No trip to the Arcachon Basin would be complete without a visit to the massive Dune du Pyla, the highest sand dune in Europe. Located 15 miles south of the town of Arcachon, you approach the Dune from the inland side, where it is relatively easy to climb a staircase to the top of the 385 foot high dune. The view from the top is stunning, with the ocean to the west, Arcachon Bay to the north, and a vast pine forest stretching as far as the eye can see to the south. I made the mistake of walking from the top of the Dune to the ocean, which took 5 minutes going down and 25 strenuous minutes coming back up. Although we didn't stay for it, we heard the sunsets from the top of the Dune are quite beautiful.