What to see and do from la Reserve
in West Coast
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Situated just 10 miles / 16km away, lap up the lush landscape at Biscarrosse, where the ocean meets the lake and forest. Surfers come here for the great waves, so why not try and ride the waves at a surf class, or have fun sand yachting or riding a kite. Safe assured, your kids can splash around in the sea while lifeguards keep watch closeby during summer. The list of activities go on and on, as Biscarrosse is home to three beautiful lakes, allowing dad to go for a spot of fishing. And if you’re looking to cool off in the shade, take a leisurely stroll in one of the largest forests in Europe.
Mimizan is a cute little seaside town centred around beach life and nature. Mimizan beach runs 6 miles / 10km long which provides endless opportunities for watersports like surfing, with a children’s beach in front of the old historic fishing town perfect for your little ones to splash in safety. Running through the town is Le Courant river, where you can go kayaking, not forgetting the stunning La Promenade Fleurie, which is rated one of the most beautiful flowered walking trails in France.
Distance to beaches:
- Mimizan (10 miles / 16 km)
- Biscarrosse (10 miles /16km)
Activites and places not to miss
Sitting on the banks of the Garonne River, Bordeaux is considered the Wine Capital of the World and you’ll certainly find lots of wine bars and cafés to sample these fine wines. Famous chateaux are dotted around the outskirts of Bordeaux and wine tasting in the leafy Pessac Léognan region is well worth a trip. Central Bordeaux is easy to walk around with lots of pedestrianised and cobbled streets. Did you know that Bordeaux also has the largest pedestrianised shopping street in Europe! Stroll along the quays, take a boat trip along the Garonne and enjoy the stunning 18th century architecture which has made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The water mirroir just opposite the Place de la Bourse is a must-do; kids will love running around and cooling down here on a hot summers day.
25 miles / 40km east of Bordeaux is St Emilion, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must-see not only just for wine lovers.
The St Emilion landscape is dominated by the town’s historic monolithic church, entirely built into rock and constructed between the 12th and 14th century. Climb up the bell tower’s 196 steps and be rewarded with superb views of the village and surrounding vineyards. Don’t miss a visit inside the underground church where its sheer volume and feat of architecture will take your breath away.
Renowned for its wine, taste testings here are of course possible and walks inside underground wine quarries are certainly worth a visit. All in all a great day trip for all the family.
Dune du Pyla
37 miles south of Bordeaux, this is the highest sand dune in Europe, at 100m. From the summit you are rewarded with spectacular views of the ocean, Arcachon Bay, and on clear days even the Pyrenees Mountains. Parasailing is popular here and you’ll appreciate the little bars and restaurants at the bottom of the Dune.
Cap Ferret is an elegant seaside town just opposite Arcachon, and just 15 minutes away from the town via boat during the summer months. Another great choice for seafood meals overlooking the sea and lazy town strolls. There’s a cute little lighthouse worth a look too, which provides panoramic views of the Bassin as well as the Atlantic.
In this warm and peaceful spa town, hot springs bubble at a constant 64 degrees celsius and you’re positively encouraged to cover yourself in mud. Before leaving, stretch your legs along the banks of the River Adou or in the colourful public gardens, where you’ll see lots of other families having a stroll.
Biarritz is a glitzy coastal hot spot, a magnet for surfers with history to boot. The town is renowned for its world-class surf and host to many surfing competitions such as the Quicksilver/Roxy Jam tournament. So if it’s waves and beach you’re after against a stunning rocky coastal backdrop, Biarritz more than fits the bill.
In the town centre, there’s plenty else to do if you’re looking for culture. Biarritz is home to the elegant la Chapelle Imperiale, designed for Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, as well as the 19th century Russian orthodox church, known for its famous blue dome, which was a haven for visiting members of Russian high society.
Soak up the surf in Hossegor, where people from the world over come and visit for the quality waves. Hossegor is known also for its golfing reputation, with its18 hole green and several golf competitions on throughout the year. With 4 beaches surrounding a large lake, Hossegor provides many nautical delights for all the family.
Archachon is a real carrefour between town and beach, where you can go shopping and stroll down to the beach to soak up the rays within minutes. What you’ll notice about this town are its grandiose houses, created in ode to the Victorian style.
Arcachon is simply studded with oyster bars and restaurants offering seafood fresh off the boat, so you certainly won’t be searching too far for a great meal, set against the superb tranquil waters of the Bassin.
It is a great hopping off point for catamaran tours around the Bassin, on which you can visit oyster farms and nearby fishing towns such as Bird Island. Don’t forget to hop onto a boat to see the chic coastal town of Cap Ferret just opposite, or the superb views at Dune du Pilat.