A real bubble of oxygen just one hour from Bordeaux, the Médoc peninsula stretches for some fifty kilometers between the Gironde estuary and the Atlantic Ocean. On the program: immense beaches where you can recharge your batteries in contact with the salty air and the ocean, dunes that you hurtle down like children, and also large natural lakes, pine forests and 450 kilometers of slopes cycle paths, almost without any elevation. Here we forget the car, and we take the Vélodyssée to cross the region from north to south, as well as a multitude of tracks offering cross roads and routes to reach beaches and villages. From Vendays Montalivet to LègeCap Ferret, nautical activities are in the spotlight, and first of all surfing, the region’s king sport.
A protected natural heritage
3 kilometers from the ocean, between Lacanau and Maubuisson, the Etang de Cousseau nature reserve covers 875 hectares encompassing several ecosystems typical of the Landes de Gascogne: maritime pine forest, strawberry trees, holm oaks, dunes, ponds and more. marshes, which welcome two hundred species of birds from spring to autumn. We can see nesting birds, such as raptors, and winterers, such as ducks, common cranes and snipe. In the observatories set up at the top of the pines, we stay on the lookout for deer, wild boar, badgers, hares and especially the star, the European otter. Without forgetting the Landes sea cow, a now protected species. On the Contaut lagoon circuit, in the heart of the Hourtin dunes and marshes nature reserve, you can admire the royal osmondes, the largest ferns in Europe. And from the wooden footbridge, children can see Aquitaine pond turtles (small turtles).
All nautical activities
In Lacanau, the more sporty discover the joys of surfing, and the others bathe in the rollers of the Atlantic. We find serenity thanks to a relaxation therapy session facing the ocean, led by an animator from the Vitalparc Hotel & Spa. On the lake, paddle, canoe, pedal boat, sailing are available … and even catamarans, from the pontoon of Longarisse. With the wind, we sail to discover the fauna: gray herons, swans, raptors and cormorants. Islands stand out off the tip of Bernos. We stop on Île aux Oiseaux, surrounded by shallow sandy bottoms, planted with maritime pines, where we take a dip in water at over 30 ° C in summer. A real heated natural swimming pool, a stone's throw from the ocean …
- In Lacanau. Vitalparc Hotel & Spa. Double room from 112 €. “New breath” stay, 4 days / 4 nights from 876 € / pers. full board. vitalparc.com.
- In Carcans-Plage. The Galipo. Relaxed atmosphere after a surf session, a day at the beach or by bike. Varied and homemade cuisine. Main courses from € 12. Phone: 0556033513.
- In Lacanau-Océan. The Plate. On the seafront facing the sunset. Local cuisine: oysters from the Basin, wild fish … Dishes from € 12. Phone: 05 57 70 04 72.
- In Lacanau. Mahi-Mahi. Catamaran trip on the lake, 2 hours from € 25 per person. le-mahi-mahi.com
Read also :
⋙ From Arcachon to Hendaye, Atlantic walk
⋙ From Bordeaux to Blaye: our advice for a week in Gironde
⋙ Stroll in Bordeaux