©Emilie Nonette

Cultural itinerary in Le Moulleau

An enchanted stopover

A village that lives day and night…

More than a neighborhood, Le Moulleau is a village. Centered around the jetty that leads out to sea, it offers a panoramic view of the Bay of Arcachon and Cap Ferret. But once you’re on the beach, don’t hesitate to turn your gaze inland
to admire the beautiful residences, such as Villa Kypris and its architecture
In the pedestrian streets, lined with chic, high-end boutiques, you can stroll along, artisanal ice cream in hand, before reaching the seafront. Here, children are delighted to climb the bronze cannon, a relic of Napoleon’s naval wars, while parents linger on the terraces.
As evening falls, the bars and restaurants welcome couples and groups of friends. Make way for the nightlife! In Le Moulleau, the evening starts early and goes on long after midnight.

Popular with 19th-century high society and bordered by sandy beaches, the “village” of Le Moulleau has the delightfully old-fashioned elegance of the first seaside resorts. While artists try to capture the glimmering lights at the end of the day, families, locals and tourists alike enjoy mingling here. And enjoy a dolce vita that’s palpable all year round.

A little history

Born in the 19th century under the impetus of two Bordelais, Aurélien de Grangeneuve and William Papin,
Le Moulleau occupies a special place in the geography of Arcachon. Good society came here to enjoy the fresh air
or indulge in the pleasures of hunting. Is it the elegance of the seaside villas or the Tuscan-Byzantine-inspired church
and Byzantine-inspired Notre-Dame-des-Passes?
Is it its slightly off-center location?
One thing is certain: today, Le Moulleau attracts lovers in search of a romantic setting, artists seduced by the beauty of the landscape and families looking for peaceful, convivial moments to share.

To be explored on foot

Nestled between centuries-old pine forests and the blue waters of the Bassin, Le Moulleau reveals its charms to those who enjoy it on foot. Strollers can enjoy the welcome shade of the tree-lined pedestrian street, then climb the few steps to the Eglise Notre-Dame-des-Passes. Built on a sand dune, the edifice allows you to take in the view and gaze off into the distance, towards the Cap Ferret lighthouse just opposite. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can take a stroll south to Le Pyla or north along the waves to Plage Pereire. In summer, you can also take the sea bus to the center of Arcachon or the shuttle across the Bassin to Cap Ferret.

A lively place between April and October, Le Moulleau teems with life from the first rays of sunshine.
But the village also reveals its authentic maritime character during the winter months. There, out of time, we opt for a comforting waffle or crêpe. And, wrapped up in a scarf, you can stroll along the jetty, from where you can contemplate the Dune du Pilat and the entrance to the Bassin.

Please note

Moulleau, Moulo or Moullot?

In the past, “Moulleau” was spelled “Moulo”, “Moullot” or “Mouleau”.
At the end of the 19th century, the name referred to a locality consisting of a customs post and logging huts in the forest.

What to see


Designed in a Greek Orthodox style in homage to Byzantine churches by Bordeaux architect Louis Garros, Notre-Dame-des-Passes was built in 1863. The building is dedicated to the sailors who risked their lives to navigate the dangerous
passes that mark the maritime entrance to the Arcachon basin. Inside, there are a few nuggets in store, such as the rather rare statue of a Madonna of Advent, or the 80 painted angels decorating the choir and nave.

What you need to know

The secrets of Le Moulleau

Did you know that the Villa Saint-Dominique served as a refuge for the Italian poet Gabriele d’Annunzio?
Pursued by his wife and creditors, the writer, who loved women and the high life, settled here between 1910 and 1915. If the beautiful house was the setting for his tumultuous love affair with Countess Gouloubeff, it was also the setting for his best-known play “Le martyr de Saint-Sébastien”. True to his demons, d’Annunzio also incurred debts in Arcachon, and had to go into
exiled again in 1915.

Things to do

Organic market all summer long

Fruit and vegetables, cheese, honey, local wines, eco-friendly cosmetics…
Local producers, merchants and artisans sell their organic and fair-trade products directly at the summer market.
See you every Tuesday along the promenade.