American sculpture, Ed Jarrett currently holds the Guinness Book of Records for the tallest sandcastle. The 38 feet and 2 inch tall creation was made and verified on a beach in New Jersey in October 2013. Last week a challenge to this title came from another American, Rusty Croft, who is awaiting verification of a 12 meter high sandcastle that he built in Niteroi, Rio de Janero.
You may not be up for challenging the world record, but if you fancy perfecting your sandcastle skills, the west coast of France certainly has plenty of the raw ingredient! From the secluded rugged beaches of Brittany, through the gently sloping beaches of Vendee and all the way down to the border with Spain, there is no shortage of sand along the Atlantic coast.
The coast of Aquitaine is probably the best known for its expansive beaches. This is in part due to the fact that they include Dune du Pilat, which at around 300ft is the highest sand dune in Europe. From its location in the Bay of Arcachon, down to the lively Grand Plage in Biarritz, there is an uninterrupted expanse of golden sands.
Aquitaine offers sun, sea and sand in plentiful supplies, making it a dream location for many holiday makers including the French. However, whilst resorts such as Arcachon and Biarritz attract the crowds, it is possible to find remote areas of coastline. Much of the Aquitaine coast is backed by pine forests and although routes through the forest will lengthen your journey to the beach, they can lead to deserted areas where you can escape from the crowds.
Even in the key resorts, there is far less competition for space in Aquitaine than in the Riviera resorts. This is largely due to the Atlantic sea, which is wilder and colder than the Mediterranean Sea on the South Coast. Having said this, the big waves help to keep the West Coast beaches clean and provide a tempting draw for watersport enthusiasts from around the world. The surf school near our campsite in Messanges has a top reputation for training people at all levels to improve their abilities on the water.
If big waves aren’t your thing, Aquitaine also boasts a number of vast inland lakes, just a short drive from the coast, which are surrounded by sandy beaches. One such example is Biscarrosse, a popular destination for young families. Many watersport beginners gain confidence on these inland lakes before heading out into the sea. Our Biscarrosse campsite is an ideal location to make the most of the lake and its many facilities.
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