Arcachon Dune is the highest of its kind in Europe being; 107 to 117 metres high, 2700 to 3000 metres long and 500 metres wide. There are no restrictions on access to Arcachon Dune and staircases are built into the dune during the summer to make the climb easier. Arcachon Dune is actually located a few kilometres south of Arcachon at Pyla sur Mer.
There are car parking facilities at the site for 3 euros, together with a collection of souvenir shops, restaurants, toilets and showers. At summit of Arcachon Dune, the view is spectacular with the Bay of Gascogny, Landes Forest and (on a clear day) the Pyrenees Mountain Range.
Arcachon Dune is moving southwards at a rate of 3.6 metres per year into the pine forest. Each year, the dune covers 8000 square metres of forest and holiday homes, hotels and roads have been engulfed by the sand of Arcachon Dune within the last 80 years. Additionally, the Atlantic Ocean on the west has eroded the dune by 1 kilometre. It’s predicted that the road to Biscarrosse and the camping club will be engulfed by Arcachon Dune within the next forty years.
Arcachon Dune began forming about 3500 years ago and Bronze Age artefacts have been found at various locations of the dune.