Dune du Pilat Walk (and Lunch) : Arcachon : Thursday 24th March


It is some years since we enjoyed an outing circumnavigating this famous landmark – the highest dune in Europe. As last time we shall be avoiding the tourist hotspot but exploring different regions of the dune and beach (with dramatic views). a round tour of around 8km with some climbing ! In March it is easier to walk on the sand, and should not be too hot !! The Beach has just been rated the 2nd best in the World.

It is not easy to find convenient lunch venues close to the dune in March, but Chez Maynard at Petit Nice is a great Beach Restaurant and will be open, we have had some excellent meals there. We have been offered a special 25€ menu :

  • Salade de Roquette du Parmesan ou Salade Verte ou 6 Huitres
  • Confit de Canard ou Confit de Porc ou Onglet á l’échalotes ou Dos de Cabillaud
  • Crépes (variées) ou Glaces (variées)
  • Vins et Café

We shall meet at 10.30. From our meeting place we shall take a gradual descent, followed by a short ascent to summit of the south end of the dune, affording magnificent views over the Banc d’Arguin. We shall then descend to the beach and walk south for about 3km to our lunch venue. After lunch we return via a higher level walk, making an 8km round trip.

Those who feel not so energetic can avoid the uphill return, as a car will be left available at Pétit Nice ! When we get back close to the cars, those fit enough could take a ‘deviation’ to the top of the dune. Shoes or boots for walking in sand are recommended. Those who came last time rated this as one of the best BBC walks, with fantastic views, and the lunch was excellent. The sea has wreaked havoc on this coastline in the early part of this year, so it will be a different land and sea scape. There are also new archeological finds at the seaward base of the dune as it has ‘climbed over’ an Iron Age village ! It is also a popular Paragliding spot, which during the prevailing winds, adds to the spectacular views.


From Bordeaux take A63, then A660 towards Arcachon, after 4th roundabout on this fast dual carriageway take the exit signed to Dune du Pilat and Biscarrosse (D804). Cross the next roundabout and you will eventually see the huge dune on the skyline. At its base, also the tourist entrance there is your final roundabout where you turn left signed to Biscarrosse. After several km you will pass a number of campsites in front of the dune on your right. About 150 metres after the 3rd campsite (Pyla Camping) there is a hard sand verge on the right, with some additional hard sand parking behind it – look for the BBC sign !


Please complete the online registration form or book direct with Phil asap.  (Phil’s contact details are in the membership directory here )

Please give your menu choices to Phil (19th March latest)

When using the on-line booking form, please note the following:

  • Do not forget to press ‘Submit’
  • If you do not receive a confirmation from the organiser within 48 hours then your booking has not been recorded and we ask you to contact Phil direct for your booking confirmation.