Dune du Pilat, France – the highest sand dune in Europe

Dune of Pyla – the sandy desert of France

The most authentic sand desert can be found in France. This is the famous Pyla dune. Millions of tons of golden sand, as if by a wizard’s spell, were transferred here from the Sahara.

Dune de la Pyla in France.

General Description

Dune Pila is the highest dune in Europe. Its highest point is at a level of 130 meters. But this value is not constant, it is affected by strong winds, periodically correcting it in one or another direction.

Tourists on the slope of Pyla Dune

The sandy strip has a fairly regular rectangular shape. The width of the dune reaches 600 meters and is almost 3 kilometers long. The volume of sand is estimated at about 60 million cubic meters.

By the way, a similar sand phenomenon can be observed in Japan. There is about the same desert called Tottori

Where is Pila Dune

Geographic coordinates 44.589167, -1.214618

The French desert is located near the town of La Teste de Buch in the southwestern part of the country, right on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

Dune de la Pyla. France

This region is known as New Aquitaine, and the area in which the dune is directly located is called the Gironde. The nearest major city of Bordeaux is 60 kilometers to the northeast. Dune de Pyla is located right at the entrance to the Bay of Arcachon.

If you don’t know you’re in France, you might think you’re in Namibia and its endless Skeleton Coast.

Features of the Peel Dune

The formation of the dune.

Because of its geographic location, the area is dominated by westerly winds that carry sand from the coast. This explains the shape of the dune. On the ocean side it has a gentle slope, but on the opposite side it is quite steep. That is why the ascent to the sand mountain on the east side is very difficult.

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Because of the influx of tourists, here in the summer period are installed ladders. Climbing with their help to the top of the hill, you have an impressive view – in the west the Atlantic Ocean, in the east the pine forests, and when the weather is clear, in the south you can see the Pyrenees Mountains on the border with Spain.

Stairs on the slope of Dune de la Pyla

The movement of the dunes.

Driven by the winds, the sand of the dune moves steadily inland, slowly consuming the forest and covering houses and roads. The speed of movement is variable. Sometimes it is as much as 10 meters per year, and sometimes less than one meter per year. Over the past 57 years, the dune has moved about 280 meters. So its speed is 4.9 meters per year.

Dune of Pyla

Victims of the Sawtooth Dune.

The movement of the dune has already swallowed up about two dozen houses. Each year the sand covers about 8,000 square meters of nearby pine forests. In the northeastern part of the dune, the road was closed in 1987, and in 1991 it was already completely buried under a layer of sand. In 1928, a family from Bordeaux built a villa in the southeastern part of the dune, and in 1936 the entire house disappeared under the sand.

Sand islands at the Peel dune

Just 1 kilometer west of the dune, in the waters of the Atlantic, is the sandy island Banc d’Arguin. It has similar dimensions (4.5 km by 700 meters) and stretches almost parallel to the dune. But behind this island (and again about 1 km to the west) there is another island Banc du Toulinguet. It is much more modest in size (about 700 by 400 meters). Both islands are very popular with travelers. There are always a lot of boats, boats and tourists.

Islands near Dune du Pilat.

Many names for one dune

There are several names on the internet, in guidebooks and tourist brochures: Dune du Pilat, Dune du Pyla, Grande Dune du Pilat.

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It is common outside of France to use the name Dune du Pyla, but few people know that the official (and thus correct) name of the landmark is Dune du Pilat (Dune Pilat). At least that is the name used in all official French documents. It is derived from the Gascon word “pilhat”, which means “heap” or “mound”.

The seaside resort of Pyla sur Mer, founded in 1920 and part of La Teste de Buch, stretches north of the dune. The first part of its name is what led to the name confusion. Despite the official name of the dune, signposts on the roads are found with different names. You, most importantly, do not be confused and do not worry, they all lead to the same place.

Dune du Pilat

Hello all, I live and study in France. Recently I managed to visit the biggest sand dune in Europe. I am sharing a photo of it.

Dune du Pilat Duneduoilat, Bordeaux, Dune du Pilat, Dunes, France

Dune du Pilat is the biggest sand dune in Europe. Each year the dune grows a few meters. It is located near the Gulf of Arcachon (after the name of the city nearby, Arcachon), about 70 km from the city of Bordeaux, where I live.

Dune du Pilat Duneduoilat, Bordeaux, Dune du Pilat, Dunes, France

The dune is very large, with plastic steps at the top for convenience.

Dune du Pilat Duneduoilat, Bordeaux, Dune du Pilat, Dunes, France

Dune du Pilat Duneduoilat, Bordeaux, Dune du Pilat, Dunes, France

Dune du Pilat Duneduoilat, Bordeaux, Dune du Pilat, Dunes, France

Dune du Pilat Duneduoilat, Bordeaux, Dune du Pilat, Dunes, France

Even though I was there in November, there were a lot of people.

Dune du Pilat Duneduoilat, Bordeaux, Dune du Pilat, Dunes, France

Dune du Pilat Duneduoilat, Bordeaux, Dune du Pilat, Dunes, France

Dune du Pilat Duneduoilat, Bordeaux, Dune du Pilat, Dunes, France

Photo on Google Pixel 1st gen.

photos and description are interesting, thanks. but one question still plagues me – what is the reason for such a rush? is there a problem with sand in France?

Where does it come from? Like a boil on my ass.

Only the ears would have made it to the couch. Morocco. Stones

Only the ears would make it to the couch. Morocco. Stones Africa, Morocco, Casablanca, Racing, Desert, ATV, Travel, Adventure, Stone, Dune, Dunes, Memories, Travelers, Life stories, History, Rally, Rally Rides, Longpost

Let’s go on about the rocks. First and second.

I went one day with my friends to Morocco for a trip. I rented several quads from Germans and made a deal with the French to pick them up in Dusseldorf and at the same time they took mine from their base near Paris. And brought it all together with mechanics to Merzouga.

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So, we arrived in Casablanca, stayed overnight in a fancy hotel-casino, took the car and also drove through the Atlas to Merzouga, in the desert. We were waiting for the Frenchmen with their equipment.

Only the ears would make it to the couch. Morocco. Stones Africa, Morocco, Casablanca, Racing, Desert, ATV, Travel, Adventure, Stone, Dune, Dunes, Memories, Travelers, Life stories, History, Rally, Rally Rides, Longpost

Only the ears would make it to the couch. Morocco. Stones Africa, Morocco, Casablanca, Racing, Desert, ATV, Travel, Adventure, Stone, Dune, Dunes, Memories, Travelers, Life stories, History, Rally, Rally Rides, Longpost

But the story is not about that, we will talk about that next time.

The Frenchmen arrived in the evening, with the quads on trailers and in the van, all with the wheels off, so it was more convenient to drive. And in the evening there was a restaurant in the desert, DJs and other extravagances…

Only the ears would make it to the couch. Morocco. Stones Africa, Morocco, Casablanca, Racing, Desert, ATV, Travel, Adventure, Stone, Dune, Dunes, Memories, Travelers, Life stories, History, Rally, Rally Rides, Longpost

Only the ears would make it to the couch. Morocco. Stones Africa, Morocco, Casablanca, Racing, Desert, ATV, Travel, Adventure, Stone, Dune, Dunes, Memories, Travelers, Life stories, History, Rally, Rally Rides, Longpost

In the morning the battered mechanics fixed everything and put it back together. Their quads, too. We sat down and went for a ride. This day we decided to ride on pebbles. They were as sharp as razor blades.

Only the ears would make it to the couch. Morocco. Stones Africa, Morocco, Casablanca, Racing, Desert, ATV, Travel, Adventure, Stone, Dune, Dunes, Memories, Travelers, Life stories, History, Rally, Rally Rides, Longpost

But there was no way out, we had to pump up our skills before the race. Of course, I can cut rubber on them, though it’s six-layer, but I can’t tune my suspension without such a crash. My friends drove along the track, and I went straight over such a miracle.

Only the ears would make it to the couch. Morocco. Stones Africa, Morocco, Casablanca, Racing, Desert, ATV, Travel, Adventure, Stone, Dune, Dunes, Memories, Travelers, Life stories, History, Rally, Rally Rides, Longpost

I felt that at sixty kilometers per hour, my ass began to wobble, I dropped the speed, I thought the effect would go away. And no way, I add gas and everything starts to get out of control. And I look at the rear tire on the move – intact, not deflated. The rear swingarm works, too, it’s not wobbling. Braking on such jerks is a guaranteed break. So we’ll stop on a roll.

Only the ears would make it to the couch. Morocco. Stones Africa, Morocco, Casablanca, Racing, Desert, ATV, Travel, Adventure, Stone, Dune, Dunes, Memories, Travelers, Life stories, History, Rally, Rally Rides, Longpost

Got off, took a look, jab fuck! Two of the four nuts left on the rear hubs, and those are already on their last coils. The rest of the studs are cut or bent. Rims for 200 euros already have holes in the shape of an oval….

I flew away on such pebbles, no protection would not save, a moment in the stuffing.

Only the ears would make it to the couch. Morocco. Stones Africa, Morocco, Casablanca, Racing, Desert, ATV, Travel, Adventure, Stone, Dune, Dunes, Memories, Travelers, Life stories, History, Rally, Rally Rides, Longpost

I radioed the mechanics, they’re on their way, que s’est il pass√©? What happened, they ask. la fin de toi “You’re fucked,” I said. Who screwed the wheels on?

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I look at the meter in their eyes, the euro counts, the losses. They’re the ones with the equipment and the warranty.

We said, Dostoevskyi, we screwed it all on our conscience, it’s on its own.

I say, give me the key, I’ll tighten the remaining nuts myself, turn around and go back in a small way thirty kilometers. I was in the hotel to “clean up” everything myself. It is desirable, we have five days ahead…

They nodded sadly and drove back. In the morning they did it. In the morning we did it on our own account.

So we still had five days of riding.

Only the ears would make it to the couch. Morocco. Stones Africa, Morocco, Casablanca, Racing, Desert, ATV, Travel, Adventure, Stone, Dune, Dunes, Memories, Travelers, Life stories, History, Rally, Rally Rides, Longpost

Only the ears would make it to the couch. Morocco. Stones Africa, Morocco, Casablanca, Racing, Desert, ATV, Travel, Adventure, Stone, Dune, Dunes, Memories, Travelers, Life stories, History, Rally, Rally Rides, Longpost

Only the ears would make it to the couch. Morocco. Stones Africa, Morocco, Casablanca, Racing, Desert, ATV, Travel, Adventure, Stone, Dune, Dunes, Memories, Travelers, Life stories, History, Rally, Rally Rides, Longpost

By the way, they set me up in the Sardinia rally. They couldn’t fix the engine before the start. The contract said service and spare parts and any repair except total, within 20 hours. In fact – a bolt. But we got our money back, though we did not want to.

And they say only Russians are inefficient. Always sign a service contract.

To be continued…

A trans anti-fascist tried to burn lesbians

Last weekend lesbians decided to march through the streets of Bordeaux (France) with a poster “Lesbians do not like penises”. However, this march was not to end peacefully. All of a sudden anti-fascist trans people showed up and attacked the protesting lesbians. One trans man with a “Kill Terf” T-shirt, which translates as “Kill the Radical Feminist”, accused the lesbians of being transphobic, lit a flare and tried to set them on fire. The lesbians didn’t expect this turn of events, some of them ran away, but antifa along with trans anti-fascists didn’t stop chasing them. The lesbians later complained that the trans people were harassing them.

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