From the islands, marshes and beaches of the Vendée to the dunes of Archachon and Cap Ferret, the Atlantic Coast is wild and wind swept. If you like salt spray in your hair head for the Cote D'Argent (Silver Coast) where pine forests flank the rolling sand dunes that stand guard over world-class foaming surf.
From sailing and surfing to kite surfing and sand yachting, the northern Atlantic beaches offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water. Off the central Atlantic coast the four islands of île d'Oléron, île de Ré, île-d'Aix and île Madame provide cycle routes, marshes, beaches, forests and traditional harbours. And are all car-free. Top surf spots can be found around Archachon and the colossal Dune du Pilat – the 114m sand dune just south of the town. Hourtin-Plage and Montalivet are also great places to catch a wave. The entire coastline is a hot spot for cycling – in 2011 the Vendée created a network of 900km of cycling trails and the pine forests of Cap Ferret and the Bay of Arcachon provide shady beach-side trails.