One of my most memorable excursions from Bordeaux includes a sunny day spent in Arcachon, France. Arcachon is a charming little village along the southern Atlantic coast nestled in Le Bassin d’Arcachon. Coined La Petite Ville des Quatre Saisons, this fishing village is a favorited destination among the locals of Bordeaux. Only an hour long train away, Arcachon makes for a lovely single day well-spent for international students. Featuring oysters, sand, and humble aesthetics, Arcachon will have you breathing easy between studies.
For your connivence, I offer a simple itinerary to guide your travels. This itinerary combines my own time spent in Arcachon as well as other experiences of my fellow étudiants étrangers.
8:00AM Train Departure from Gare St. Jean | Start your travels early, morning birds, and make the most of your day. Tickets can be purchased last minute, hassle-free at station kiosques for just over 10.00€
9:00AM Train Arrival in Gare Arcachon | Simply board the shuttle for a mere 1.00€
10:30AM Brunch Atop La Dune du Pilat | Treat yourself to a pique-nique of bread, jam, and cheese after conquering the barefoot trek up Europe’s tallest sand dune. Sunbathe at the peak, or tumble down the slopes towards La Plage de la Corniche. Whichever you choose, the view is spectacular and free of charge! Return to the city center by shuttle or by bike.
2:00PM Stroll the Streets of Le Ville d’Hiver | Arcachon is known for its unique division of districts, each one representing a season. Make your way to the central coast by starting further inland. Find your way through Winter Town’s maze of leafy streets. The unique architecture of Winter Town is a free attraction in itself, but if time permits, visit Parc Mauresque or the Sainte-Cécile Observatory.
4:00PM Golden Hour in Le Ville d’Été | Just a few short blocks from Winter Town is Summer Town, the heart of Arcachon. Pop in one of the many boutiques or saunter down the boardwalk. Finish with a perfectly lit photoshoot at the end of one of Arcachon’s many piers.
6:30PM A Dinner of Oysters Galore | Follow your nose to a restaurant for an early bird dinner. Taste the Arcachon specialty: oysters. Lovers of seafood will be amazed by the spread of freshly caught fish. Le Pitt and Le Cabestan come highly recommended.
8:30PM Train Departure from Gare Arcachon | Arcachon’s station closes sooner than you’d think, so be sure to catch the last train to Bordeaux!