France // Poitou-Charentes and the Atlantic coast //

The Côte d’Argent

At over 200km, Côte d’Argent is the longest, straightest, sandiest stretch of coast in Europe. Behind the endless beaches, which reach from the mouth of the Gironde all the way to Biarritz, are high sand dunes, and the largest forest in Western Europe, Les Landes. There’s no coast road, only a cycle path, built at the end of World War II. It winds through more than 75km of pine-forested dunes from the upmarket holiday town of Cap Ferret, to Soulac in the north. The lack of conventional tourist sights means that outside July and August the coast does not get many visitors, and away from the main resorts it’s possible to find deserted stretches of coastline, even in August.

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