Cap Ferret, France itinerary: 6 days of activities

My friend Annie and I took the train from Paris to Arcachon, but we had to change trains in Bordeaux and the train journey took three and a half hours. I walked for about 10 minutes from the train to Thiers Pier (Place Thiers, 33120 Arcachon) We arrived at Arcachon Beach and took the boat shuttle to Cap Ferret. It was a beautiful 30 minute drive across the bay with great views of the Pyla dunes. Arriving at the small port of Cap Ferret, we noticed rows of oyster beds marked with sticks and were excited to eat oysters all week.

Once you arrive at the port, take a 20-minute walk down a quaint sandy road lined with rustic ranch houses to the Hotel des Dunes (119 Avenue de Bordeaux), our home for the next two nights. The Hotel des Dunes is the oldest hotel on the peninsula, originally opening in 1969, so it has become something of an institution.

Hotel des Dunes

In 2022, French-born Karine Hecquet and her husband Jean-Philippe, who spent their summers at Cap Ferret, purchased the property and opened it last summer as a modern surf lodge modeled after a motel on the California coast. It has reopened. It turns out this was no coincidence, as the new owners of this hotel spent their summers at Cap Ferret, visiting Hawaii and surfing Waimea Bay, Hookipa, and Waikiki before settling in New York for a few years. . They fell in love with Montauk there. During that time, they traveled to California to surf the best breaks in Malibu, Monterey and San Diego, often staying in casual seaside motels, and returned to France in 2015 to rediscover their source of inspiration. It became. Cap ferret fun.

So when the couple purchased Hotel des Dunes, they had high hopes of reviving the relaxed surfing spirit that is rooted in the hotel's history. In addition to the nostalgic feel of a California surf motel, the property seamlessly mimics traditional architecture around the basin, including stilt cabins unique to the Arcachon Basin used to watch over oyster fields. I am. With only 13 guest rooms, if Hotel Des Dunes isn't available, there are plenty of chic and affordable Airbnb options for families and groups of friends. There are three things I like about him:

44ha modern wooden house

Entire house located on a plot of 44 hectares

Stylish modern villa with cap ferret flair

After we got settled we wanted to go to the beach. The beach opposite the hotel, Plage des Dunes, is on the Atlantic side and is therefore perfect for wind sports such as surfing and kite surfing. One of the things that makes Cap Ferret so unique is its geographical location, giving it access to the calmer waters of the Gulf side of the peninsula and the rougher waters of the Atlantic side. We climbed a mountain of white sand dunes surrounded by tall grass and descended to a beach that seemed to go on for miles. The water on this side was a bit choppy and I didn't have the energy to do any water sports after the trip, so I spent the afternoon reading and taking a nap on the soft pillow-like sand. The weather was perfect and not too hot even in the dog days of summer. It was warm, dry and with the perfect breeze.

From the beach we walked to the oyster villages that line the basin and had a late lunch and early dinner at La Cabane d'Ortense, one of the most famous oyster spots.Tamaris street), the more formal restaurant we visited the next day, the casual sibling of Chez Hortense. These “taste” huts all serve oysters, shrimp, snails, and pâté, as their names suggest. We ordered everything on the menu and finished it off with a glass of white wine. After our meal, we walked through the fishermen's village towards the main town with its shops and restaurants, stopping at a few boutiques. Our favorite is Belle Amie (10 beds de la plage) had a good selection of designer brands like The Row and Loewe, as well as smaller, more affordable French brands like L/Uniform for their great bags. Then we finally returned to the hotel to meet our friends who had just arrived from Capri.

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