aix, classified as a remarkable natural site, is an invitation to travel and get away from it all. It is only accessible by boat, all year round, from the Pointe de la Fumée in Fouras-les-Bains.
The insular charm of a military land: peacefull island, you will discover it on foot, by bicycle or in a carriage. With its fortified village, its coastal batteries, its forts, including the famous Fort Boyard, the island is a place out of time, charming lovers of history and children dreaming of adventures. The only "true" island of Charente-Maritime, Aix Island draws a great pride in its imperial past. Under the First Empire, it was transformed into a fortress island and became the cornerstone of the defense of Rochefort. After a first visit in 1808, the Emperor Napoleon I went to the island again in July 1815 and settled for four days in the house of the Governor, his last residence on French land before his exile in St. Helena. It is also on the Aix Island that you will find one the last workers of the Mother-of-pearl in France. A remarkable natural site: The Aix Island, 3 km long and 700 m wide, concentrates all the diversity of the coastal landscapes of the Charente-Maritime. Classified on the list of "Remarkable Natural Sites", it is a fragile place that one must respect. Advice: The sand dunes protect the coast. Participate in saving them by respecting the walking paths. Preserve the flora and do not pick the flowers. Keep the island clean and you can collect garbage bags free of charge from the Tourist Office to put your waste in. The fortified village by Vauban is located on the southern part of the land, bordered by beaches, creeks and rocks. The island, accessible only by boat, is in the heart of the pertuis of Antioch, between the island of Oléron and and the peninsula of Fouras.

17123 Île-d'Aix
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African Museum

Africa on the island of Aix.
Africa on the Aix Island : The creator of this museum, Baron Napoleon Gourgaud (1881-1944), liked to hunt in Africa and he was passionate about ethnography and the natural sciences. In this museum, numerous collections of trophies, sculptures and ethnographic objects that the baron brought back from his many expeditions in Southern and Eastern Africa and his animal dioramas representing the African fauna realized by the Londoner taxidermist Rowland Ward.

Rue Napoléon 17123 Île-d'Aix
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