The seaside resort of Arcachon is renowned for being a haven for outdoor-lovers. Since its creation – only 150 years ago - this commune has become over the years one of the most famous holiday places of southwestern France. Pine forests, exceptional sand dunes, picturesque sea-front promenades - let’s discover the wonderful Arcachon!
The town is located on the southern border of the lagoon of Arcachon. It is made up of two distinct entities: the ville d’été (summer town) and the ville d’hiver (winter town). The summer town is foremost frequented by bathers. It stretches along the shore and the beach. The winter town is situated slightly farther inland. It is composed of a plenty of villas scattered amongst the splendid pine-woods.
Holidaymakers especially appreciated the Bassin d’Arcachon (Arcachon bay), which beaches spread over 100km from the south of Arcachon to the town of Cap Ferret.
Arcachon is a very family-friendly town, whose laid-back style makes you quickly feel at home. For several years, all the architects and property developers of the town have been trying hard to build high-quality buildings and integrate correctly the houses into this particular area.
As a result, more and more people want to invest in Arcachon estate. Be it to buy a house or just rent an apartment during summer holidays, the demand towards properties in this area is really growing. However, property in Arcachon is not cheap at all. Due to the wonderful environment which the town enjoys, housing prices are pretty high. You can expect to pay around €6,500 per square metre for a property near the beach. Otherwise, the average price for a property is €4,600 per square metre.
Something interesting to notice about this commune is that more than half of the houses are second homes. Only 40% of Arcachon’s inhabitants live there during the whole year.
To get updated info about housing prices in the Dordogne, please browse our French Property Market Reports published in the News Section every month.
Click here to browse Aquitaine Property Prices.
Nature park and reserve, forests, meadows, oysters breeding “villages”, tasty wines and numerous sports facilities - Arcachon and its surroundings offer plenty of possibilities all over the year.
The Dune du Pilat: Arcachon is home to the largest sand dune in Europe. It was constituted during the 18th century as a consequence of the accumulation of sand brought by western winds. Nearly 3 kilometres long, 500 metres wide, reaching 107 metres in height and moving inland at a rate of about 5 metres a year, 60 million square metres of sand - it is simply impressive! Take courage to climb this dune, you will be amazed by the unrivalled views from the top. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to go there.
Oyster farming: Arcachon’s shoreline is longer than 100 km. So it is a little wonder that seafood is the speciality of the region. Oysters are the preferred crustacean in Arcachon. There are many oyster huts and historic oyster-farming villages throughout Arcachon’s bay such as l'Herbe, le Canon or Piraillan. We encourage you to make an oyster farm tour in La Teste-de-Buch, which lies along the bay.
An abundance of nature: you will be enthralled with the beautiful fauna and flora of this commune. Amongst others, Cap Ferret village (end of the peninsula), Réservoirs du Piraillan (Piraillan’s reservoirs), the ornithological park (in Teich) or the Domaine de Certes (Certes’ territory) are worth a visit. The most beautiful natural area of Arcachon’s bay - after the famous Dune du Pilat of course - is undoubtedly L'île aux Oiseaux (Bird Island). This is the perfect place to go for bird-watchers. Indeed, the bay is home to a wide variety of birdlife. You can hire a boat to sail the Bassin and stop off at the beautiful île aux Oiseaux at low tide to discover its renowned houses on stilts.
Sport and leisure: the bay of Arcachon offers a large variety of sport and leisure activities. Its greatest assets are sailing and surfing. Arcachon’s bay is renowned – amongst other things - for its surfing championships which take place every year. You also have the possibility to practise motor sports, canoe, kayak or golf for instance. A great range of activities are open to you – just make your choice!
Vineyards: some renowned wines, such as Margaux, Lafite or Mouton Rothschild are produced in Arcachon’s surroundings. After spending the morning on the beach and the afternoon in the île aux Oiseaux or on the Dune du Pilat, a glass of one of these delicious wines will be perfect to end the day with a flourish!
Houses on stilts: these wood cabins perched on stilts are typical from the bay of Arcachon. The houses on stilts located in the île aux Oiseaux became one of the symbols of the bay since their building. The first cabin was built in the 19th century for oyster-farmers - to allow them to keep watch on the breeding of their oysters. There are only 2 houses on stilts in Arcachon, but both have been renovated and look gorgeous.
Arcachonnaises: the Victorian architecture style of Arcachon villas is the most common of the area. Nowadays considered to be charming, this architecture style has yet been criticized for decades. These houses generally have the following features: stained glass, ornate balconies and intricate brickwork.
Click here for more info about Architecture in Aquitaine.
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