Recently I travelled down to the South West of France where my parents live and we took a spontaneous trip to the beach Cap Ferret, where the town is gentle and relaxing. Surprisingly it doesn’t feel like a Southern part of France, it has an atmosphere that you would find in a small Spanish town. The lacklustre amount of British tourists is a blessing but you may stumble across a few pizzerias where you can hear some broken French being practiced
It is advised that you drive to the beach as the nearest airport is 1 hour away – Bordeaux. The remote town only has 1 train station and that belongs to the children for their toy train. The drive takes approximately 2 hours 45 mins from Issegiac town which is further north than Cap Ferret. The journey down is incredibly scenic as you pass fur trees, beautiful villages and endless blue skies along the way. When you arrive in the town of Cap Ferret you are able to taste the sea salt in the air. You may want to stop off at the dainty cafes along the way for a pain au raisin and a cappuccino. However, pay attention when you ask ‘ou est le toilettes’ as the locals speak at an incredibly fast speed and you’ll find yourself trailing the sides of the road searching for them. It’s reasonably easy to find yourself a parking space alongside the beach. Once you venture onto the beach you’ll be able to experience the miles of sandy stretch that waits before you. The tide will be further out towards the beginning of the day, so be alarmed that it may be harder to swim in the morning to midday. This is when most of the locals are eating and preparing for a day of sunshine. After approximately 2pm, the tide is welcomed back in giving you the opportunity to swim. I was pleasantly surprised with how clean and refreshing the sea water was. Mind you, after sitting in 30 degree heat, you’ll appreciate any kind of water.
Although the beachfront can be quite quiet when it comes to cafes and bars, this just presents a chance for you to bring your own healthy picnic. The town of Cap Ferret holds multiple ‘hip and happening’ shops where shopaholics like myself can self-medicate. The only downfall in my opinion is that the prices of drinks, food, clothes etc are slightly pricier than the north but this is expected. However, you will hardly notice the change in prices as the beautiful town easily distracts you. Take a trip to the lovely white church (which became a marking point when we became lost), or the traditional lighthouse. If you have children, there are multiple kids sailing clubs and ‘Mickey Mouse adventure clubs’, to entertain them layered down the beach.
Cap Ferret is definitely appropriate for any age and any type of person. The culture is mixed and as soon as you plant your bum on the sand, you’re home.