Last May, we have spent one week holiday in a camping near Royan, in the central-west part of France, or more in the south-west part of the country. The city of Royan is situated at around 200 km of the very well-known site called Dune of Pilat, at the entrance of the Arcachon Bay. This is also a place I wanted to visit for a very long time. So, I thought it was the perfect time to do this, even if we had to do a 4 hours round-trip.
Being 5 months pregnant, it was a great opportunity to visit the place as soon as we are still 2 of us. The Dune is 500 meters wide and 2.7 km long. It is situated near the Teste in Gironde forest and from its highest point which is at 117 meters, we can contemplate, on the one side the forest and at the other one, the sea. Indeed, this is the largest sand desert in France.
Half a day at the Dune of Pilat
Now, the question is how to enjoy fully the beauty of this place and spend a great moment between the forest and the sea? As I already mentioned it, we had to travel from Royan, and as we left the city quite late, after 2 hours on the road, we arrived at this magnificent place, at around 1:30 pm. It took some time to park the car (because there was a queue at the parking), we were at the top at around 2:30 pm. So, we didn’t spend a lot of time there, because we had the travel back of around 2 hours. Fortunately, we have previewed some sandwiches.
It is important to know that you have some restaurants there, but if you have little ttime, just like us, and you do not want to lose it waiting for your plate, think about bringing some snacks with you or a picnic. Visiting the site is free. Nevertheless, parking isn’t and we paid 6 euros for the time we spent here, which was around 2h45. Once your car is parked, everything is very well indicated, so no worries to find your way to the Dune.
First of all, you will go through a place where you can buy some souvenirs, something to eat, like ice cream. You will also see the restaurant’s part. Then you will have bathrooms. After that you will go through a small forest with sand. Then you will have in front of you the beautiful Dune of Pilat. To go up, you have 2 choices, taking the stairs or being a warrior and go up by climbing the sand. If you chose the 1st option, you will have 170 stairs in front of you but to be honest, it is going quite quickly, to go up and then to go down.
Up there, on the Dune of Pilat
Once you are up there, you will see a lot of people who are sitting there and enjoying the view, « at the entrance ». Some of them are walking alongside the Dune and this is what we also did. But being prégnant, and walking in the sand, wasn’t very easy for me, so I wasn’t able to face my challenge, and walk the whole path of the Dune. Thanks to my Fitbit watch, I saw we walked 1.7 km in one direction, so we decided to go back.
So, that day, we walked a total of 3.4 km on the Dune. If you have more time, you can go down the Dune, on the seaside and enjoy the beautiful beaches you have over there. Spending several hours on the beach is always a good idea. Unfortunately, for us it was impossible, because of the time and the fact that we needed to take the road to go back to the camping.
What clothes to wear in May, on the Dune of Pilat?
As I already said, the Dune is long 2.7 km. If you are decided to go all along the Dune, it will be better to preview some comfortable clothes. So, sneakers are really essential for this trip. I chose to wear my pink Keds, which are going perfectly with my long pink dress. That dress is from the Swedish brand Na-kd, size 34. I would like to underline that it is not from the maternity collection.
The dress is really large and comfortable. It allows you staying chic, even when traveling and visiting places like the Dune of Pilat. I love this brand because they size quite big and I feel well in their clothes, even if I had to return some of the pieces I have ordered. Otherwise, you can also bring a light jacket with you in May and a hat, because there is some wind over there, on the top.
So, therse are my pieces of advice, permitting you spending a perfect half a day on the top of the Dune of Pilat. As I mentioned, we were there at the begining of May, so the clothes you will wear are to chose and to adapt to the time you will visit this beautiful place, of course.
Dress: Wide Balloon Sleeve Chiffon dress Na-kd