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Dune du Pilat | A Natural Phenomenon on France’s Atlantic Coast

If you ever doubt that Europe can truly amaze you? Try imagining pristine ribbons of sand, dramatic cliffs of sand silhouetted against the sky and dazzling blue water stroking the shore. Lying some 65km south west of Bordeaux or some 2hrs north of the fantastic Camping Sylvamar

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It’s hard to exaggerate the sheer enormity of ‘Dune du Pilat’ Towering some 114m above sea level, it is Europe’s highest sand dune and it’s still growing!! Spreading over 4.5m eastwards each year. All this in an idyllic setting amongst pine forests, lagoon beaches and wild flower walks….. the perfect recipe for some rest and relaxation!!
It’s certainly one of the most amazing natural phenomena we’ve seen on our Europe Roadtrips. The Dune du Pilat stretches from the mouth of the Bassin for almost 3km past amazing beaches and sand bars (big enough to be termed small islands!). In fact, the whole Bassin d’Arcachon area is an abundant mecca for bird lovers, wildlife enthusiasts or adventure seekers….
Having decided to visit this year by motorhome (last year’s visit was by bike from the nearby aire), the motorhome friendly car park is expensive (8 Euros) but there’s plenty of space and shade to go around… plus the walk to the dune is significantly shorter, allowing you to grab whatever you need to bring for a day on the beach.. just remember the climb back from the beach will test even the healthiest of individuals 🙂

Every region should have Something special

Close enough to drive from Camping Sylvamar, you’ll love the chance to spend a day breathing lungfuls of fresh salty air as you head back up the coffee-coloured sand… you just can’t help but admire ‘Mother Nature’s’ power…it’s one of our absolute highlights from across Europe matching the Alhambra (Spain), Postojna Caves (Slovenia), Mt Etna (Italy), Geirgangerfjord (Norway) or Dubrovnik (Croatia).

Fingers crossed you still have some space left on your camera if you decide to visit Dune du Pilat, as you won’t leave disappointed just left nursing the fact you’ll have 100’s of photos to work your way through!


so where did we park the bus for the night?

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Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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