The beach towns of Carcans, and Hourtin!

So here I am as time is running fast and Summer and the beach time is here in my belle France. We still do not know where we are going, last minute lazy boys I guess, but we did have spent many summers on the beaches of my area and the Gironde ,specifically the Médoc. Oh yes is not just wines they make there ::)

Let me tell you  a bit more on the beach towns of Carcans and Hourtin in the Médoc peninsula of the Gironde dept 33 of the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine! And of course been beach towns, well we took personal photos, and someone was a bit shy to be in the photos!

We head for the beaches of Cancans and Hourtin as well like our playground area, crisscrossing this wonderful region, great beaches there. We love the italian ices in Cancans, and the pizza at Hourtin. Can’t missed the ice creams in Cancans Le Salon de la Glace , its right in the small city center street facing the beach at Maubuisson at 2 rue Rossignols.

They even talk about them now in this webpage Carcans-Maubissons here on the ice creams: Carcans Maubuisson on the Le Salon de la Glace

Hourtin is in the Médoc peninsula of the Gironde Department 33   in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Nestled in the heart of the immense forest of the Landes, it borders the Côte d’Argent or Silver Coast and counts on the presence of one of the largest natural lakes of France, the Lake of Hourtin and Carcans, which is also the most important of the great lakes of the Landes. Hourtin is also the 30th largest town in France by its surface area due mainly to the lakes/forest area. Part of the territory is classified as a national nature reserve, the national nature reserve of the dunes and marshes of Hourtin.


The town is 12 km from Carcans 23 km from Lacanau, 24 km from Pauillac, 37 km from Soulac-sur-Mer, 54 km from Bordeaux and 59 km from Arcachon. By it takes you about 1h30 from Bordeaux.

The present town was known until 1628 under the name of Cartignac, Hourtin being only a small hamlet of the village to the French revolution, the present town replaced the old parish of Saint-Hélène de l’Étang.

Main tourist places here are the Church of Hourtin. , the Hourtin lighthouse (phare). The Forest of the Landes. And Hourtin shares with its neighbour Carcans one of the largest freshwater lakes of France, the Lake of Hourtin and Carcans, at the edge of which is built the tourist complex of Hourtin-port.

Some webpages to help you enjoy fully wonderful Hourtin are

City of Hourtin with direction maps

Tourist office of the Medoc on Hourtin things to see

My favorite Plages tv webpage on the beaches of Hourtin

Carcans  is also located in the Médoc,as above and 50 km from Bordeaux, in the Landes. As above only 12 km from Hourtin. And as above, Carcans is a seaside resort enjoying both the Atlantic Ocean and the largest natural freshwater lake in France. It is composed of five poles: but for the visitors the main are Carcans city center or bourg; Maubuisson, with a great lake beach and water activities; the tourist resort Le Domaine de Bombannes, sports and recreation area by the Lake; and Carcans-Beach, seaside resort at the edge of the ocean.



The first historical testimony of the town dates from 1099, the year in which the Lord of Lesparre attributed to the Benedictine monks of the Abbey Sainte Croix (Holy Cross) in Bordeaux, the churches of Carcans-Lacanau and Saint-Hélène de l’Étang . Carcans is as well located on the way or Camino de Santiago de Compostela (St James) , leaving from Soulac, on the Soulac way. A 13C manuscript reveals the importance of religion in Carcans and especially the cult of St. John the Baptist. Today the main economic activity of Carcans is the seaside tourism.

Some of the remarkable tourist places here are the Moulin (mill) built at the site of what was called the Castle. The first official mention of the monument dates from 1627. The miraculous fountain of St. John quoted by Olivier de Marliave was located at the foot of the mill.

The Church of St. Martin founded in 1099, was the seat of a Priory until the 13C. At that time it was erected as a parish. Carcans was a relay for pilgrims from Santiago de Compostela coming from Saintonge. In remembrance, the Church preserves a statue of Saint James in a pilgrim’s costume dating from the 17C. From time immemorial, Saint-Martin Church was a place of pilgrimage to St. John the Baptist folks came from very far revering the head of St. John, carved in stone, of Byzantine origin of the 6C, wearing hair in horseman-work of a terrifying realism . A statue of Saint John of the 18C dominates the altar of this Saint. The present church was built in 1870 in the Neo-Gothic style; the altar of the same time is polychrome marble. The organ of the choir, of German origin, was mounted in 1971, during the restoration of the Church.

OF course, we came here for the walks on the beach side predominantly and the beach itself of course with the family is tops. Some webpages to help you plan your trip to wonderful Carcans are

City of Carcans on tourism choices

Toursit office of Medoc on Carcans things to see

My favorite Plages tv webpage on the beaches of Carcans

There you go another gem on the water of my wonderful Médoc, a lot more than world class wines (simply the best), but also, many monuments, rides, architecture,history and great beaches all along the Atlantic ocean.  Enjoy coming to Carcans and Hourtin! Hope you will like them too.

And remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!




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