A while back, our wanderlust took us to Cap Ferret in France, for a quick escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. As you might have noticed in this week’s editorial, it’s a place that’s very dear to us. This small village is located on the Lège-Cap-Ferret peninsula, at only an hour’s drive from Bordeaux. You’ll find breathtaking wild landscapes and incredibly scenic settings, all right by the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, Cap Ferret is renowned for its oysters but there is so much more to discover.
ON THE ROAD
On the road to Cap Ferret, you’ll find some cool decoration shops such as La Maison d’Ici, Gilberte With Love and Première Ligne. From authentic cabin-style shops to refined design boutiques, there’s something to suit all tastes. Don’t worry, there are also some decoration and design shops in the village itself.
WHERE TO EAT
After driving for a while and possibly making a few purchases, it’s obviously time to eat. Head to one of those typical oyster shacks that make up a big part of Cap Ferret’s charm. The most famous one is called Chez Hortense. It might ring a bell as it appeared in the French movie “Les Petits Mouchoirs”. Either way, it’s a place where freshness and generosity are the keywords. In every single city, you’ll find an institution that’s kind of always been there. Chez Hortense is one of those; it’s a restaurant that’s been there for generations and offers a breathtaking view on the famous Dune of Pilat. Don’t forget to book in time if you want a table.
Chez Hortense - 26 Avenue du Sémaphore, 33970 Lège-Cap-Ferret
If you’d crave more oysters later on, you can also try La Cabane d’Hortense or Chez Boulan. Not only do these offer amazing views, they’re both also known for a relaxed atmosphere and tasteful, savory plates!
Searching for something different, perhaps trendier? Don’t hesitate to head to Sail-Fish. A great spot to enjoy a tasteful dinner while sipping a cocktail or even dancing. It’s a uniquely relaxed, yet elegant atmosphere.
Sail-Fish - Rue des Bernaches, 33970 Lège-Cap-Ferret
WHERE TO SLEEP
After a day full of discoveries and food, you’ll need a place to lay your head. Here are a few accommodation tips if you don’t have any plans yet. Looking for a quiet and charming hotel? La Maison du Bassin is made for you. This renovated ancient forest house is located only a minute away from the Arcachon’s basin and counts 11 rooms.
La Maison du Bassin - 5 Rue des Pionniers, 33950 Lège-Cap-Ferret
If you feel like a massage at the end of the day would come in handy, opt for Côté Sable, a spa hotel. This luxurious design hotel will satisfy all your needs. Hôtel des Dunes on the other hand is good compromise between both styles and offers free sauna access.
What to do
For a village that is relatively small, Cap Ferret has a lot to offer. The good news is that everything is reachable by foot. For the sportiest types, you could also go for a faster option: cycling! Indeed, a 50 km bicycle path goes across the whole peninsula. An easy way to get a nice overview of all the sights there are to see.
Renting a boat is another fun way to discover the region. From Cap Ferret you can easily get to the Dune of Pilat, to the Île aux Oiseaux (which is a natural reserve), or to the Banc d’Arguin, known for its 360° view. From the boat, you’ll also be able to admire those famous houses on stilts, typical for the region.
Once back in the village, we encourage you to walk up the 258 stairs to the lighthouse. It’s a bit of a challenge but the panoramic view of the peninsula - from Cap Ferret to Pilat - is definitely worth it. If you’re craving culture, you’ll be able to visit the different expositions inside of it.
Every Wednesday and Saturday morning, a local market takes place in the center of town. From vegetables to paintings, delicious pastries and fashionable accessories, you’ll find everything you want and more. But honestly, we usually just go there for the friendly and colorful atmosphere.
Also, you can’t leave Cap Ferret without having surfed its waves! Don’t panic if you’ve never surfed before, you can take some classes on the main beach, Plage de l’Horizon. And if you’d be more into watching some (handsome) surfers, head to Plage de la Vache Morte, a hidden surf spot. You can get there after a little walk through the pine forest. There are also a few other nice and calm beaches around, such as Plage des Américains that we like for its natural side, and Plage de la Vigne, which is less crowded than the ones in the center.
Here at Bellerose, we like to do some shopping when away (who doesn’t?). We found some cool little shops over there. At Jane the Boy, on the road to Cap Ferret, you’ll find your favorite brands, for both men and women, but also jewelry, decoration objects and beauty stuff. If you’d want to bring home some chic, original souvenirs without any fuss, head to Mazette. You’ll literally find everything you want there. Another cool spot to discover is Walrus, an authentic surf shop that also serves tapas, burgers and beer.
What we love the most about Cap Ferret is the laid back, come-as-you-are atmosphere that prevails all over the peninsula. We were looking for a relaxed escape, and we weren’t disappointed. The only protest came from our stomach, but that’s a rather small price to pay.
Pictures by Victoria Nossent, Nathalie Gabay & Thibault de Schepper
Words by Charlotte Tuts