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Motorhoming in France | Dazzled by the beauty of the Dune du Pilat

Lying some 65km south west of Bordeaux,it’s hard to exaggerate the sheer enormity of ‘Dune du Pilat’… at some 114m above sea level, it is Europe’s highest sand dune and it’s still growing!! Spreading over 4.5m eastwards each year. It’s a special European landmark not to be missed….

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The whole Bassin d’Arcachon area is an abundant mecca for bird lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and adventure seekers…. as 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!)

 Having left it until after the heat of the day, we grabbed our cycling & swimming gear and headed off along the brilliant cycle paths that criss cross this region… past wooded glades, water parks and small villages before finishing at the very base of the Dune. (for those staying at the brilliant 3 Aire de Coccinelle its roughly a 20km return journey although we extended ours to take in more of the coastline on the way there)
Parking the bikes in the secure area beside the information kiosk, we headed past the restaurants/gift shops past the car park and up towards the looming sand dune… the girls were in 7th heaven as they dived, rolled and climbed the dune… the eventual summit provides  truly breath taking view of the sandy shoals at the mouth of the river near Cap Ferret.. whilst the whole area is encircled by dark pine forests that appear almost tropical next to the white sands that stretch down to the sea….
Having made the arduous climb up, it seemed obvious that we’d run down…. huge giant like strides, followed by brilliant ‘wipe outs’ in the soft sand… just brilliant fun!! Especially with the paragliders only a few meters above our heads… a truly iconic memory to take from this ‘Year in Europe’….

Having spent the late afternoon playing on the beach and in the sea, we traipsed back up the dunes to see the sun starting to fall beneath the horizon…. a brilliant sight that was made all the better by the flock of ‘paraglider’ enjoying the thermal currents here… or the birds overhead from the Banc d’Arguin bird reserve…

Every region should have Something special

With wind in our sails, we positively flew back the 10km before a quick shower and a chance to enjoy a ‘sun downer’ watching petanque on the terrace at 3 Aire de Coccinelle… we’ll take away some brilliant memories from our trip here and will certainly return in September… but the lure of the kayaks and amazing hillside villages of the Dordogne is too much… we depart eastwards tomorrow for river adventures and a chance to remember where the whole journey began for us as a family decision last summer!


so where did we park the bus for the night?

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About The Author


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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    Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics? Thanks a ton!


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