The site has been listed as a natural heritage site since 1994 and it’s the highest dune in Europe. The Dune of Pilat impresses by its formidable size but also by the breath-taking panorama you get at its summit: Arcachon Bay, the Banc d’Arguin, the Cap-Ferret lighthouse, and woodland stretching to every horizon. Just climb up and admire!
Off the beaten track
Everyone has heard about this natural landmark which is constantly on the move. However, for those who are just happy to climb to its summit, it hides secrets they could never imagine. In order to pierce the mysteries of this highly protected natural monument, the Grand Site of the Dune of Pilat organises a host of activities for children and adults, namely guided walks during the day and at sunset, workshops, and story-telling evenings for adults. Depending on the weather, entertaining activity workshops are organised for children, and there is a welcome post with an extensive view over the crest of the dune, a discovery trail in the forest and exhibition about the Dune’s hidden face. Pay a call to the Dune’s Visitor Centre to enrol or call 05.56.22.12.85.
2,600 years ago, …
The famous white lady impresses by her measurements: 106 m in height and 2.7 km in length. The Dune is made up of 60 million cubic metres of sand and its history dates back thousands of years. Recent archaeological digs prove that humans lived here 2,600 years ago.
The Dune of Pilat is accessible via the car park located at its base on the wooded side. You can park in front of a row of small shops and cafés, eat a delicious ice-cream to build up some energy and climb up via the small flight of temporary stairs present from April to November. You can also gain access from Avenue Louis-Gaume, via the stairs from the Corniche next to the cross in tribute to sailors who have perished at sea. Walk down the stairs and you will find yourself directly on the beach at the bottom of the Dune. The stairs boast viewing platforms and boards describing the natural fauna and flora, with lists of the species living here. Go for an evening walk at sunset, you are bound to enjoy a magical moment.