Travel, Share, Preserve

Arcachon jetties: a link between land and sea

Arcachon’s piers are the perfect place to take a stroll, providing a link between the land and sea worlds. Landing stages for boats and pontoons for fishermen, these stilted structures also provide protection from the impetuosity of the waves. Who better than our tour guides to present Arcachon’s five piers in just a few lines?

Thiers pier: “the queen of Arcachon piers”.

“Named “Nouvelle jetée” in 1903, it took its definitive name of “Thiers” in 1907, in memory of the arrival of the first President of the 3rd Republic. Remodeled several times, it was completely rebuilt in 2003. Located in the heart of the town, Arcachon’s best-known pier was built to provide additional space for strolling and boat departures. Imagine the number of passengers who have passed through since then. There’s no shortage of stories and anecdotes!

The Thiers jetty has also witnessed a host of Arcachon events: sea festivals, sailing regattas, fireworks displays, sandcastle contests, music concerts, religious celebrations… Today, many stroll under the candelabra in the direction of the musoir. It’s also an opportunity for young and old alike to “put on” the footprints of some of today’s greatest sailors! “

Christel’s visits – Christel SANTURENNE

The marine spirit of the Chapelle jetty

“Opposite Notre Dame Basilica, at the end of the alleyway leading down to the Basin, there’s this picturesque little jetty: the Chapelle jetty! And this monumental cross: La Croix des Marins!

This 1980 copy replaced the 1865 cross, which was accidentally destroyed and used to be saluted by trawler sirens. But the first cross dates back to 1722…almost certainly a modest wooden one.

This jetty is the ideal place to relax and read, watch the fishermen cast their lines over the famous “trou Saint Yves”, the deepest point of the Bassin (30 meters) where trawlers, boats and even a Mystère IV rest. In November 1969, this plane crashed off Plage Pereire after making a spectacular dive. The plane was towed by fishermen to the famous pit, well known to divers. A small abyss in a field of underwater dunes that suddenly collapsed.”

Sandrine BOUC

Once upon a time…the Moulleau jetty

“At the end of the 1890s, James Veyrier Montagnères, Mayor of Arcachon, moved into his villa at Moulleau. He set about developing this neighborhood, far from the town center. In 1899, he built a wooden pier next to the Grand Hôtel. In 1932, it was rebuilt in concrete to better withstand the elements. But did you know that there have been two jetties at Le Moulleau? The original one was to the left of the Grand Hôtel. It wasn’t until 1973 that it was moved to the right, in line with the Notre Dame des Passes church and the Cap Ferret lighthouse. “

L’Anecdote – Valérie SUTRA

The Legallais jetty adventure

“In 1811, adventurer François Legallais met and married a wealthy Testerine woman. Thanks to her dowry, in 1823 he created the first sea-bathing hotel on the shores of the Bassin, east of Eyrac. The jetty bearing his name was built in 1898, as an extension to the street of the same name.

Several times washed away by the sea and rebuilt, as in the storms of 1905 and 1919. At one time, it also served as a base for regatta departures, thanks to its proximity to the Grand Hôtel and its wealthy clientele. Incorporated into the boulevard-promenade in 1936, it was transformed into a spur to protect against currents.”

Myriam MADEC

Pier Pierre Lataillade: the doyenne

“Built in 1945, the Eyrac jetty was named after Pierre Lataillade, former Mayor of Arcachon, who died in 2020.

Originally made entirely of wood, it was rebuilt in 1903 in reinforced concrete to withstand storms. Even before the town of Arcachon was founded in 1857, it was a hub of activity. At the time, the railway line stopped at La Teste. To take advantage of the seaside resort, travelers had to take a boat and disembark at the Eyrac jetty. Arcachon was also a favored place of work for fishermen, especially sardine fishermen, and became the leading fishing port in 1910. Oyster merchants from the Bassin used to offer tastings here, but today they’ve been replaced by a merry-go-round of wooden horses.”

Virginie BERNAT and Elisabeth LAFARGUE

Let us guide you

All the guides listed here include a visit to one or more of the piers in their city tours. Don’t hesitate to contact them to organize or take part in a guided tour.