Somewhere on the edge of the forest of the Landes de Gascogne, The Sand Dune of the Pilat is the highest one in Europe. It is located at the southern entrance of the Bay of Arcachon and has an area of 616 m from west to east and 2.9 km from north to south. It has about 60 million cubic meters of sand and is independently integrated in the town of Pyla-sur-Mer.
On the western side of the Bay of Aquitaine, one can see a geological formation of the end of the Quaternary on the Sand Dune of the Pilat. The sand that you find there benefits from a designation of "Sable des Landes" which covers all the areas located around the Bay of Arcachon.
At the very beginning, the Sand Dune of the Pilat was the place where the provisional protohistoric settlements were built for sea salt operations. On December 31, 2013, a tourist recovered in the sand just at the bottom of the dune, a funerary urn and an accessory vase dating from the Iron Age 800 years BC. AD
Today, the Sand Dune of the Pilat is strongly committed to tourism and was able to move up in the rankings among the highest importance of all Europe. Every year, more than a million visitors come to discover and contemplate the splendor of the sand dune at its summit.
It is one of the most sought after natural sites in the metropolis with the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel. However, the tourist place is still a fragile site. It is the subject of a program of protection and enhancement carried out by public actors.
Several activities are suggested at the Sand Dune of the Pilat. Hikes are among the must-do activities that you can practice with family, with your friends or with your loved one. However, avoid venturing by yourself, let yourself be guided by a professional!