Great Dune of Pilat
Great Dune of Pilat
4.5
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  • Rob S
    Gold Coast, Australia1,218 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Giant sand dune fun to climb
    Dune du Pilar is a must see if you head to Arcachon in France. This huge dune is fun to hike up and view the coastline. Amply supplied services mean food and drink is available at the base. Caution - this can be a busy place.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 19, 2023
  • DrJohnWong
    Singapore, Singapore777 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Kids loved it ao much they wanted to climb it a second time!
    I brought my 3 kids (11,9,6 year old) and we all managed to reach the top. Glad we wore our windbreakers as the wind was strong and chilly once at the summit. We drove to the location. Note that Apple and googlemaps guides you to the wrong location. The correct entry point is actually the carpark linked to the roundabout. Entry to climb the Dune is free. Parking costs 7euros for 4 hours. There are free toilets and a couple of cafes at the start of the climb.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 12, 2024
  • Lilacwheaty
    Nottingham, United Kingdom849 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome about covers it
    We had heard that this was worth a look, as a large sand dune- turns out that description is somewhat undersold. Truly amazing as much longer wider and taller than we expected. Surprisingly easy to ascend- we used the plastic steps but many people enjoyed the challenge of the dune itself. Once on the top, you can just relax and take in the breath-taking scale, or walk along the ridge for as far as the eye can see. jumping down is a great joy, even for us 60+ year olds, as the sand cushions every bounce. Go barefoot or be ready to pour a kilo or so of sand out of your shoes, back at the bottom
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 17, 2024
  • yetemily
    Peterborough, United Kingdom63 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth a visit if you are in the area
    A very nice way to spend a few hours. No charge to climb the dune itself, you just need to pay for the car park. Once at the top of the dune you can keep walking along it or enjoy the view. There is a set of stairs to get up and down you can use if you want to.
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 13, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Curtis S
Kingsport, TN2,620 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
We are suckers for weird things....and if you tell me we're close to the biggest sand dune in Europe…we’re going. About 30 miles outside of Bordeaux, the drive isn’t too painful, unless you’re in the middle of high vacation season, in which case there will be cars for miles. You will encounter traffic as you are heading to the coast, along with everyone else. Most of the traffic peels off before the dune. Parking is straightforward. As you start walking towards the dune you quickly encounter some of the finest (particle size) sand you’ll ever meet, which makes walking a bit more of an exercise. Eventually, you see a giant effing dune that requires a set of stairs to ascend. I thought I was in bad shape, but easily passed several people younger than me. Once at the top you are rewarded with an expansive view of the Atlantic coastline. It is beautiful. You can bring a blanket, picnic basket, and set up shop for a couple hours…Or snap a few pics and head back down…I did the latter. Overall, not too difficult and, therefore, worthwhile. Recommended
Written October 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amanda T
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
Arrived early by car. Parking was 6 euros over 4 hours ansd secure. Walk up 127 steps then a little further on the sand to reach the top. Had our swim kit and water in rucksack so ran down the other side for a dip in the ocean. Stayed a few hours then headed back up the sand Dune. No steps this time but once at the top it was a fun run down the other side.

You need to have a good level of fitness if you want to go down for a dip.

Great day out.
Written August 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yeon Y
57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
After more than a decade in France, I finally got to see what all the fuss was about. From the car park, you don't really expect such an immense dune to appear, as it literally does. It's so shockingly big that you almost feel as though you're in a desert once you finish the grueling climb to the top. To see the sea on one side and a forest on the other is just incongruous. I real natural wonder
Written June 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

yetemily
Peterborough, UK63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
A very nice way to spend a few hours. No charge to climb the dune itself, you just need to pay for the car park. Once at the top of the dune you can keep walking along it or enjoy the view. There is a set of stairs to get up and down you can use if you want to.
Written June 13, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lilacwheaty
Nottingham, UK849 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
We had heard that this was worth a look, as a large sand dune- turns out that description is somewhat undersold. Truly amazing as much longer wider and taller than we expected. Surprisingly easy to ascend- we used the plastic steps but many people enjoyed the challenge of the dune itself. Once on the top, you can just relax and take in the breath-taking scale, or walk along the ridge for as far as the eye can see. jumping down is a great joy, even for us 60+ year olds, as the sand cushions every bounce. Go barefoot or be ready to pour a kilo or so of sand out of your shoes, back at the bottom
Written May 17, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rob S
Gold Coast, Australia1,218 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Couples
Dune du Pilar is a must see if you head to Arcachon in France. This huge dune is fun to hike up and view the coastline.
Amply supplied services mean food and drink is available at the base.
Caution - this can be a busy place.
Written September 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

naepace
Perth, UK50 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Family
To be honest it didn't sound a great excursion when I first heard of it but everybody I spoke to whilst out here recommended it, and now so would I.
Practicalities first, the car park is large but was filling up fast (we went around 11am) it costs 4€ for 2 hours and 6€ for 4 hours. If you just climb the dune, 2 hours would suffice. We hung around reading the tourist info, browsing the numerous gift stalls and had lunch in one of the onsite cafes. They were all much of a muchness price wise, usual tourist mark up but the paninis we had were tasty enough. With hindsight I'd take a picnic to either enjoy atop the tune or down back in the forest.
You can either climb the dune 'al fresco' or use the stairs if you prefer, same for the descent. It only takes 15 mins or so to reach the top where you can the choose to walk along the length of it, drop down the gentler slopes on the other side to the amazing beach or just enjoy the stunning views, and they are stunning. Just be prepared to accept that your photos won't do it justice as they never seem to capture the gradient of the slope properly.
All in all it's a great way to spend half a day (or more). Just don't an on parking there for any sunset/sunrise pics as they fine you 50€ for parking 'out of hours' to deter the all night partygoers I guess ?
You can of course park in any one of the many laybys that are present along the length of the road that runs parallel with the dune, make your own way through the forest and climb the dune away from the throngs of tourists, shame to miss out on all the info about the place and of course giving your contribution (via parking) to the maintenance of the place.
Written July 11, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Moris A
Sao Paulo, SP290 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
In our way for having a dinner in Arcachon, my wife and I decided to stop by the Great Dune of Pilat. After parking the car that was a challenge itself as for to find an available spot, we walked up to the base of the dune. At first, the walking was find, passing by a café and souvenir shop, but as we were getting closer to de dune, it became harder and harder with your feet sinking in soft sand almost the same as walking in soft snow. When you reach the base of the dune and you think that you did the difficult part, you look up and realize what the real challenge is yet to come. The crest of the dune is at 330 feet from it base and it is possible to climb it either by walking through it slope or by climbing a steep stairway. We chose the stairway and and after stopping several times during the climb we reached its summit. The physical effort paid of. At the top you get a breathtaking view, on one side over the woods and in the other over the ocean. It was so windy that the seagulls soared motionless over our heads. Dune of Pilat is the biggest and highest dune in Europe. This is a place we will never forget and strongly recommend to visitors from all around the world. The parking place is paid.
Written August 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

theinsider1234uk
Narra, Philippines60 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Couples
easy parking
pass gift shops and eating places
take off your shoes, feel the sand between your toes
climb up the steps or stagger up the sand dune.
reach the top and survey a huge national park land see the sea.
When compared to the dunes of Africa and the Middle east, this is a mere small hill.
Written October 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matthias F
Palma de Mallorca, Spain917 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
what a great place to visit ! This dune, being the biggest in Europe is stunning, a great experience with great views over the sea but also on the back over huge forests , go early or late in the day
Written August 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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