La Teste de Buch port ostreicole visitor guide

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There are oyster ports all around the Bassin d'Arcachon and they are very charming to explore. The oyster port at La Teste de Buch is the closest to Arcachon.

Explore the oyster port at La Teste de Buch

France This Way review: The Port Ostreicole (oyster port) of La Teste de Buch is conveniently close to Arcachon and a trip here to walk around the neighbouring salt flats and then enjoy a walk through the port followed by a glass of wine and some oyster tasting is a treat.

To get to the port of La Test de Buch take the Avenue du General Leclerc out of Arcachon and head east towards Gujan Mestras. Very soon after you leave Arcachon you will see a large parking area on the left and this is the parking for the oyster port and the salt flats of La Teste de Buch.

oyster port of La Teste de Buch

Originally the port of La Teste was shallow and silted up regularly with sand. Until the middle of the 19th century it was only used by shallow boats to load wine and resin. In order to load these the boats had to unload their ballast stones and if you explore La Teste you will notice that many of the houses of this era are built of these stones.

In the late 18th century the locals demanded that the port be improved and a channel was dug out to give more space and depth for bigger boats. Later a dock and a second parallel channel were created and this is the port you can explore now.

Because of these improvements the fishing industry and the oyster industry were able to develop here. Nowadays not much fishing takes place from the port it is almost entirely given over to oysters.


The oyster cabins were built in the local style to deal with the oyster catch and any building carried out today is strictly regulated to maintain the authenticity of the port. There are more than thirty oyster farmers operating from La Teste de Buch at the moment and the local oysters have an excellent reputation.

In the port the boats are a mixture of the flat-bottomed boats used by the oyster farmers, the often brightly coloured pinasses which are a traditional boat often rented out now to tourists, and leisure boats. The ensemble of the charming small cabins and the colourful boats is very charming.

Once you have explored the port and maybe had a walk around the salt flats next to the port you can sample the oysters, this is called dégustation in French.

A number of the oyster farmers have either a terrace next to their cabin or a terrace on the edge of the water where you can sit down and order a plate of oysters and a glass of wine. These have a limited licence but shrimps and paté are also available. 

Sitting in the sun with a glass of wine, a plate of oysters and some bread and paté is a treat not to be missed when visiting the Bay of Arcachon.

oyster port of La Teste de Buch

Attractions nearby

Arcachon is one of the most popular resorts in France and has great town beaches. Admire the belle epoque villas of the Ville d'Hiver and visit the Dune de Pilat which is the biggest dune in Europe.

Two of the very best oyster ports are round the other side of the bay near Cap Ferret. Both Le Canon and l'Herbe are well worth a visit.

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

See also: 

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La Teste de Buch salt flats

La Teste de Buch salt flats

The salt flats at La Teste de Buch have an attractive walk through the area.

La Teste de Buch salt flats guide
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Arcachon Zoo

Arcachon zoo is home to over 800 animals including rhino, elephants and tigers.

Arcachon Zoo guide
Arcachon town beach

Arcachon town beach

The town beach of Arcachon is a long sandy beach with lots of facilities.

Arcachon town beach guide
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'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


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

Arcachon guide

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

The French version of this page is at La Teste de Buch port ostreicole (Francais)