Here you’ll find travel reports about Arcachon. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

4 travelers at this place:

  • Day24

    ARES - ARCACHON 54 km

    September 30, 2017 in France

    Definitely my turn to write the blog as today we are visiting some of the destinations which I visited on caravan holidays with my parents when I was a "young gal"!

    It had rained overnight but by the time we had downed our croissants and I had savoured the best cuppa all holiday (made with BOILING water not luke warm!), the rain had stopped. We were back on the straight old railway line route fringed by pine, oak and sometimes maple trees, with some purple heather scattered in for variety. After 23 km we stopped for coffee in the unremarkable town of Biganos at an equally unremarkable "rapide" coffee van but the cheerful, chatty owner made up for the not so great venue. We had a short but exciting stretch on the road where even "Pompier" Sam wanted to get up closer and personal with us on his way to the fire!

    The Gill (nee Ellis) reminiscence tour started in Gujan Mestras, where in the early 70's I had visited and this was the place where I received, by telegram, my 'O' level results, learned the French names for the 4 card suits and flew for the first time from Bordeaux airport. How did this all happen? I came on holiday with my parents and their friends, the Punter family. The Punters hosted a french exchange boy called Pierre and his family had a holiday home and several building plots in Gujan so we stayed with our caravans on the plots and were often entertained by the french family and played cards which made life easier for the ones of us who spoke french and English as we didn't keep having to say "he said"/il dit" etc. The Punter family's new Ford Granada car broke down at the end of the holiday so my family and Mr Punter went home and I stayed out in France with Mrs Punter and the children so when my 'O' level results arrived my parents telegraphed them out to me (probably because they were shocked a mere girl could pass them all! still that would definitely get me a place at secretarial college where I was destined to go!) . Anyway when Mr Punter came back his car still wouldn't work so we all had to fly home. I also came out again a couple of years later and I told Tony several days ago that I remembered on my second visit one of the older Punter sons pointing out to me the rather unexpected name on the war memorial, of course, it is still there - see picture! Of course over the 40 plus years there has been a lot of development in the town so I couldn't find the french family's house or plots but I did recognise the cemetery which I recall we use to walk passed, the Hotel de Ville, "that" war memorial, oyster fishermen's harbour and beach.

    Tour over, we headed into Arcachon which I had also visited on the same trips but nothing seemed familiar. We had to cycle up a hill to our hotel which is situated in the Villa d'Hivers area basically the whole area is made up of 19th century villas, it was obviously very posh in its day. Our hotel, Villa Regina, was built in the 1860's and even though the apartments are modern in style, the building has it original old world charm. To get into town we have a few minutes walk to a beautiful garden which used to be the site of a casino, there is a lift that takes us down to a fountain and fashionable street leading to the beach.

    Plans for tomorrow's rest day are fluid as the weather is due to be that way too (forecast rain).
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  • Day25


    October 1, 2017 in France

    So far on this trip when the weather forecast has promised rain it hasn't really materialised, well not to the extent it's been was different. Rain was promised all day and that's what we had, not always heavy, it did sometimes cease to a drizzle but wet it continued to was the washing! Because the washing machine didn't work Mr Wishywashy was hard at it last night washing stuff by hand and it's not the washing that's a problem but the lack of spin and where to hang everything. Anyway, a combination of cranking up the bathroom heater to sauna level, opening the balcony doors for a draught and wringing clothes out wrapped in towels seems to have done the business, even though parts of the apartment have looked like "Whoflungdung's Chinese Laundry" for most of the day. Just the packing to do now, well mine anyway, "somebody" has allbut done usual.

    We did venture out in wet weather gear to get some food, coffee, ice cream, cake.....well how else would you liven up a wet Cornish bank holiday type day?

    The weather did ease later in the afternoon so off we went again to explore the locality on foot, didn't want to get the bike wet! plus it was nice to use some different leg muscles. Our hotel is in an area called Ville d'Hiver and has lots of villas from the 1800's of a particular style and colouring. Our hotel is same style. Apparently, when TB was the major cause of death, the medical profession decided that clean sea and pine forest air was the ideal treatment and that buff coloured houses aided recovery and well being. So the rich and famous had houses built here to the same basic style to get the clean winter air. The place's popularity grew, a casino was built, it was THE place to go, especially if you were a bit weazy. But then they discovered that TB was highly infectious and being around other people who might have it wasn't the best idea so Arcachon's popularity declined but it's still a very nice holiday town......when it's not raining.

    We went to Mauresque Park which is just up the road and where the casino used to stand overlooking the town and also climbed a tower called Observatoire Sainte Cecile, it's only about 25 metres high but billed as "Arcachon's Eiffel Tower" and it is built on a hill so would give great views....if it hadn't been raining. The climb to the top is interesting for those of us not keen on heights, it's a spiral staircase supported around the edge by thin vertical wire ropes so the whole thing wobbles around a bit, takes your mind off the rain though.

    Forgot to mention yesterday our brief brush with the law. For those familiar with french roads you'll have seen in towns sometimes they seem to like to plant flowers and bollards down the middle of some roads in towns turning a two way road into effectively two single carriageways. Overtaking is impossible for cars (certainly more effective than white lines) so I think it's a traffic calming measure. Well, it's not easy for cars to overtake bikes either so we were doing our best to bat along at 20kph (it was only a 30 or 50 limit) so as not hold up traffic. Several cars waited for gaps in the road furniture to overtake us, others squeezed through and then this white bonneted car drew along side and then the passenger's window wound open. The gendarme who opened the window calmly explained in french (as we were both travelling along the narrow road at 20kph) that we should be on the cycleway (which I hadn't seen, too busy trying to avoid being taken out by the passing motorists) running parallel on the other side of the road! With a cheery "merci" we slowed into a gap at the side of the road to make the crossing and the gendarme waved out of the window. I must say that, once again, there was no road rage, blasting of horns or any nastiness by any of the road users, maybe they're more forgiving when they see the "GB" sticker on the back?
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Arcachon, Arcaishon, Arcachón, آرکاشون, Commune-Franklin, XAC, アルカション, Аркашон, Arkašonas, 33120, 阿尔卡雄

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