Whether you are at the top of the Cap Ferret Lighthouse, to the Moulleau pier or even in Audenge – in walk to the Domaine de Stratégie and Graveyron – you will see the outline of the Dune in the landscape of the Arcachon bay…
After having explored the sandy slopes of the Grand Site, continue your experience, deepen your knowledge of the territory, of his history and its inhabitants by discovering its natural resources and his heritage !
The Banc d’Arguin National Nature Reserve
Located opposite the Dune du Pilat, the Banc d’Arguin National Nature Reserve encompasses all the sandy islets which form at the entrance to the Arcachon Basin, between the tip of Cap Ferret and the continent, as well as the maritime part included around these islets.
Inseparable from the Dune by its location and the history of its formation, the Nature Reserve today covers nearly 4360 hectares, its archipelagos are emerged and colonized by a flora typical of the coastal environments of the southwest with the presence of protected species as the thyme-leaved toadflax and the eelgrass. This dune vegetation makes it an important place of nesting of protected birds such as the Sandwich Tern, the Oystercatcher or the Ring-necked Plover. The reserve is also an important site for many wintering and migratory species.
Therefore, part of the reserve is closed to visitors, to ensure the tranquility of the species present on the site. However, you can discover the areas open to the public, interact with the passionate agents of the reserve and take part in the guided tours offered in partnership with the Grand Site de la Dune du Pilat.
The Teich Ornithological Reserve
Located on the same migratory corridor as the Dune du Pilat and the Banc d'Arguin National Reserve, the Teich Ornithological Reserve is also a must-see during your visit. It's a exceptional natural space, designed to accommodate wild birds and facilitate their observation. Allow 3 to 4 hours to complete the 6-kilometer loop and observe one or more species of birds among the 343 recorded on the reserve to date.
20 closed observation huts punctuate the trail in the most favorable places for seeing birds. Distributed approximately every 300m, they allow a comfortable visit whatever the weather (rain, cold, heat). 4 elevated viewpoints offer a view of the landscapes of the Ornithological Reserve and its surroundings. They are also excellent positions for observing the active migration. The reserve is open 364 days a year.
Come and collect your reduction voucher at the Dune du Pilat Information Point, and benefit from a €2.20 reduction on your adult entry!
At the entrance to the Ornithological Reserve, don't miss the visit to the Maison de la Nature du Bassin d'Arcachon, which constitutes an important stopover in the heart of the Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural Park (PNR).
The Island of Malprat – The port of Tiles
Located at the mouth of the Leyre delta, the island of Malprat was originally made up of salt meadows before being exploited for salt production, then fish farming and agriculture. Property of the Conservatoire du Littoral since 2002, it now offers visitors the particularity of being a curious mix between fresh (meadows fed by rainwater) and salty (basins mainly fed by sea water) environments.
The visitor thus walks along the meadows and arrives at the level of the old ponds. In addition to offering a breathtaking view of the Arcachon Basin, the island of Malprat constitutes a landscape typical of the dyked areas of the Leyre delta.
The Domaine de Cadeau and Graveyron
The Domaine de Cadeau and Graveyron, property of the Coastal Conservatory, is a unique natural space of 530 hectares in the heart of the Arcachon Basin, in the communes of Audenge and Lanton.
This area, shaped by the hand of man, has had agricultural, salt, fish and forestry uses. It offers a exceptional landscape dyked estates, fish ponds and wet meadows.
This space is home to many populations of birds throughout the year, including certain rare and protected species.
Managed since 1989 by the Department of Gironde, the site is open all year round and offers 2 walking circuits, 6 and 12 km. Bring comfortable shoes, binoculars, and a water bottle to freely visit the area. Also enjoy guided tours and activities supervised by the site's naturalist guides.
The National Nature Reserve of the Salt Meadows of Arès and Lège
Continuing the discovery of the natural wonders of the territory, do not miss, further north, the visit to the National Nature Reserve of the Salt Meadows of Arès and Lège. This reserve of 330 hectares, including 200 of salt meadows, has the particularity of being subject to the double influence of salt water, through the play of the tides, and fresh water coming from the Médoc lakes via the Canal des Etangs.
The ecological continuity of natural environments, from the sea to the forest (mudflats, salt meadows, dune hem, wooded dune, forest), is preserved and gives this site exceptional value, at both national and local level. The landscapes, located in environments that have changed little or not at all since the end of the 19th century, recapitulate the very history of the lagoon, from before its occupation by humans to its development and exploitation.
The reserve supports habitats for more than 250 plant species, more than 170 bird species, and no fewer than 11 fish species. It also serves as a refuge for many reptiles (such as the European pond turtle), amphibians, insects and mammals (notably the European otter).
The Cap Ferret Lighthouse
A visit to the Cap Ferret Lighthouse will allow you to enjoy an exceptional view of the Dune du Pilat, the entrance and interior of the Arcachon Bay, the ocean and the peninsula. Of course, you will have to climb the 258 steps, but you will discover a breathtaking panorama.
The Cap Ferret lighthouse is a major element of the landscape of the peninsula. It signals the entrance to the Arcachon basin from the ocean and contributes to maritime security.
Beyond its technical functions it is also a architectural monument which attracts many visitors each year intrigued by what it symbolizes and what it offers: a magnificent panorama of land and water at an altitude of more than 57 meters. 6 interactive spaces will allow you to complete your visit.
Please note, the lighthouse is currently closed until December 23.
The Marquèze Ecomuseum
Another important stage of the Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural Park, the Marquèze ecomuseum will perfectly complete your historical discovery of the territory. It is one of the very first eco-museums in France. Its mission is to conserve, study and transmit the heritage of the Great Land by reconstructing the living environment of its inhabitants in the 19th century.
150 years ago, this original society of shepherd-farmers was in such symbiosis with its environment that it disappeared when the moor gave way to the forest. Marquèze tells the story of this unique link between a society and its environment, its economic, cultural or social consequences in one of the largest open-air museums in France.
Adapted and recommended for families, the visit to the ecomuseum begins with a trip by train, the only way to access the Marquèze district. The site is open to the public from April 1 and October 31.
Come and collect your reduction voucher at the Dune du Pilat Information Point, and benefit from a €3 reduction on your adult entry!
The Saucats – La Brède geological nature reserve
The archaeological excavations of Aquitaine soil demonstrated the presence of an ocean several million years ago. These excavations made it possible to detect this presence in the paleosols of the Grande Dune du Pilat, but especially in the village of Saucats La Brède, an area classified since Geological nature reserve. Located about twenty kilometers south of Bordeaux, the reserve, first natural geological site in France, protects rocks and fossils more than 20 million years old, visible on seven sites, spread over 80 hectares. You can discover this unique site in Gironde by visiting the Maison de la Réserve on your own, but also by reserving in advance one of the guided tours offered by the mediation team, from May to September.
The Aquitaine Museum (Bordeaux)
Located within a Bordeaux monument, the former “Palais des faculties”, the Aquitaine Museum, with its important collections, traces the history of Bordeaux and Aquitaine, from Prehistory to the 21ste century. Labeled Musée de France, it is one of the largest history museums in France, and will complete the discovery of the territory and its heritage.
The nine spaces on the ground floor are dedicated to archaeology, prehistory and the Gallo-Roman era but also to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. On the floor of the museum, the visitor explores the 18e and the 19the century and will conclude his visit with the latest inaugurated spaces, dedicated to the contemporary era of Bordeaux and its region. The visit to the museum is fun, educational and will suit young and old alike.