Cycling

Beautiful cycling paths wind along the waterfront and through scented pine forests to link Arcachon with the Dune du Pilat (8km south in Pyla-sur-Mer), Biscarosse (30km south) and east to Gujan Mestras (15km) and Le Teich (20km). In Arcachon get a free carte des pistes cyclables from the tourist office showing all the trails around the Bassin d'Arcachon. Rent wheels at Locabeach near the train station or Dingo Vélos by the beachfront.

Boat Tours

Year-round boats operated by the Union des Bateliers Arcachonnais sail around Île aux Oiseaux, the uninhabited 'bird island' in the middle of the bay. It's a haven for tern, curlew and redshank, so bring your binoculars; tours last 1¾ hours (adult/child €16/11). From June to September there are all-day excursions (adult/child €26/18) to the Banc d'Arguin, the sand bank off the Dune du Pilat, and some fabulous themed trips afloat – sunset sailing, gastronomic catamaran cruises, fishing trips, oyster brunches and so forth. Buy tickets in Arcachon at the Union des Bateliers Arcachonnais wooden huts, next to the jetty from where boats set sail.