Adventures and misadventures in France.

Posts tagged ‘dune du pilat’

The Dune du Pilat

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This past summer, Max and I took a road trip down to the Bordeaux region of France. Neither of us have spent too much time in France’s wine capital, so we packed up Smiley Dog and booked a one of the few hotels still accepting reservations for France’s most popular vacation period : mid-August. Jojo adjusted to hotel living immediately, waiting patiently in the elevator and greeting other travelers in the jobby.

Our first full day, we drove out to the Dune du Pilat, the largest dune in Europe located just West of Bordeaux along the Atlantic Coast.

Having visited the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, I was prepared to be unimpressed. The Great Sand Dunes cover about 19,000 acres and rise to a level of 750 feet – a mini-mountain range of sand. The Dune du Pilat only reaches about 360 feet at its highest point, and follows 2.7 kilometers of coastline. But honestly? I would recommend the Dune du Pilat any day. Parking was easy, the Smiley Dog was allowed in the park (but not on the beach itself), and the views from the top are incredible. We made our way past gift shops and cafés to a staircase leaing directly to the top of a MOUNTAIN of beach overlooking the sea, with a forest dwarfed behind us and tiny boats in the water below. It had rained the night before, so we were comfortable walking around and digging our feet into the sand. Families had brought picniks, and the more adventurous were “sledding” or parachuting off the face of the dune.

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