Au Ferret! If you’re looking for a beach town with a relaxed vibe yet all the luxuries you want, Cap-Ferret is the place to be. It’s situated on the tip of a peninsula on the west coast of France. With 50km of coastline, remote Atlantic beaches, fresh seafood and local wines, Cap-Ferret feels like true paradise.
We checked into Cote Sable, a luxury boutique hotel located beside the beach and in the centre of the action. The hotel has chic modern décor and large outdoor patio out front where you can eat breakfast, drink, have aperitifs and people watch. We dropped our bags, put on our robes and sat outside on our private terrace. Clarins toiletries line the sink in your room from the Clarins spa located in the hotel.
Next, we put on our small backpacks and walked to the grocery store to grab appies to accompany the champagne for our sunset beach picnic! We grabbed a wooden produce crate from the front of the grocery store for our picnic table.
Pro Tip: To cool your champagne quickly, fill up a good quality plastic shopping bag with salt water from the sea. Then dump a bag or two of ice inside before submerging your champagne to cool. Dig a small pit for it in the sand to keep it upright. Salt lowers the freezing point of water, in effect, chilling your bubbly faster!
We sat on the beach for hours while drinking champagne, eating cheese, crackers, and meats. The sunset over the vast Atlantic was picture perfect. There are many old eroding and graffitied WWII Bunkers alongside the beach you can sit in front of.
If you’re up to keep the party going, stop in at Bar Le Tchanque on your way back to grab some more appies and cocktails on their outdoor patio.
The next morning we ate breakfast at our hotel and packed our beachwear. One of the best things to do is walk the peninsula. We started at the western side and worked our way to the tip. Make sure you go at low tide! That way you can easily walk the grandiose sand beaches and swim in the baïnes. A baïne is a tidal pool hundreds of meters in length created by the tide and waves from the ocean. It’s a nice calm contrast to the wild ocean that runs parallel. We first swam in the baïne to warm us up to jumping into the Atlantic!
Once we were done the long walk we had a desire to satisfy our hunger and quench our thirst with some fresh seafood and cold dry white wine. Cap-Ferret is known as the oyster capital of France and its oysters are considered some of best in the world. We sat on the patio at Chez Boulon and the seafood was oh so fresh.
After taking the rest of the afternoon to rest at our hotel, we took a stroll down to the lagoon side of the peninsula and ate a wonderful dinner at the 50 year old seafood restaurant L’Escale.
This isn't a flea market, it's a Ferret market. Loads of vendors pack a small parking lot selling fashionable products such as colourful beach blankets, beautifully patterned dresses, linen shirts, housewares, and local food and wine. I couldn't resist taking away two colourful dresses (priced at 35 Euros each), and a colourful beach blanket. Ari got a nice white linen shirt that will also serve well in Italy.
Next, we rented bikes to explore some of the forested peninsula. Cap-Ferret has a network of bike trails stretching over 100 km! We biked to the quaint town of L’herbe to eat lunch. The beautiful fishing village is filled with colourful historic houses and seaside restaurants. We sat down and enjoyed more ocean fresh shrimp, oysters, and cold dry white wine.
If time permits, we recommend spending 4 nights/5 days in Cap-Ferret so you can take your time enjoying the scenery and the relaxed lifestyle.