The beach towns of Carcans, and Hourtin!

You want to come to the beaches of France, and there are many beautiful ones, However, an area off the beaten path for many visitors outside of Europe is the Médoc !! Yes, the most famous wine region has, also, some of the best beaches of France ! We have spent many summers here when the boys were younger and beach goers, a lot less lately, but memories lingered forever. Oh yes definitively, not just wines here ! 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 ,do see my other posts on them and other beach towns here,

We headed for the beaches of Cancans and Hourtin as well like our playground area, crisscrossing this wonderful region, of great beaches. 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 of Maubuisson at 142 Av. de Maubuisson.

Hourtin is just a bit north on the Médoc peninsula 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 of Hourtin 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. 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.

The city of Hourtin on its heritage :

The Médoc Atlantique tourist office on Hourtin

My favorite beach site plages tv on the Hourtin beach :

Carcans  as locals call it but officially Carcans-Maubuisson is only 12 km from Hourtin. And as above. The town 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 Carcans 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.

The city of Carcans on tourism info

The Médoc Atlantique tourist office on Carcans

My favorite beach site plages tv on the beaches of Carcans

Of course, we came here for the best combination of beach and wines, The heritage abound for further incursions and we had in other visits. The beaches are tops, recommended, as can equal any ,anywhere ! And I am a beach bum since birth !!

The Gironde dept 33 on the Médoc area

There you go folks ,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!!!

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: