ZOOM: The Dune du Pilat

It is a very popular and tourist site to visit. Every year, the Dune du Pilat attracts several million visitors. This fine sand, which makes it possible to reach the corniche beach, located at its feet, is known to everyone. The Pilat is the highest dune in Europe. It is 2.9 km long, 616 metres wide and 110 metres high. She impressions more than one, especially the many tourists who come every year to the Arcachon Basin, a stone’s throw away. It offers its beauty in show and is a true monument of the Southwest. Located in the middle of the natural environment, at the entrance to the Arcachon Basin the Dune du Pilat is a true symbol of the Aquitaine coastline and the national heritage. And its surroundings have so much to offer.


The Pilat, a remarkable sand dune 


The Pilat Dune is known for its amazing appearance: a huge sand dune almost similar to those in deserts. Every year, the bravest climb it to enjoy a magnificent view that nature offers them. An ideal tourist spot or a stroll near the Arcachon Basin, the Dune du Pilat is a must-see if you spend your holidays on Arcachon and its surroundings. For more than four thousand years, the Dune du Pilat has chronicled the history of climate variations. These years also trace the history of the landscapes and show how beautiful nature is. Protected by the law of May 2, 1930 on natural monuments and sites, 6,800 hectares of sand dune are classified nationally by the state.


Today, in 2019, the Dune is a true economic and tourist pillar for the New Aquitaine region. Nearly two million tourists visit the Dune and its natural landscapes every year. Sports, bathing, picnicking… There are many activities at the top or feet of the Pilat Dune. And if you like the calm, find the ocean beaches not far away: the Petit Nice, the Lagoon or the Salie Nord. 


A parenthesis in the wilderness


The Dune du Pilat is not just a sand dune and a beach where tourists come to bathe in the summer when they are passing through the Arcachon Basin. Once at the top of the dune, you can admire the Arguin bank nearby. Since 1972, this bank has been a formation of several small uninhabited islets where multiple species of seabirds and coastlines are found resting. Accessible by boat, the Arguin Bank Nature Reserve is managed by the Regional Environmental Protection Association. This natural landscape as unique as the dune offers a unique and striking view.


On the other hand, if you are looking for freshness, head to the east of the Pilat where greenery stretches: welcome to the forest of the Forest of the Gascony Lands. It is the largest forest massif in Europe covering one million hectares of Gironde, Landes and Lot-et-Garonne. Find part of this forest near the Dune, on 3,800 hectares of ancient dunes. The forest is the very image of this nature that makes up this part of the Arcachon Basin, especially with pine trees.


Have a good visit!