Our campsite between the Landes and the Gironde on the Côte d'Argent is the perfect base for visiting the Dune du Pilat, the highest dune in Europe. With almost two million visitors a year, it's the most famous and most visited nature site in the Gironde.
The Sahara above the Landes Forest
The Dune du Pilat in La Teste-de-Buch in the Gironde, an hour's drive from our campsite outside the Gironde, stands out for its mammoth vital statistics: 107m high, 3km long, 600m wide... and 60 million metres cubed of sand!
Did you know that the dune is constantly moving? The combination of wind and tide moves the Dune du Pilat closer to the forest at a rate of 5m per year! Some campsites near the Dune du Pilat have simply been swallowed up by the sand! As for its height, it varies from one year to the next ranging from 100 to 115 metres. The latest measurements from July 2018 put it at an altitude of 106.6m!
Climbing the Dune du Pilat
Nestled between the vast Landes Forest and Arcachon Bay, you can reach the Dune du Pilat from the beach and forest. Whether you decide to climb the sand up the dune or take the stairs, the reward is always worth the effort.
A walk along the ridge (3km) is spectacular. The 110m peak has spectacular views of the pine forest, ocean, Banc d'Arguin and Cap Ferret. You may not want to come back down! That said, it's easier (and faster) to go down than come up. Children (and grown-ups) love sliding and rolling down the sand mountain!
The campsite's top tips:
- In summer, make sure you protect yourself from the sun and bring sunglasses, hats, sun cream and water.
- The stairs are dismantled in winter. Your only choice is to climb up the sand to the top of the dune. It may be more tiring but the view from the top is well worth it!
For nature lovers
Neighbouring a 3800 hectare rolling forest, the Dune du Pilat has been listed as a "Grand Site de France" since 1978. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna that nature and outdoor lovers will adore. Countless mammals, birds and insects live in the forest: deer, Eurasian hoopoe, Polyphylla fullo etc. You can spot a wide array of birds in the dunes such as the dune lark, Kentish plover and ruddy turnstone.
A whole host of tours and activities run from April to September to introduce "the hidden side of the dune": nature trips, guided hikes, educational trail, permanent exhibition, fun-filled workshops and children's treasure hunts.
Paraglide over Dune du Pilat
If you're looking for an original way to explore the Dune du Pilat's scenery then indulge in a paragliding trip over the sand mountain, Banc d'Arguin, ocean and beautiful Landes forest. A bird's-eye view of the Arcachon Bay is even more magical. A highlight of your camping holiday between the Landes and the Gironde!
A little trip to the Dune beach "La Corniche", at the foot of the Dune du Pilat in La Teste-de-Buch, sets the scene for the Dune's little beach which is an Instagram star and the most mentioned French beach on social media every summer. The fabulous views of Banc d'Arguin have a lot to play in it. You can go sand yachting, surfing and kitesurfing on nearby Salie Nord beach. Enthusiasts take note!
- Distance from the campsite: 65km (1hr drive)
- Free entry (car park: 6 €/vehicle for 4hr)
- Set aside at least 1 hour to visit
- Website: www.ladunedupilat.com