Roadtrip in France – Bordeaux and Atlantic coast
Two friends, an economical small car and camping equipment – let’s go to Bordeaux. From Cologne it is over 1000 km, so it is a good idea to make a nice stopover. We had chosen Troyes and stayed there without a reservation in the basic hotel Mister Bed. Troyes has a wonderful old town with many half-timbered houses and invites you to an evening stroll. So we had some delicious food and found a concert in a bar. By the way, we drove the whole route toll-free over country roads, an interesting experience. So we could often relax with open windows and with loud road-trip music and enjoy the scenery. But after 4 hours drive you are mostly annoyed by the many roundabouts.
Le Porge and Lacanau
On the second day we arrive in the evening in the village of Le Porge, where we get a spot on Camping La Gringe , per person you pay in the main season about 10 € the night. We had decided spontaneously for this coast, from which we could drive quite fast to Bordeaux. This campsite is situated in a pine forest and directly on the beach. You can enjoy the ocean there, borrow surfs, or go on a course and walk in the woods or rent bikes. The weather on the Atlantic coast in the summer can be unstable, we had a mix of rain, wind and some hot, sunny days. Nearby is the village of Lacanau, where a large lake is not far from the beach. On foot it was quite far, but by bike or car one is quickly there. Lacanau-Ocean is a seaside town with nice promenade and some surf shops, we ate some mussels with a view of the surfers in the huge waves.
The beach at the campsite in Le Porge will be quite busy on nice days, but as soon as you go a bit to the left or right (the beach runs itself forever in either direction) you have peace and the people also relax naked. The water is fantastic with some waves. Depending on how windy it is, you can also sit beautifully at the beach after sunset. In the evenings there are sometimes parties at the beach bar. The starry sky is incredibly beautiful when you walk a bit from the lights and the algae in the wet sand shine at night when you touch it with your feet. We get to know some people in the evening, and the atmosphere is very nice.
Directly there on the beach we take part in a surf course with a relaxed French surfer couple for 3 days. After 1-2 hours of fighting in the water with the waves, we are often so exhausted, that we first make a siesta in the hammock. The Surfing is a lot of fun and the beach also seems suitable for beginners.
In Bordeaux you could certainly spend a whole weekend, we were there only one afternoon. It is nice to walk along the river and stroll through the old town. You can also shop well.
We especially liked the museum of contemporary art (good for bad weather), it is placed in an old warehouse house and has a nice roof terrace.
Dune du Pyla
A highlight was our trip to Arcachon, 60 km away, although the town is not that great. Not far from it lies the Dune of Pyla, our real destination. This dune is an impressive giant sand mound directly on the water, which seems to grow more and more into the forest. You can simply climb up stairs, enjoy the view and, go down on the other side, down the mountain to the water. Down on the beach there is a path back to the parking lot. Back in Le Porge we find a nice hippie and artist market, where we listen to a few bands and eat a snack.
Camping Le Gurp
After 10 days we move 70 km North to the campsite Le Gurp, which was recommended by some friends. It is worthwhile to be there early in the day, the camping is often booked and in the morning the vacated places are allocated. We are lucky, but get only a small place without shade. The campsite is overall nice and simple, it is very popular with Germans and is also right on the beach.
In bad weather, you can go on a trip to Soulac, a nice beach town with a beautiful market hall and many small shops. The beach directly at the campsite surprised us with very shallow water and hardly any waves, guess there was no wind for some days. Here, too, you can make long beach walks, interesting are the old bunkers which are more and more buried by the sand. Nudist is also no problem here. In the evening many people enjoy the sunset and then sit together for a long time.
On the way back we drive again over country roads, after we took the ferry to Royan. We dare even to cross Paris and arrive 50 km near Paris in a highway hotel to rest for the night, again very cheap but of course not as nice as in Troyes.
So this trip by car to France was a relaxing experience! Thanks to the intermediate stops we have never traveled more than 600 km per day, which can be done well with two people. Our car has consumed little and so it was definitely cheaper than flying. However, we ourselves did not own the car and were dependent on the generosity of Mama and had to scrape off the resin patches of the spruce trees for a long time …
Let me know your questions and additional ideas! 🙂