Photo credit: Medoc Atlantique Tourist office
A surfers’ paradise on France’s stunning Atlantic coast, Lacanau has beaches stretching as far as you can see, protected by sand dunes and pine forests.
But there is much more to this resort than fabulous beach-break barrels and golden sands. Families come for the beautiful lakes, where they can enjoy safe beaches and water sports, birdwatchers love the diversity of wildlife on the waterways and golfers are spoiled for choice, with several premium 9- and 18-hole courses to choose from.
We’ve pulled together our top 10 things to see and do in Lacanau to make planning your trip to this beautiful area all the easier.
Ride the waves at Lacanau Ocean
Lacanau Ocean is a mecca for surfers, and there are plenty more sports to try too – think windsurfing, kitesurfing and sea-kayaking to mention just a few. Unless you’re an expert, it’s worth getting a few lessons in, as the currents can be pretty strong. There are plenty of surf schools along the beach, where you can also rent all the equipment you need. Try California Surf School, Magic Surf School and Tengo Frio.
Go birdwatching at the Etang Nature reserve
The nature reserve at the Etang de Cousseau is popular with birdwatchers – grab your binoculars and your bike and head up there. Look out for osprey, hobbies, kingfishers, spoonbills, black kites and cranes. The viewing platform is manned by the warden who will help you identify any birds you’re not sure of.
Golf and mini-golf in and around Lacanau
Young golfers can find their feet at this 18-hole mini course, which has just enough challenge to keep the adults entertained too. There’s also a driving range and a full-size nine-hole course where more serious golfers can do their thing. Check the Lacanau Golf website for rates.
A day at the Aqualiday waterpark
The Aqualiday indoor and outdoor complex is a great choice for groups of all ages, even on a rainy day. Children will love the lazy river, bubble pools and waterslides, whereas adults might prefer to relax in the sauna and steam rooms in the spa, where a range of massages and beauty treatments are also available. Prices for 10 years and over start at €11.50 for the waterpark only, although there are discounted rates for five visits. Entrance to the spa is for over 16s only, and starts at €20 (€25 for spa and waterpark). Check the Aqualiday website for more info.
Lacanau Paintball – Les 3 Bandits
Kids of all ages can let off steam at Les 3 Bandits, just a short drive from Lacanau, which offers paintball and laser games adapted for all ages. There’s free parking, a picnic area and a bar. For those who prefer a little less confrontation, there’s also a riding centre on the site – saddle up and take a guided ride along the canal.
A day in Bordeaux
If you fancy a day away from the coast, there is plenty to do in Bordeaux, which is a world heritage site. Take a boat trip along the River Garonne, climb the Pey-Berland tower, discover the Miroir d’Eau, relax in the park, do a little shopping or explore La Cite du Vin, where you can find out everything you ever needed to know about wine, and taste a few too!
Climb a giant sand dune!
Europe’s biggest sand dune is just an hour’s drive south of Lacanau, on the south side of Aracachon Bay. Dune du Pilat is 109m high, 2.7km long and 500m wide – climb to the top and apart from feeling like Laurence of Arabia, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the ocean and the coast. On the way back, stop at the resorts of Arcachon and Cap Ferret. The area is famous for oysters – visit the oyster house at Gujan-Mestras and learn about oyster farming before visiting one of the oyster huts and trying a couple of oysters with a chilled glass of white wine.
A day on the beach
The stunning beach at Lacanau Ocean is perfect for surfers, but if you’ve got small children you might want to escape from the crowd – and the currents. There are plenty more beaches to the north and south which are quieter, or you could try the lakeside beaches on the Lac de Lacanau, with no waves they are great for young families. Take a picnic or grab something to eat from one of the lakeside cafes.
Yoga on water
Combine fitness and well-being with a yoga session on a SUP board! Whether or not you have any yoga experience, a session on the lake is something not to be missed, if you’re looking for pure relaxation. Visit Sport Coaching for yoga and a plethora of other exercise classes, and Tengo Frio for Yoga SUP sessions.
Have some ‘me time’ at one of Lacanau’s spas
After all the activity of a holiday at Lacanau, treat yourself to a spa treatment. There are plenty of spas to choose from in the area, and some therapists will also come to your holiday rental. Choose a single treatment or indulge in a whole day of pampering, with some healthy food to make you feel your best from the inside out.
We’ve only recently moved into the area so keep an eye out for new properties being added in the future! Visit OVO Network to discover our beautiful properties in Lacanau and beyond. Be amongst the first to see our debut property in Lacanau, Villa Samasti.