Bordeaux’s weekend retreat
Famed for its oysterbeds, Arcachon has been a favourite weekend retreat for the Bordelais since trains started running in the mid l9thC. (Frequent daily services from Bordeaux take 40 minutes.) Local marine life is on display at an aquarium on avenue de Gaulle, but the main attraction is the beach and magnificent 114 m-high Dune du Pilat (10 kms via D218), Europe’s largest sand dune. (Buses and bike hire from the railway station.) Birdwatchers can while away several hours at the Reserve Ornithologique du Teich (14 kms via D650). This wetlands On the N250, 64 km SW of Bordeaux. preserve is a great place to spot herons, storks and wildfowl: there are several hides and a ranger station.