France in our motorhome

Dune du Pilat – one of the most amazing places in Europe

Storm Miguel arrived with us on Friday morning causing us to spend an extra day in Hourtin so we were forced to set off for our next destination on the Saturday of a French national holiday weekend – never a good time to be on the roads.

On our way to the Dune du Pilat, we stopped at a car wash! This wasn’t an ordinary car wash though, it was a motorhome wash with a special high level gantry that enables you to wash the roof of a motorhome. I have never seen one in the UK but they are fairly common in France. I got a bit of a shock though when I saw how filthy our motorhome roof was but I managed to make a big improvement to it, although it still needs far more TLC. I think I will need to crawl on the roof and spend a few hours up there to get the roof looking pristine.

The amazing Dune du Pilat

We are members of several Facebook motorhome forums. They are an invaluable source of information about all things motorhome, as well as being a source of inspiration on places to visit. It was on one of these forums that a member recommended a campsite at the Dune du Pilat so we duly turned up at Camping Panorama du Pyla. The campsite is right on the edge of the famous dunes and is set high above the beach with panoramic views out to sea and over the Dune du Pilat itself.

We are on the amazing Dune du Pilat

The Dune du Pilat is an amazing place to visit. Trudging our way to the top we were rewarded with fantastic views across Archachon Bay and across the pine forests that surround the area. The dunes are 110 metres above sea level and are about 3km long. The dunes are a fascinating place to spend time and there is a huge amount to see. Dozens of paragliders use the dunes and you can watch the experts, and also the novices struggling to get off the ground. How we did not witness a paragliding collision I will never know.

Camping Panorama du Pyla review

If you are looking for a campsite close to the Dune du Pilat then this campsite is a very good choice. It is situated high up above the beach and has amazing views across the dunes and out to sea. If you can get a pitch nearest the sea then you are in for a treat. Unfortunately, as we arrived on a holiday weekend we couldn’t get a pitch with a sea view. The campsite is situated in a pine forest so some of the pitches are small and difficult to get into. Our 7 metre long motorhome had no trouble but some bigger outfits may struggle. Also, many pitches are not level so take levelling ramps to try and level your motorhome.

The swimming pool at Panorama du Pyla camping.

The facilities at Camping Panorama du Pyla are excellent. There is a swimming pool, a supermarket, a cafe and two restaurants one of which has a fantastic view out to sea. We ate in the restaurant and the food was pretty good with good service. Showers are excellent.

The campsite is part of the Yelloh Village chain so prices in high season are high (about €45 a night), we used our ACSI discount card and paid €19 a night.

I would highly recommend a visit to the Dune du Pilat. It far exceeded my expectations. There is a car park on the road if you are not staying on a campsite.

Paragliding on the Dune du Pilat

The top of Dune du Pilat, France

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