Welcome to Bordeaux, a municipality in France renowned for the goodness of its namesake wine and, secondly, for the beauty of its beaches. With its 130 kilometres of coastline, every year this place attracts thousands and thousands of tourists attracted by the magical and irresistible charm of an area still not fully discovered by mass tourism.
Those who come here do not need to be told that Bordeaux is one of the wine-making of Europe and the world. Yet, this city has much more to offer than a nice glass of Grand Cru in the shade of a castle: in recent years Bordeaux is undergoing the generous influence of local initiatives to restore and retrain the territory. New shops, commercial initiatives, cultural activities and above all a flourish of openings of small and large restaurants and confectionery of higher quality, which can really make the difference between an ordinary holiday destination and one of the most memorable stays of your life.
Bordeaux is the capital of the department of Gironde and the regione of New Aquitania. Located a few kilometres from the sea and at the same time crossed by the beauty of the Gironde River, it owes its name to the ancient Roman settlement of Burdigala, on the borders of Gaul. Its historical beauty would be worth a visit here: the historic centre of the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 and covers nearly 350 buildings in the city. If, as we can imagine, you are a water enthusiast, you need to take a trip downtown and visit the largest reflective pool in the world: Miroir d'Eau. Opened in 2006 as a public art installation, it was created by artist and landscape designer Michel Corajoud with technician Jean-Max Llorca. The inspiration is clear: we are talking about the extraordinary reflections of Piazza San Marco, in Venice, but the result is unique and offers a clear difference from the almost poignant beauty of the tall mediaeval buildings that dominate Bordeaux. That's why the reflective pool has remained where it was and indeed, every year attracts thousands of tourists eager to cool off in the hottest hours of the day. You'll find crowds of kids running through it, outdoor music and, of course, lovers shyly holding hands.
As mentioned, however, few know Bordeaux for its exquisite seaside destination: its beaches, overlooking not only the Atlantic Ocean but also rivers and lakes, offer tourists an excellent alternative to the French Riviera and, we're sure, they'll make you fall in love. Come with us to discover the Bordeaux's most beautiful beaches; we have created a complete list so that you can choose the itinerary that is right for you.
- Lacanau-Océan Beach
- Le Porge-Océan Beach
- Bordeaux-Lac Beach
- Pointe Aux chevaux Beach
- Grand Crohot Beach
- Pointe du Cap Ferret
- The beaches of Bassin D'Arcachon
- Pereire Arcachon Beach
- Hostens Lake Beach
- Le Moulleau Beach
- La Hume Beach
Fifteen spectacular kilometres of coastline in Bordeaux, lapped by the rushing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Welcome to Lacanau-Océan, where the golden sand dunes are protected by the spectacular pine forests. Lacanau is the go-to destination for all those looking for a relatively quiet beach to practice surfing and, at the same time, fully enjoy the bathing establishment services. Over time, Lacanau has become the local landmark for water sports: this is where several international competitions are held every year, including the Lacanau Pro.
The sand of the beaches of Lacanau-Océan is soft and, when sun-kissed, warms up, spreading a pleasant warmth that makes the long afternoons of sunshine and relaxation truly incredible. The ocean water, of course, can be cold and with rough waves. Take a dip on the hottest days, however, and you will experience all the beauty of a unique climate in France. The bathing facilities are supervised by lifeguards who ensure your safety at any time of the summer season.
Those who want a bit of tranquillity, can instead decide to move away from the structures and stroll through the dunes to find a secluded place where you can enjoy the sound of the waves. After a nice day at the sea, take a nice walk in the centre of Lacanau and be pampered by the port and tourist atmosphere of the pedestrian streets. Shops, boutiques, cafés and delicious seafood restaurants.
Come to Lacanau-Océan for surfing and you'll find everything you need for an adrenaline-pumping holiday. Here you can not only face the sea alone, but if you want to learn you will find some of the best courses in the region. And if you want to try your hand at windsurfing or sailing, remember that Lacanau-Océan and Lacanau are separated by a well-equipped lake, where you can practice all kinds of water sports that the Atlantic Ocean would normally not allow. By the way: if you have children, nearby you can find the Aqualiday Water Park, which has both indoor and outdoor structures suitable for the whole family. Swimming pools, hot tubs, slides, saunas, Turkish baths and exclusive beauty treatments to try at least once during your stay in Bordeaux.
If the Atlantic Ocean has tired you out, you can decide to spend your day on the beaches around Lac de Lacanau, a beautiful lake surrounded by nature where you can sunbathe on the edge of the woods and enjoy a picnic without the disturbance of the sand.
Holidays different than usual? Lacanau still has much more to offer! Go for a hike to the Etang Nature Reserve, where you can admire magnificent specimens of birds immersed in a natural setting of untouched woodland.
Le Porge-Océan Beach
The quieter beaches near Bordeaux can be found here, in Le Porge-Océan, where silence and relaxation dominate a surreal and somewhat enchanted atmosphere. Le Porge-Océan has recently become a favourite destination for tourists looking for a place to unplug. Here you can experience the magic of serenity, of unspoiled nature away from traffic jams. It is one of the perfect places to stay during your visit to New Aquitania in towns such as Lacanau, Arcachon or Biscarosse.
Le Porge-Océan has become famous for its sandy beaches, big waves and strong ocean currents that agitate the water. You can enjoy a wonderful holiday based on sun, sea and water sports such as surfing, but for a swim it is advisable to stay close to the lifeguard stations, to avoid any possible problems. There's a rumour that Le Porge-Océan is the Bordeaux area dedicated to nudist beaches, but that is not entirely true. The busiest beaches are absolutely traditional. If you are looking for something more exotic, instead, you have to walk a little along the coast, reaching more discreet areas where, in fact, many people enjoy the sun without clothing.
And after a day of great activity, there is nothing better than a walk in Le Porge, with its quaint old town. Before the nineteenth century, in fact, this area was completely uninhabited, and crowded only by marshes, sand dunes and moors. Over the decades, reclamation operations have begun and now Le Porge is a beautiful village irrigated by canals that water the cultivated fields. After a period of intensive resin harvesting from pine trees, the town now lives mostly on tourism, which is encouraged by the presence of numerous bars and restaurants where you can taste the local food and wine delicacies.
Pointe aux Chevaux beach on the Lege-Cap Ferret Peninsula
Lege-Cap-Ferret: the southern tip of a thin peninsula that separates the waters of the Atlantic Ocean from the bay of Archachon. Its golden beaches offer a meeting point for tourists who want to enjoy a relaxing holiday and, of course, water sports. Lege-Cap-Ferret is best known for its lighthouse and the world-class hotel facilities that, every year, attract VIPs and celebrities from the international scene in search of a chic place to enjoy the holidays.
If this is your first visit here, go to the lighthouse (258 steps, are you ready?) and enjoy the view from its top, where you can take amazing photographs that will be a hit on Instagram. The area is also completely surrounded by bike paths that cross rural and city areas where a breath-taking show is assured.
Lege-Cap-Ferret is the perfect destination for everyone who likes to change without having to move too much. One day surfing immersed in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean coast, and next you can relax in the calmer sands of the bay. There are four beaches around here: Grand Crohot, Horizon, Truc Vert and Garonne. Pointe aux Chevaux is the far end of the peninsula and offers wonderful views of the woods and waters: take a hike here and bring away with you not only a fantastic tan to show off at home, but also a series of photographs to the envy of your friends who have spent the holidays on the French Riviera. From Pointe take a ride to Grand Piquey, the village that stands here.
Cap Ferret is reached by land or ferry from Archachon Bay and offers enchanted beaches for a total length of more than 25 sandy kilometres. And what waves! You will simply be mesmerised by the strength of the ocean at this point in France. Whether you love kayaking or want to learn navigation techniques, this is certainly one of the most exclusive places to do it.
Grand Crohot Beach
Welcome to the wild beauty of Grand Crohot Beach, on the Cap Ferret Peninsula. The seaside area can be reached through a series of wooden walkways and offers prime views of the crisp ocean waves. The beach is guarded by lifeguards and coastguards from mid-June to mid-September. Before throwing yourself headlong into the water, it is always a good idea to pay attention to the flags that signal any bathing bans, so that you can swim safely.
Come for the beauty of the ocean, stay for the waves and surfing. And in the evening, when you're tired after a long day of aquatic activities and horse-riding, it's time to pop into the nearby villages, where you'll find spectacular restaurants serving great fish and, of course, high-quality wine, all to be tried.
Pointe du Cap Ferret
An endless, wild beach, white sand and fine sprays of tall grass. If you're looking for a place to enjoy the beauty of Bordeaux beaches, you've arrived at your destination. Enjoy a sunny day and stay until the last light of sunset to take a series of simply unforgettable photos. Here the water is too rough and is not guarded, so you will find countless signs that advise against bathing. Come for the photos and, if you like, enjoy a day with the wind in your hair and a bit of a magical atmosphere. Around here, there are also a number of bistros and restaurants where you can taste the oysters, a local delicacy not to be missed.
The beaches of Bassin D'Arcachon
Arcachon is the main village of Bassin d'Archachon, one of the most enchanting places you'll find in Bordeaux. The ocean here enters through a series of canals that form the peninsula, from Cap Ferret to Dune de Pilat.
60 kilometres from the capital of New Aquitania are the spectacular villas close to the sea, the sandy beach dunes and, of course, some of the region's most famous restaurants. In addition to being famous for its coastline, the area has become the most prestigious centre of oysterfarming in France. If you want to enjoy a dish, then, you have come here, where you will be served in large portions collected locally.
Arcachon is the most popular seaside destination in Bordeaux, and as a result in summer tends to be very popular with tourists and residents who want to have a weekend to lie in the sun. The most beautiful time for a visit here is between March and September, when the water is warm enough to take a dip in the ocean. Arcachon is divided into four "seasonal" parts: the summer part is dedicated to walks and restaurants. The winter area offers spectacular 19th-century houses; the autumn area includes the port areas where fishermen land every day with their catch and finally, the spring town includes some of the most beautiful beaches in the south of the bay. Many people who come here go directly to the centre, but you'll want to take a few hours to admire Arcachon in its entirety and in all its amazing nuances.
Spend a day at the beach, trying water sports and under your parasol, and then enjoy walks in the spectacular pedestrian areas. If you're looking for a well-equipped area, head to Plage d'Arcachon, where the area's most important beach resorts are located. Located in the middle of the bay, this beach is well protected from the biggest waves of the Atlantic Ocean, which makes it easy for children to enjoy themselves in the water in peace. Beware however, because during the summer this area tends to be very busy. If you prefer calm, go to the beaches around the Ville de Printemps.
Another attraction of the place is certainly the market, open daily during the summer and from Thursday to Sunday in the rest of the year. Stalls covered with souvenirs and local delicacies where you can pick up snacks made with love for your days at the beach: this is truly the essence of a holiday immersed 100% in the culture of the place!
If you're passing through Arcachon, you'll also need to stop by the Hiver Villas. While not exactly just a short walk from the centre, it's one of the most striking areas of the place and must be on your itinerary! Built close to the hills surrounding Arcachon, the "winter" city dates back to the 19th century and offers a somewhat magical architecture punctuated by the beauty of nature. This area, mostly residential, is home to 300 villas, one more beautiful than the other.
The most beautiful beaches of Arcachon are and remain those of La Ville de Printemps, as we said. Come here and enjoy the rough beauty of the sand that plunges headlong into the ocean for an unforgettable day. Walk along Plage des Abatilles and Plages des Arbousiers, where every year thousands of surfers and windsurfers come in search of the perfect wave. Most of the beach areas here are well guarded and equipped, but there are also long stretches of free beach where you can enjoy the wild charm of the ocean. So, you are spoilt for choice.
Pereire Arcachon Beach - near Bordeaux
Due to its strategic location in Arcachon Bay, the Pereire beach is protected by the irreverent waves of the Atlantic Ocean and offers a really interesting swimming area where you can dive without having to think about the currents. This is the Bordeaux beach where you can bring your kids too: it is one of the most popular in the Bassin d'Arcachon, and therefore tends to fill with tourists and residents – especially on weekends. The reason why becomes obvious when you arrive at your destination and look around: the location is spectacular. White beaches, crystal clear water and facilities equipped for all types of sports, offer a truly varied stay for the whole family.
With its 3 kilometres of coastline, it's easy to put your towel down and finally enjoy some beach life just a few metres from the pine forest. The area is well equipped to welcome people and ensure their comfort: bathrooms, changing rooms, bars, restaurants, dining areas and, last but not least, ample parking. If you're passionate about skating, here you'll also find one of the largest parks in the province where you can have fun with the other skaters.
Lake Hostens Beach - south of the Gironde
In the heart of the Gascony forest, to the south of the Gironde, Hostens Lakes offer tourists a spectacular location of relaxation and fun. Relaxing white-sand beaches, water activities for the whole family and areas equipped for picnics, excursions, bars, hotels and restaurants. Beach towel in hand, venture into the spectacular world of five lakes of Hostens and spend an unforgettable day in contact with nature. Here you can devote yourself to a number of activities, such as canoeing, swimming, kayaking, surfing, paddle surfing and pedalo, available to the public at all levels. And if the day is a bit cloudy, after a few photos of the spectacular water of the lakes you can always take a walk in the pine forests of Gascony. There are three main routes that cross the various areas of the forest: one 8, one 11 and one 16 kilometres long – ideal not only for the walks but also for mountain biking (with some bumpy sections to increase the adrenaline potential). There is also the opportunity to undertake a series of rides on horseback for a truly unforgettable experience!
Fans of fishing can come to the Hostens Lakes to throw their lines in the dedicated areas and try to catch carp, tench and many other species of fish. Attention: Lake Lamothe is home to water sports in the summer, not exactly compatible with the quiet required for fishing!
To learn more about the place, you can also book a series of guided tours to explore the area to the fullest, getting in touch with everything you never thought you could discover about local flora and fauna.
Le Moulleau Beach - near Bordeaux
Andernos-les-Bains - near Bordeaux
Just a few kilometres from the famous Arcachon Bay is the fabulous resort of the Andernos-les-Bains. This is the perfect location for all ocean beach lovers who don't want to stray too far from the district's food and wine centres. Here you can enjoy some of the best oysters in the area in a very respectable historical context. Andernos has a series of Gallo-Roman ruins. Between the soft-sand beaches and the dining experiences that await you here, remember to check out the stunning Sant-Eloi Church, one of the zone landmarks.
Even in Andernos the beach is equipped to accommodate facilities for the rental of surfboards and windsurfing, as well as providing a series of courses for learning to manage the difficult ocean waters.
La Hume Beach - near Bordeaux
In the Gujan-Mestras area there is one of the most delicious beaches you can visit with the whole family, children included. Of all the areas of Arcachon, this is known as the undisputed capital of local oyster farming. The waters of the bay are shallow and comfortable, ideal for swim without incurring ocean hazards. Attention for to the tides, which change every day: timetables are usually exposed on the beach so as to notify the various changes for help swimmers to orient themselves better. The area is also supervised by lifeguards from July to August.
If you get hungry, then, you're in the right place. Stop in one of the many cabanas on the beach and enjoy a plate of fresh oysters with butter and lemon!
Depart for Bordeaux with Costa Cruises
Take advantage of the wonders of a Costa cruise to immerse yourself in the food and wine tradition and the beauty of the beaches of the Bordeaux area. Don't miss the oyster dish that awaits you at one of Bassin d'Arcachon's many resorts, or take a dip in the natural beauty of Hostens Lakes, where you have woodland, silence and lots of water sports such as canoeing, kayaking and paddle surfing. What are you waiting for? Come and enjoy France overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a paradise of waves, white and soft sand and lots, lots of fun!