From the hotel, enjoy the sea view,
Arcachon Bay and the Île aux Oiseaux
Across from Arcachon and our hotel is a sandy island whose size changes with the tides. With a circumference of 5 km at high tide and 16 km at low tide, this is the Île aux Oiseaux. Meaning Bird Island, it is inhabited by many sedentary and migratory birds. Teals, curlews, sandpipers, egrets and moorhens reside year-round, while divers, ducks, geese and waders stop over as part of their migration. Yet nature, which is not always merciful, has given this island a rugged appearance, and the oyster beds act as a rampart complicating access to it. The vegetation here is coarse and minimal, having to brace against sometimes violent winds. Some of the huts are austere in appearance, while others, the “cabanes tchanquées” (literally translated as “huts on stilts”) dominate the maritime horizon with steadfastness and humility. They are by turns accessible either from the sand or by boat with the waves lapping around them.
You may have noticed that the site is demanding, and like a wild beast, may need to be approached with extra care. The Union des Bateliers Arcachonnais (the Union of Arcachon Boatmen) has been doing this since 1954. It was created by fishermen and oyster farmers. Knowledgeable about the environment and its mood swings, these professionals of the sea offer tours to summer visitors in addition to their main activity. The evolution of this association towards a specialisation and professionalisation in maritime tourism means they know have a fleet of 33, from traditional pinnaces to modern catamarans. Comfort and security are the key words of this armada which, from seven different points of Arcachon Bay, allows you to approach the shores in the best conditions. You’ll also get an insight into the local history of this territory, which is also that of each boatman; they will embellish their narrative in a way that is as lively and personal as it is authentic.