Arcachon Basin, the good life


Nestled between pine forests and the ocean, scattered with oyster huts and rocked by the rhythm of the tide, there is an undeniable appeal to the simplicity of life in the bay of Arcachon. From the port of Arcachon to the neo-Gothic villas of the Winter Town, from the Dune du Pilat to the Banc d'Arguin, a nature reserve for birds, not forgetting the delightfully unspoilt 108 acres of Cap Ferret, its rustic elegance makes this a protected little piece of paradise. Add to this its lively markets and a flourish of festivals and foodie hotspots and it’s easy to see why this little triangle of sea, nestled less than 40 miles from Bordeaux, has become a refuge for those who enjoy a taste of the good life. 

The real estate market

Since the high speed train line linking Bordeaux to Paris opened in 2017, real estate prices here have doubled, varying now from an average of €10,000 per sq.m in Arcachon to €12,000 in Pyla-sur-Mer, up to and exceeding €20,000 for houses on the front line in Cap Ferret. 

Peaceful surroundings, views and environment are top on the list of priorities for buyers here who prefer villas close to the beach and overlooking the sea, with a swimming pool or at least the land to have one installed. Large frontline apartments and those located higher up and with terraces are also very sought-after.

Our advice

The bay of Arcachon is an extraordinary region that is almost too much to take in at first glance. So why not take the time to really explore it thanks to a few hot tips.

Go for a vibe that really strikes a chord with you.

Recommendations :There really is something to suit all tastes here: with its good transport links and great amenities, Arcachon is the perfect place to live all year round. The very lively village of Moulleau is home to some great little shops and bars. Cap Ferret, meanwhile, offers the extremely rare luxury of an unspoilt world in the form of Pyla-sur-Mer at more accessible prices, making it an excellent compromise.

Art of living

With their high-end restaurants, captivating landscapes and niche boutiques, these hotspots in the Bay of Arcachon are a real breath of fresh air!

The hottest reservation in town

Sail Fish


Architect Joanne de Lepinay has incorporated warm rattan and white wood to create a place where time no longer matters and where diners get to enjoy meats grilled in the fireplace once the sun goes down and hang around to dance the night away.

Rue des Bernaches, 33970 Lège-Cap-Ferret

Maison Frédélian


From fragrant canelés and pine nut croissants to decadent macaroons, the iconic patisserie will be making a comeback in June with a brand-new selection of treats created by up-and-coming pastry chef Jean-François Feuillette.

33 boulevard de la Plage, 33950 Lège-Cap-Ferret

Restaurant de l’Hôtel de la Ville d’Hiver


Epicurean chefs Xavier Béarnais and Mathieu Acot-Mirande serve up a frank and authentic menu in a delightfully retro setting at the heart of a beautiful 19th-century building. From duck with baby squid from the Landes region to pineapple spring rolls, the gastropub cuisine on offer here certainly has a few classics up its sleeve.

20 avenue Victor Hugo, 33120 Arcachon

Le Tchanqué, bar de la Maison du Bassin


Here where the umbrella pines give way to the palm trees, Le Tchanqué brings a touch of exoticism to the Atlantic with dishes such as West Indian black pudding, codfish fritters and an intoxicating collection of flavoured rums.

5 rue des Pionniers, 33950 Lège Cap-Ferret


The Winter Town


From Gothic manors to extravagant homes from the last century, the residences of the Ville d'Hiver (Winter Town) certainly reflect the daring nature of the architects of yesteryear. This timeless neighbourhood brings back memories of the prestigious visitors it has received over the years, from Sissi the Empress to the Prince of Wales.

Quartier de la Ville d’Hiver, 33120 Arcachon

Les Enfants terribles


This photographic gallery at the heart of Moulleau has established itself as a meticulous archivist of the region, replacing the traditional postcard with over 60,000 glass plate negatives, the most precious of which date back to the 1880s.

273 Bd de la Côte d'Argent, 33120 Arcachon

The chapel of the Algerian Villa 

This multicoloured building featuring delicate mosaics is testament to the imagination of contractor Leon Lesca. Its neo-Moorish style ensuring that it stands out along the waterfront, making it a source of great pride for the residents of Cap Ferret.

Boulevard de la Plage, 33950 Lège-Cap-Ferret

Cap Ferret lighthouse


The view from the top of Cap Ferret’s faithful guide takes in the natural wonders in the basin. The inside, meanwhile, with its modernised period structure holds some of the ancient secrets of the sea.

4 Promenade Tour du Phare Cap Ferret, 33950 Lège-Cap-Ferret

Shopping and tourism

Jane de Boy


The little sister of Bordeaux’s most popular concept store, this beach house-esque boutique offers a whole host of delightful pieces by up-and-coming designers.

84 cours Héricart de Thury, 33120 Arcachon

Cap Ferret market


The stalls here abound with fresh fish and seafood direct from the fish market, along with various local delicacies and woven baskets. It’s not uncommon to see producers sipping on a glass of white wine with whomever happens to be strolling around.

Marché du Cap-Ferret, Avenue du Monument Saliens, Lège-Cap-Ferret

The banc d’Arguin


A series of delightful little winding, wind-swept paths where you can admire the local birdlife and soak up some vitamin D.

Réserve naturelle du Banc d’Arguin, Arcachon

Cabins on stilts


As true guardians of the Île aux Oiseaux (Bird Island), these iconic cabins emerge from the water and can only be reached by boat.

Cabanes tchanquées, Île aux Oiseaux

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