Prepare for your visit to the famous Girondin peninsula by discovering the essential things to do and see in Cap Ferret!
Located in Gironde, between the Arcachon Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the Cap Ferret peninsula is a destination of exceptional charm. Just one hour from Bordeaux, this renowned seaside resort offers a dreamy setting where picturesque villages coexist with breathtaking wild landscapes. Verdant and authentic, it immerses visitors in a unique atmosphere that exudes the essence of vacation.
From its sandy beaches to its pine forest, along with its numerous activities and iconic places, Cap Ferret possesses a multitude of assets that have contributed to its reputation. Ideal for a weekend getaway, it guarantees enchanting moments. Are you planning to make a stop here soon? Here are the must-do and must-see activities in Cap Ferret!
1. Discover the Oyster Villages
During your visit to the famous peninsula of the Bassin d’Arcachon, you cannot miss its typical villages. While they all boast being welcoming, charming, and bursting with authenticity, each one has its own unique ambiance and history. Discover their peculiarities by spending a few hours there and taking the time to meet the locals.
Stroll among the colorful cabins, walk along the water’s edge, inhale the salty air, and don’t hesitate to visit the oyster farmers for a delightful and straightforward gourmet experience. You’ll see, you won’t be disappointed with the journey!
Among these villages, two of them stand out: L’Herbe and Le Canon. Considered the most beautiful in Cap Ferret, they guarantee memorable and high-quality moments. After a morning wandering among the residences or an afternoon spent on one of their superb beaches, you’ll have only one desire: to return as soon as possible.
Are you determined to discover them one by one? Here are the other villages to visit in Cap Ferret:
- Le Four
- Les Jacquets
- Petit Piquey
- Grand Piquey
- La Vigne
- Cap Ferret
2. Oyster Tastings Facing the Bay
At the departure from Bordeaux: Morning Visit to the Arcachon Bay and Oyster Tasting. See more It’s impossible to talk about the oyster villages without zooming in on the tastings of the delicious mollusk that is the region’s star. At lunchtime, when hunger strikes, delight your taste buds by heading to one of the many oyster huts that dot the fishing hamlets.
Once seated at the table, you can, of course, savor oysters, but also plates of shrimp or whelks, accompanied by a good bottle of white wine. All of this with an incredible view of the Bay. Truly an experience not to be missed during your visit to Cap Ferret!
3. Visit the Cap Ferret Market
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the Cap Ferret market comes alive for the pleasure of visitors. On weekends or during the summer season, armed with a tote bag or basket, immerse yourself in its gentle hustle and bustle and explore its various stalls. On the agenda: seafood products, naturally, but not only! Between fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy products, and delicatessen items, the covered market will delight everyone.
Outside, you will find several stands offering clothing, accessories, decorations, and much more. An opportunity for you to find small gifts to give to your loved ones.
4. Admire the Cap Ferret Lighthouse
Are you looking for a family activity to do in Cap Ferret? Opt for a bucolic walk and make a stop at the lighthouse. Built in 1840 and rebuilt after the war, this monument, 53 meters high, has been overlooking the Arcachon Bay for all this time. When you reach its highest point, you are guaranteed to be amazed. But its panoramic view is well-deserved, and you will need to climb no less than 258 steps to enjoy it.
Perhaps out of breath but full of satisfaction, you will arrive at its summit. Between the Dune du Pilat, oyster beds, Bird Island, and the ocean facing you, you will be thrilled.
After the ascent, the descent. On the ground floor, learn more about the lighthouse by visiting an exhibition that retraces its history, among other things. At the end of your visit, don’t hesitate to stop by the little shop where you can pick up lovely souvenirs.
5. Enjoy the Beaches
The beautiful days are coming, and you have only one idea in mind: long days lounging on the beaches. And it’s a good thing because there’s no shortage of them on the peninsula. With 20 kilometers of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and just as much on the Arcachon Bay, the seaside resort boasts no less than 20 beaches, each as different as the next.
Whether you want to spend quality time with your family on a tourist beach or prefer to spread your towels on a more secluded stretch of wild sand, there’s no doubt you’ll find what you’re looking for. Ocean beaches – known for water sports – or Bay beaches appreciated for a quiet swim? It’s up to you to choose according to your desires.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of beaches to visit in Cap Ferret:
- La Pointe aux Chevaux
- Le Truc Vert
- La Plage du Centre
- Les Américains
6. Try Surfing
Vast stretches of sand as far as the eye can see and blue water stirred by the waves. Ocean beaches may intimidate simple bathers, but they bring joy to surfers!
During your getaway, indulge in an initiation to this water sport by getting closer to professionals and schools that teach the discipline. Put on a wetsuit, grab your board, and dive into the water for an exhilarating experience.
7. Head to the Pointe du Cap-Ferret
Bathed by both the Atlantic Ocean and the waters of the Arcachon Bay, the Pointe du Cap Ferret is a natural gem that leaves no one indifferent. With its end-of-the-world appearance, it offers a breathtaking spectacle that you won’t soon forget. Keep your eyes wide open, bring out your cameras, and immortalize this incredible place shaped by the elements. On the horizon, you can see the majestic Dune du Pilat and the Banc d’Arguin taking shape.
Please note: In summer, due to its popularity, the place is crowded, which can quickly make the visit less peaceful.
8. Take a Pinasse Boat Ride
Discover Cap Ferret in an unusual way by boarding a traditional boat from the Bassin d’Arcachon: the pinasse. This small flat-bottomed boat, originally intended for fishermen and oyster farmers, is an excellent way to see the region with fresh eyes.
Accompanied by a sailor or by opting for the rental of a pinasse on your own, and from anywhere on the peninsula, head to the most beautiful sites that the bay has to offer. Alone, as a couple, or in a group, for a fun cruise or a romantic moment, a boat ride is always a good thing to do in Cap Ferret.
9. Explore Bird Island
Located in the middle of the Arcachon bay, Bird Island is a small treasure that changes its face with the tides. Accessible by boat or even by canoe from the peninsula, it welcomes you in an idyllic setting where the iconic Tchanquées Cabins stand. If you decide to land there, or if you want to get a closer look at its houses on stilts, note that this is only possible by kayak.
The island is a protected area where you can observe about a hundred species of birds throughout the year, so you will need to explore it with all necessary precautions. For this, don’t hesitate to inquire with the guardian. For magical moments, choose to take this excursion at sunset.
Please note: Remember to check the tide calendar before your departure.
11. Relax at Banc d’Arguin
You’ve toured the beaches of Cap Ferret and are looking for an exceptional place to swim or sunbathe? Banc d’Arguin will surely delight you. Shaped and reshaped by the winds and sea currents, this natural reserve is a small paradise perfect for beautiful summer days.
Put on your swimsuits, prepare your towels, and board a boat to reach this sandy strip facing the Pointe du Cap Ferret, in about 20 minutes. Bask in the sun, share convivial moments, and dive into its translucent waters reminiscent of the Caribbean.
In July and August, every Wednesday afternoon, you can learn more about the bank by participating in free visits. You can also observe birds through a telescope.
Please note: Banc d’Arguin is also a protected area for several migratory birds. Camping and bivouacking are prohibited.
12. Visit the Dune du Pilat
Go where the sand reaches new heights, where time seems to stand still: the famous Dune du Pilat. Surrounded by the forest and dramatically plunging into the blue waters of the Bassin d’Arcachon, this 106-meter-high and 2.7-kilometer-long giant impresses and attracts visitors. Regardless of the season, climb to its summit and be dazzled by the splendid panorama it offers of the bay, Banc d’Arguin, the forest, and the Cap Ferret peninsula.
But more than an incredible landscape, the tallest dune in Europe also has centuries of history and a myriad of secrets that can be revealed to you through various animations organized by the Grand Site de la Dune du Pilat. Whether for a picnic or simply for the pleasure of the ascent, you will see that it is truly worth the detour.
How to get to Cap Ferret?
Do you want to come to Cap Ferret by plane? You will find flights from all over France to Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport. To ensure you find the best-priced tickets, we recommend using a flight comparison website such as Skyscanner.
Once there, you can choose from several options to reach your final destination:
Car rental: Allow approximately 1 hour of driving by taking the D106 towards Cap Ferret; Taxi: Expect a fare of around €105; Bus: Count on a journey of 1 hour and 30 minutes for €2.70.
To visit Cap Ferret, you can also take the train to Bordeaux Saint Jean station.
Once there, to reach the peninsula, the same options as those from the airport are available.
Have you chosen to travel to Cap Ferret by car? Here are the steps to follow:
Take one of the highways leading to Bordeaux; Join the ring road and take exit 10 towards Lège-Cap Ferret; Follow the D213 for about 20 km, then the D106 for 25 km to the Cap Ferret Peninsula.
How to get around Cap Ferret?
Once you have arrived, you will probably look for the best way to get around on-site. Here too, several options are available:
Buses and shuttles: Perfect for getting around at low cost, buses and shuttles allow you to access almost the entire peninsula. Cap Ferret has a very good bus network, so you won’t have any trouble finding one.
Bicycles: An eco-friendly alternative, cycling is a great way to explore Cap Ferret while enjoying the beauty of the landscapes. The peninsula is full of bike paths.
Boats: From the Bassin d’Arcachon, you will find several types of boats for peaceful travel: Trans Bassin shuttles, and sea buses and taxis.
Cars: Finally, you can choose the most classic option by taking the car, whether you came with your own or opted for a rental.
Where to stay in Cap Ferret?
If you want to stay in Cap Ferret, you will realize that there is no shortage of villages or accommodations for that purpose. From houses on stilts to vacation villas, passing through wooden cabins, you will surely find the little gem that suits your tastes and desires.
To find the offer that suits you completely during your visit to Cap Ferret, do not hesitate to use a hotel comparison website. To stay like a local and fully experience the area, you can also choose from various Airbnb options scattered around the peninsula.