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Arcachon town beach visitor guide

Photo of Arcachon town beach

Visit Arcachon town beach, France

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Arcachon is a beautiful beach resort on the south west coast of France. It is south of Bordeaux in the Gironde department. Arcachon boasts 7km of fine white sand running the length of the town.

Explore the town beach of Arcachon

France This Way comments: Arcachon is one of our favourite seaside resorts in France and its beautiful sandy beach runs along the whole length of the town. It has the advantage of being in a bay which means it is very safe making this a popular holiday destination for young families.

At the heart of the town beach of Arcachon is the lovely Thiers jetty with its fluttering flags and beach huts. Heading west the beach extends to the 'jetty of the sailor's cross' and to the east past the Eyrac jetty and on to Arcachon's small port.

Arcachon town beach

The Thiers jetty lies at the end of the Avenue Gambetta which runs next to the beautifully reconstructed market square at the heart of Arcachon. The jetty is home to some charming beach huts which are the ticket offices of the various boat trips that you can take from the end of the jetty. These include the boat shuttle across to Cap Ferret and tours around the bay and the iconic Cabanes Tchanquées.

Near to the flags at the beach end of the jetty is Arcachon's own version of 'Hollywood's Walk of Fame' and there are footprints of various of France's cultural and sporting stars.

On either side of the jetty are various beach activities including beach clubs for children and nets for playing handball. There are children's beach clubs along the length of the town beach and the neighbouring Pereire beach and these are always very popular and include trampolenes and a range of different activities.

Heading west towards the jettée Croix des Marins (sailor's cross) this section of beach is known as the Plage d'Arcachon and borders the main shopping centre of Arcachon with its shops, restaurants and bars. Next to the beach runs the lovely Boulevard Marcel Grounouilhou which has a pedestrian path and bike lane and its length is planted with beautiful umbrella pine trees and pink flowering Tamarix trees. 

The benches along the boulevard and the wall at the edge of the beach are popular spots to sit and enjoy the sea views whilst enjoying an ice cream from one of the many ice cream shops in the town.

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Heading east from the Thiers jetty to the Jetée d'Eyrac is the Plage Thiers and along with the Plage d'Arcachon is the busiest stretch of beach. Behind the beach here is the Boulevard Veyrier Montagneres which has beach side restaurants running along its length.

Also behind the beach is the beautiful Grand Hotel which was once a luxury hotel but has now been converted into appartments.

Out in the water of Thiers beach you will spot brightly coloured whale's tail in the water. This 5 meter high art work was first installed in 2011 and is 300m from the shore. It spends each summer in the water and is brought in during the winter for a re-paint and it is always a pleasure to see its new colours.

At the end of the beach the Jetée d'Eyrac has the popular old fashioned carousel that looks lovely and is a favourite with young children.

Arcachon beach boulevard

 

The next section of beach between the jetée d'Eyrac and the small port of Arcachon is a quieter section of beach known as the Plage d'Eyrac with lots of space. It has a wooden walkway running all along its length with one walkway for walking and a seperate one for cycling. This makes a walk from town to the port a real pleasure.

Next to the walkway behind the beach this section of the beach has lots of hotels and appartments. Set amongst these are still a suprising number of Arcachon villas all with the quirky individuality so wonderful to see in Arcachon. One of the best is very close to the Jetée d'Eyrac.

Once you reach the port there are also a few beach side restaurants and bars and in this part of town behind the beach some of the best restaurants of Arcachon can be found.

The port of Arcachon is small but charming with its mix of small sailing boats and fishing boats and also some traditional flat-bottomed boats called 'Pinassed' or 'pinassottes'. These are always painted in bright colours and many are available to be rented. 

Behind the port you can see the distinctive Saint Ferdinand church which has a 42 meter high bell tower with a statue of the Sacred Heart at the top.

Arcachon port

Showers are interspersed along the whole of the Arcachon town beach area and in the summer life guards patrol some sections of the beach, look for the flags and life guard stations.

Attractions nearby

The town of Arcachon is beautiful with its wonderful market square and vibrant, shopping street a number of which are pedestrianised. The wonderful belle epoque villas can be seen throughout the town but the best area to explore them is in the Ville d'Hiver of Arcachon.

Our favourite beach in the town is the Pereire beach of Arcachon which is on the edge of town known as the Ville de Printemps. The beach is flanked by pine trees and it is possible to walk along its length to get to the pretty beach town of Le-Moulleau.

For those who prefer a beach with waves and perhaps wish to try surfing then the Atlantic beaches are just a short drive down the coast from Arcachon.

You can find more travel ideas in the Gironde guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also: 

Photos of Arcachon town beach

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • beach-games
  • beach-houses
  • beach-jetee-croix-des-marins
  • beach-jetee-eyrac
  • beach-restaurant
  • boulevard-marcel-gounouilhou
  • boulevard-veyrier-montagneres
  • grand-hotel
  • jetee-thiers-beach
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  • kids-club
  • port
  • sea-bus
  • walkway
  • whale

Map of Arcachon town beach and places nearby

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Visit near Arcachon town beach with France This Way reviews

Arcachon's Pereire beach

Arcachon's Pereire beach

Arcachon's Pereire beach is a favourite with locals and holiday makers.

Arcachon's Pereire beach guide
Arcachon Ville d'Hiver

Arcachon Ville d'Hiver

Visit the beautiful villas in the Ville d'Hiver of Arcachon.

Arcachon Ville d'Hiver guide
Arcachon

Arcachon

Arcachon is one of our favourite seaside resorts in France and has lots to explore. Recommended!

Arcachon guide
Arcachon Ville d'Eté

Arcachon Ville d'Eté

Arcachon's 'summer town' is a very attractive sea side town next to long sandy beaches

Arcachon Ville d'Eté guide
Parc Mauresque

Parc Mauresque

The Parc Mauresque is a large parc and garden in the heart of the resort of Arcachon

Parc Mauresque guide
Arcachon Ville d'Automne

Arcachon Ville d'Automne

The Ville d'Automne is the eastern part of Arcachon, around the port area and including the beaches of Eyrac and Aiguillon

Arcachon Ville d'Automne guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Gironde

The French version of this page is at Arcachon town beach (Francais)

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