The Grand Dune du Pyla - WOW!July 27, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌧 0 °C
Luckily we find a campsite on our 2nd attempt, it’s pricey, but we’ve weighed up having to drive and park in the main car park and this site is at the foot of the dune, so decide for one night it’s worth it.
The dune here sits next to the Basin du Aracachon and is the largest in Europe. A huge wall of sand visible behind the trees from the road, with beautiful sand banks laid out below on the ocean side.
We get the last pitch, which has loads of space for kids to run about. We have a quick dinner and as it’s forecast to rain, we decide to just pop along to the bottom of the dune at the end of the road. When we get there though, the children are so excited to see how big it is and the thought of climbing it is just too much, off they go, Nic and I following behind. By some miracle, Coen manages to climb the whole way, with Nic just holding his hands, and doesn’t ask to be picked up once (this is the first time ever!) - the dune to him is the biggest playground. Amelia powers up using her hands to climb herself to the top.
We get stunning views as the sun is starting to set, the huge dune in front of us, like a Saharan landscape backed by a huge pine forest. It is a breathtaking site. Nic and I had visited the dune years ago, and we found that as we had parked in the main car park, it was much busier, whereas this time we had a huge part of the dunes with the small hills at the top to roll around on. The children were in their element diving and rolling. Amelia did suffer slightly with a ‘sand in eye’ incident, but they were both in fits of laughter running back down the huge hill of sand that led us home.
We also head out for breakfast on the dune to really make the most of it. We take Amelia’s kite up and have another amazing time; it’s so liberating feeling like you’re on top of the world and seeing how much the children appreciate it. I think they feel like birds zooming about above the world on the soft sand, running, diving, falling and tumbling as the dunes seem never-ending.
We manage a quick dip in the pool to clean the sand off before heading out to our next stop (after a very tight squeeze out of the campsite - which we think may be shrinking back towards the main road as the dune pushes it’s way inland!).Read more