HomeEuropeGreat Dune of Pilat – Magical Moving Desert in France
Great Dune of Pilat – Magical Moving Desert in France
Most of you have heard about Asian or African deserts. But have you ever heard about the desert in France? There is a little piece of natural phenomena found in the soul of Europe. The Great Dune of Pyla is a rare geological phenomenon and a very popular tourist attraction. This is the tallest dune in France and Europe. These dunes are nestled between the Atlantic Ocean, an enormous pine forest, Arcachon Bay, a sandbank, and a peninsula!
The Great Dune of Pilat is located in the municipality of La Teste-de-Buch, 60 km from Bordeaux, in the Arcachon Bay Area. The Great Dune of Pyla is also called the “Great Dune of Pilat”. The dunes are huge, about 500 meters in width, 3 km in length, and rising to a height of 107 meters above sea level.
The dune is considered a fore-dune, meaning a dune that runs parallel to a shoreline, behind the high tide line of a beach. Every year, more than one million visitors come to see this unexpected beauty. The interesting part of the dune is relentlessly moving inward, gradually pushing the forest back to cover houses, roads, and the Atlantic Wall.
At some times, it was moving back 10 meters in a year, but after that, the rate of movement was discontinuous. In the last 60 years, the great dunes have moved around 280 meters, giving an annual displacement of 4.9 meters per year. The endless dune landscapes you find in desert Arab countries However, the contrast between the sand and forest makes this European sand dune an even more striking sight.
So, moving to Great Dune covered about 22 private properties. Even a road in the north-east part was overlapped in 1987 after an avalanche of sand, which was buried in 1991. A house was buried over the dune, as referenced in a newspaper on September 19, 1936. In the southeast of the dune, a Bordeaux family decided to build a villa in 1928.
However, after 20 years, the sands started to invade the house and had completely disappeared over the sands. This desert in France is famed for the exceptional scenery it offers from its peak. You can see on one side the huge pine forest and, on the other, the Atlantic headland.
This slope is really a challenge for everyone. The only athletic person who can climb up efficiently For the others, a staircase makes the ascent a little easier. The man-made stairs protrude to the top view, which is majestic. The seacoast and vast pine forest of Les Landes are more enjoyable when the weather is clear in the Pyrennees range.
Due to its exposed location along the sea and steep angle The Dune of Pilat is a famous paragliding spot with great soaring conditions. These special ingredients make it a unique landscape, probably throughout the world. It is sometimes described as a “menacing sand wall” or even called a “sand monster” swallowing up “parts of France”.
The desert in France is a magical place. One can climb it, jump in it, and run up and down. Also, take selfies, do photography, and stay and wait for the sunset to be astonishing. If someone feels energetic, then you can scramble up the dune freestyle!