The waterfront on the Quai Louis XVIII has been redesigned and has become a beautiful garden on the Garonne. The most famous project of this transformation is the Miroir d'eau. The approximately 4 km long promenade between the Pont Jaques Chaban Delmas in the north and the Pont Saint-Jean in the south of the city center, offers plenty of green space to relax.
The Garonne is the lifeline of Bordeaux, without the river the city would not have become a major port. From Bordeaux it is about 90 kilometers downstream to the mouth into the Atlantic. Nevertheless, ebb and tide are clearly felt on the Garonne. At high tide, the water turns muddy brown. The shore on the other side of the city center is sparsely populated, there are still many trees (photo). Here is also the Jardin Botanique and the Parc aux Angéliques. This district is called La Bastide and can be easily reached by tram. On this side of the Garonne you can also ride your bike along the river. You can take a break in the restaurants and beach bars.
Several shipping companies offer cruises on the Garonne.
The Jardin Public is very close to the Monument aux Girondins. The city park was redesigned in 1856 to become an English landscape garden and offers a large meadow, a pond with islands, a carousel, a botanical garden and tall trees. You can sit relaxed on the terrace in the café, which is located in the former orangery.
Arcachon was already connected to the railway network in 1841, so that the small fishing village quickly became a popular destination of people from Bordeaux. Arcachon is a seaside resort with a wide sandy beach, a small but pretty town center, a casino and a marina. On the beach promenade there are many restaurants and piers, where the ferries to Cap Ferret depart. Arcachon has approximately 11,000 inhabitants and is known for its oyster farming, which is operated in the bay in front of the city. The most famous attraction of Arcachon, is the huge sand dune Dune du Pilat.
The largest dune in Europe rises on the southern outskirts of Arcachon. The Dune du Pilat was formed around 18,000 years ago. The wind blew sand to the land and piled up this huge dune. The approximately 100 m high hill migrates 1-4 m per year, but is stopped by the city with plantings and fences. So the dune moves into the surrounding pine forest. From the Dune du Pilat you have a breathtaking view over the sea to the opposite headland of Cap Ferret. In the direction of the countryside you can see the pine forest and Arcachon. The Dune du Pilat is about 2.7 kilometers long. The dune is very steep on the land side, on the sea side, the slope is only about 20 °.
How do you get there?
There is a big car park just at the Avenue de Biscarrosse, from where you can walk to the dune in a few minutes. The climb is quite exhausting, because you can move very slowly in the sand. But there is also a wooden staircase on the steepest part of the way.
From Arcachon station a bus drives to the dune, but in the summer it can get very crowded. The bus takes about 30-45 minutes for the nearly 9 km ride.
The Cap Ferret is a narrow promontory between the Atlantic Ocean and the Basin of Arcachon. At Cap Ferret ends the approximately 100-kilometer-long sandy beach, which begins at the mouth of the Garonne. The Cap Ferret is located about 60 km to the west of Bordeaux and can be reached by car. But you can also travel to Arcachon by train and then take the ferry. Near the pier you can hop on the small train Petit Train, which goes to the beach on the other side of the headland. Departures in the summer about every 45 minutes. You can also walk the 1.5-kilometer trail, the terrain is very flat. The town has about 8,000 inhabitants, but spread along the bay over many kilometers. There are a some restaurants and shops.
The main attraction is the long and wide sandy beach. German World War II bunkers were sprayed colorful and tumbled on the beach, like dead beetles.