Carcans travel guide

Photo of Carcans

Visit Carcans (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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Carcans is the collective name given to a group of places at the southern end of the large lake (the 'Lac d'Hourtin et de Carcans'), a few kilometres north of Lacanau Ocean on the Medoc peninsula.

These places include Carcans Plage (the Atlantic sea resort), Carcans itself (a traditional town a few kilometres inland from the coast) and Maubuisson, a small town and resort at the southern edge of the lake.

Explore Carcans

France This Way review: although the beach is very good here, if you are planning a visit to Carcans you should be aware that it is much quieter here and has less facilities than at Lacanau Ocean a few kilometres to the south, especially outside high season.

Surfing at carcans Plage

It is the Atlantic beach, which is sandy and several kilometres long, that is the principal attraction for visitors to Carcans. It is a very high quality beach backed by substantial sand dunes and popular with surfers. Carcans is one of our favourite beaches along this stretch of coast.

Carcans Plage resort, clustered just behind the beach, is a typical 'holiday resort', pleasant for a break from the beach and with cafes and shops all geared to tourism but no building or monuments of historical interest.


Maubuisson, just a short distance inland from the coast, is also worth passing through. There is a road that follows along the coast of the lake for a couple of kilometres and has nice views out across the lake.

In the 'town' itself you will find a small sandy lake beach, popular with children who find the Atlantic waves overpowering. The town of Carcans itself, slightly further east of the lake, has a church and basic facilities.

A sign at Carcans explains that the forests and dunes were created 150 years ago to reclaim the coast from the wind and insects, and that the dunes were then planted to ensure their stability.

Bear this in mind as you look around the Atlantic coast in these parts - both the forest and the dunes are very substantial in size and creating and planting them in the 19th century must have been an exceptional challenge!

Dunes at Carcans

As a result of the need to protect the fragile environment visitors are not permitted access to some parts of the dunes.

See more of the popular beaches and resorts on the Atlantic coast

See more seaside resorts in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Gironde guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also: 

Photos of Carcans

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  • carcans-surfing-beach
  • maubuisson-lake-beach
  • protected-sand-dunes
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Map of Carcans and places nearby


Visit near Carcans with France This Way reviews



The resort of Lcanau Ocean is the most important coastal resort on the Medoc peninsula

Lacanau guide


As well as its long beach, Hourtin also has the largest lake in France with lots of leisure activities

Hourtin guide


In this tiny village you can see Vertheuil Abbey and also the ruins of an ancient castle

Vertheuil guide


The small town of Pauillac is best known for the surrounding wine chateaux such as Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Chateau Latour and Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Pauillac guide


A small town in Medoc, at Lesparre-Medoc you can see the remains of a medieval tower

Lesparre-Medoc guide


The village and region here are known worldwide because of the prestigious wines from Chateau Margaux

Margaux guide

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

Address: Carcans, Saint-Laurent-Médoc, Lesparre-Médoc, Aquitaine, 33121, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.079722, longitude -1.043056

Plan your visit to Carcans, Gironde

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

Market days in Carcans, France

A seasonal market is held in Carcans on Wednesday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Carcans (Francais)