7 things not to miss at Dune du Pilat
September 24, 2018
There are many things that the dune and its surroundings are offering, but I’m only going to share the things I experienced in the limited two days we spent there (not just on my own skin…)
1. Climb the dune
Of course, the dune can be climbed from several directions. Since we were at Pyla Camping, it was obvious that we’ll attack the dune from the direction of the pine trees. Well, we did not expect the dune is going to be so extremely steep from this direction; I’m not kidding, it was about 45 degrees (Ok, I might be exaggerating, but we felt it that way), And, the dune is moreover sand, in which is quite hard to walk. So have your legs and lungs prepared for this little challenge. At the top of the dune you will outweigh the small difficulties immediately when you get a glimpse of the waves of the ocean and the endless sand-monster.
2. Dip yourself in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean’s water temperature is somewhat lower than what we are used to in other, mainly South-European countries. At the end of the summer not too many people were brave enough to bath in the ocean, so we managed to have quite a private experience. This was mainly observed in the immediate vicinity of the dune, however there were more people enjoying the beach to the north and south of the dune. Maybe because the coasts are more frequent and built out there. So if you’re looking for calm space, make sure you relax and swim right by the sand hill.
3. Take a long walk on the beach
There are 3 girlfriends who, unfortunately, rarely meet because they live in three different countries. What could be more elevated than a long walk on the sandy beach in stale sunshine while waves caressing their feet? Because of the wind in this area the sun doesn’t feel so strong, but don’t let yourself be fooled by the wind, sun-protection is obligatory (I’m takling from my own experience)!
4. Have a delicious meal in Chez Aldo
Restaurant Chez Aldo is about 3 km’s south from the southern corner of the dune. We had a 40 minute slow walk through the beach and I must say that it was absolutely worth it. At first we thought this was a beach bufer, you know, like the ones that sell lángos and hake on Lake Balaton. Well, this restaurant was very far from that. Well, since it was an oceanfront restaurant in France, the menu was full of sea-food and delicious wine. And all at a very fair price topped with an awefully kind and quick service. I can only recommend Chez Aldo.
5. Learn paragliding
Thanks to optimal wind conditions, the super pleasant weather and the unique landscape, the dune is attracting the lovers of paragliding during in spring, summer and autumn as well.
Unfortunately we did not get to fulfill this wonderful possibility as we only spent 2 days at the dune, but if one has the time and guts, should definitely learn or simply do paragliding. In the southern part of the dune people were floating in the air conjuring little colourful spots on the blue sky. Some with more, some with greater success. And some even tried to concur the air and the parachute on the top of the dune.
Paragliding classes can be accessed in several places and campsites can also help figure out who to turn to.
6. Try out sandboarding
This was the second thing we did not have the opportunity to try. One of the reasons was that we did not have a board and second that we did not find any place to rent one. But if you are driving by a car (we met Slovaks at the campsite), take a board and slide down the dune. It will surely be an unforgettable experience!
7. Immerse in the colour of the sunset
For me personally, sunset is one of the most amazing things that can be enjoyed free of charge (and I think that it should be enjoyed often). All you need is a perfect spot and optimal weather conditions. A good company and one or two bottles of delicious wine are just the icing on the cake …