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The Traveller's Magazine
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Planning a trip to France this summer? The famous Dune of Pyla is one of those natural wonders that you just can’t believe until you’ve seen it with your own eyes. If you’re passing by the Arcachon Bay area, this place is not to be missed!

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The Great Dune of Pyla… what a name, right? It’s literally a mountain of sand which rises a few hundred metres above the surrounding forests right next to the Atlantic Ocean.

Climbing to the top is no easy task, especially when the summer sun is beating down on your back. But what a beautiful reward if you do make it to the top: a panorama, a complete 360° view, of the Landes forests, the ocean and the bay. It’s simply exhilarating.

A climb up the dune is a nice stopover if you’re driving between Bordeaux and Biarritz, on your way back from a holiday in Spain or as a side trip from your city-break in Bordeaux or Arcachon.

  • From Bordeaux it is only an hour’s drive (60km).

The Dune in numbers:

  • 500m in length from east to west and 2,700m from north to south
  • 60 million cubic metres of sand (this is only a rough estimate)
  • 1 million annual tourists

From the top:

Cap Ferret Point: the end of the world between two great waters… those of the Atlantic Ocean and Arcachon Bay.

Malprat Island: this island is 140 hectares and has 19 ponds and a network of deep canals fed by brackish water. The island is rich with some amazing fauna like pond tortoises, otters, mink and more.

Bird Island: a wildlife area that covers hundreds of hectares. Located in the middle of the bay amongst a maze of oyster farms it can be tricky to reach but it’s worth it.

pilat-foret

pilat-mer

pilat-chemin

pilat-bruyere

pilat-parapentes

pilat-parapente-2

pilat-traces

pilat-sunset

pilat-marcheurs

Have you ever climbed the Great Dune of Pyla?

Imgs: pragmatopianzabaraorgHavar og Solveiglmg_1opacoJPC24M / Flickr cc.

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