SurferBoysThe department Gironde, after French Guyana the second largest department, is situated in the southwest of France, in the Aquitaine region. It is named after the Gironde, a river section, created by the fusion of the two rivers Garonne and Dordogne shortly after the city of Bordeaux. The Department extends from the Gironde estuary, all the way south along the coast till the lake of Cazeau "Lac de Cazeau", passing by the villages of Soulac-sur-Mer - Montalivet - Hourtin - Lacanau-Ocean - Lège Cap-Ferret and Arcachon. The city of Bordeaux, which is the largest city in the South West region of France, is located in the center of the Gironde department. It has approximately 236,000 habitants (660,000 habitants Bordeaux CUB).

The "Silver Coast" (Côte d'Argent - coastline of the Gironde), extends from the Gironde estuary and the town of Soulac-sur-Mer up to Biarritz, passing by Hourtin, Lacanau and the Bay of Arcachon. This strip, of 200 km Atlantic coast, in southwestern France, is characterized by vast, fine sandy beaches, with dunes and pine forests. The name "Silver Coast" refers to the unique quality of the fine sand that has been mixed over thousands of years with the abrasion of the shiny shells and which in the evening, at a certain light-angle, turns into silver water reflections.

The entire region has a well-developed network of bike trails.

  1. Hourtin-Plage
  2. Lacanau-Ocean


1. Hourtin-Plage

From Soulac-sur-Mer heading south along the silver coast, passing by the beach resort Montalivet, one finally reaches Hourtin and Hourtin-Plage. Right next to the Atlantic beach, situated on the boarder of the dunes you’ll find the small seaside resort Hourtin-Plage. The main attraction here is the Atlantic-Ocean, blue sea and long sandy beaches, as far as the eye can see. A true paradise for surfers and those who wish to learn it, because surf/bodyboard classes are offered for all ages at the main beach.

This friendly beach village has everything you need and everything is within walking distance, there are restaurants, cafes, a few shops and bakeries. Because of its beachfront location and clarity, this place is ideal for families with children. Surrounded by dunes and pine forests the site consists mainly of individual houses and a campground. The area has a very well developed network of hiking and bike trails.

A trip to Hourtin-Ville (about 12 kilometers east), a typical French village (3000 habitants) with a village square and a church, is worthwhile. There is a nice weekly market and a few shops. Also recommended is a trip to the lake of Hourtin and Carcans "Lac de Carcans et de Hourtin", one of the largest natural freshwater lakes in France. Here you can go for a walk, swim, go sailing and wind-surfing (local rental is possible) or attend one of the many water sports courses (windsurfing, sailing ...), offered for all ages at the Hourtin-Port.

P8022420Hourtin and Hourtin-Plage offer the following activities and attractions:

  • Beach-holiday for every taste
    • Wide natural ocean sand-beaches – partially supervised
    • Idyllic lake beaches
    • Endless beach walks
  • Surfing (courses for all ages are offered at the supervised beach, surf/ body board rental)
  • Sailing and windsurfing on the lake (sailboat and windsurf rental)
  • Cycling – Bike tours (very well-developed network of bike trails, also between lake and ocean)
  • Tasting the world-famous oysters and seafood from the region
  • Seasonal attractions: concerts, boat races, holiday animations, for example on 14th of July (the French national holiday - the storming of the Bastille) or 15th of August (Catholic holiday - Assumption - festivals and fireworks)
  • Attractions for children:
    • Children's Island at the Port of Hourtin "Ile des Enfants" - an island just for children with attractions and games
    • Sail and surf courses for children and teenagers
    • Surfing for children and teenagers at almost all supervised beaches
  • Various excursions and day trips – our favorites:
    • Visit of the old seaside resort Soulac-sur-Mer, near the Gironde estuary
    • Day-trip to the Medoc and the famous Wine Route - Wine tasting at various wineries - direct sale
    • Day-trip to Bordeaux
    • Day-trip to St. Emilion – home village of the world's estimated Bordeaux wines – direct sale
    • Day-trip to the Bay of Arcachon
    • Visit of the City of Arcachon - boat tours on the Bay of Arcachon
    • Dune climbing on the Dune of Pyla

2. Lacanau-Ocean

The community Lacanau-Ville is situated about 45 km northwest of Bordeaux. In the beginning of the 20th Century, the beach resort Lacanau-Ocean has been additionally founded, and is located directly between ocean and lake. The Atlantic coast with its beautiful beaches around Lacanau-Ocean is also known as paradise for surfers. The Lacanau Surf World Cup "Lacanau Pro" is annually taking place in August gathering the world's elite surfers and wave riders every year. This is an exciting spectacle, which can surely impress even non-surfers.

The seaside resort of Lacanau-Ocean offers stunning ocean, beautiful endless sandy beaches, a nice town with pedestrian zone, beach-walk, a lot of restaurants/cafes and individual shops, as well as a 100 km long, well-developed network of bike trails and recreational opportunities for every taste: sailing and surfing on the lake, golf on a fantastic golf course with 18 holes, tennis on one of the 12 tennis courts, horse riding ... 
Lacanau-Ocean disposes of well maintained residences in pine-woods between the lake and ocean as well as very nice residential areas, situated either in Longarisse and Haute Carreyre near the lake or on the edge of Lacanau, offering the opportunity to reach beach and city center by foot.
From the Atlantic Ocean heading east (about 3 km) through a landscape dominated by dunes and pine forests, you will get to the lake of Lacanau, one of the largest lakes in France.

The tourist office "Office de Tourisme", located in the city center of Lacanau-Ocean, provides all the necessary information concerning the area, maps, tour information and tips for designing an ideal vacation.

Lacanau-Ocean offers the following activities and attractions:

  • Beach-holiday for every tasteSurferBoysBack
    • Wide natural ocean sand-beaches – partially supervised
    • Idyllic lake beaches
    • Endless beach walks
  • Surfing (courses for all ages are offered at almost every supervised beach, surf/ body board rental)
  • Sailing and windsurfing on the lake (sailboat and windsurf rental)
  • Cycling – Bike tours (very well-developed network of bike trails, also between lake and ocean)
  • Golf (very nice golf course with 18 holes)
  • Tennis (12 courts)
  • Horseback Riding
  • Tasting the world-famous oysters and seafood from the region
  • Seasonal attractions: Lacanau Pro (Surf World Cup), concerts, boat races, holiday animations, for example on 14th of July (the French national holiday - the storming of the Bastille) or 15th of August (Catholic holiday - Assumption - festivals and fireworks)
  • Attractions for children:
    • Children beach clubs offer entertainment for children aged 3 to 12 years – information provides the tourist office
    • Sail and surf courses for children and teenagers
    • Surfing for children and teenagers at almost all supervised beaches
  • Various excursions and day trips – our favorites:
    • Day-trip to the Bay of Arcachon
    • Visit of the City of Arcachon - boat tours on the Bay of Arcachon
    • Dune climbing on the Dune of Pyla
    • Day-trip to Bordeaux
    • Day-trip to the Medoc and the famous Wine Route - Wine tasting at various wineries - direct sale
    • Day-trip to St. Emilion – home village of the world's estimated Bordeaux wines – direct sale
    • Visit of the old seaside resort Soulac-sur-Mer, near the Gironde estuary