After a relatively quiet first day in Bordeaux (that’ll happen if you catch a flight at 6am), we were up bright and early on our second morning for a day off to Arcachon, a coastal town not too far from the city- and one packed with plenty of sentimental value too.
Having a car (read: Joe’s wonderful aunt, who also drives) on the trip, meant we were able to venture a little further out of the city, which is something we rarely have the luxury of doing when we travel, and one of the things that made me fall in love with this part of France all the more.
With the west of the country stretching along a coastline I’d heard nicknamed ‘French California’ (which sounds ridiculous, but certainly speaks truth) having places like Arcachon and the surf-fuelled Biarritz so close means you can balance the city stay with days spent by the sandy coastline, spotting surfers and catching a glimpse of the relaxed atmosphere places like California are so notorious for- pretty dreamy, right?
With the car loaded with towels, bottles of cold water and a soundtrack for the road (we may have played Plage by Crystal Fighters one too many times), we embarked on the journey (a little over an hour and a half) to beautiful Arcachon, and arrived just after lunch time meaning moules frites and fresh bread were top of our agenda.
After lunch and a walk along the front, we packed up and headed over to the Dune du Pilat- Europe’s largest sand dune and one of the most surreal spots I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. Sweeping across Arcachon Bay and with acres of forest and sea views as far as the eye can see, it felt like another world altogether, and when climbing up you could easily be mistaken for hiking across the desert- it was absolutely mind blowing, and although the walk to the top was a little exhausting for this unfit lady, it was worth it ten times over- even on one of the hottest days.
Back in the car, our final stop, naturally, was to unwind and take a swim in the sea. It felt rude to visit somewhere as beautiful as here and not! Rolling out our towels, we cooled off in the ocean, before soaking up the last of the days sun and grabbing some fries from the gorgeous Club Plage Pereiere before the drive home.
It was so special visiting and seeing some of the places Joe spent so many of his childhood summers that I’ve heard about, and ending on the beach as the day ended made it all the more memorable. I quickly saw how he fell in love with it all that time ago, and already can’t wait to go back and spend more summers there together in the future.