VAE, Bike

Iconic by bike: the Notre-Dame-de-la-fin-des-Terres basilica and the Cordouan lighthouse

Distance: 13 km
by bike
Duration: 2h
Difficulty : Easy
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Here is an easy loop that brings together two icons inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. After a visit to the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-fin-des-Terres, the circuit crosses the small streets of the pretty seaside resort and takes you from the colorful houses of Soulac to the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall, the village Arros. You walk along the beach with, in focus, the Cordouan lighthouse which highlights the horizon. You evolve on a dune line populated by marram grass, laurels, yuccas, broom and arbutus. The must, pedaling during the flowering of the yuccas in summer or between the red arbutus of autumn, inhaling the scent of the plants.

Your itinerary


The Basilica of Our Lady of the End of the Lands

Leave the Tourist Office and turn left towards the Aliénor d'Aquitaine esplanade. You are facing the forecourt of the Basilica of Our Lady of the End of the Lands. Classified as a historical monument in 1891 and listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as part of the Santiago de Compostela routes in 1998, the Basilica Notre-Dame-de-la-fin-des-Terres bears witness to an eventful past. Built in the 120th century by the Benedictine monks, it is of a Romanesque-Poitevin style in limestone, it was by its size intended to receive crowds. This building was a victim of the wars of religion and suffered from silting up for four centuries. The Basilica will have been abandoned for XNUMX years before being removed from the sand, but not in its entirety. Remains still remain underground.

Town hall - the Soulac villas

Take rue Ornano opposite the Basilica, stop for a moment on place Georges Mandel, you are in front of the town hall. Continue, then turn right rue Victor Hugo, admire the magnificent Soulac villas.

The Atlantic Wall - the sea breezes

At the stop sign, turn right onto rue du Prince Noir as far as Les Arros, take the cycle path and stop at the “6.1 km” marker. Head to the first bunker. This fortification was used during the Second World War; you will discover others on the dune, which offers a magnificent panorama of the city. This is also where you can see the breakwaters on the beach. Created by Georges Mandel, these concrete slabs slow down the currents in order to preserve the dunes from erosion.

Statue of Liberty

Return to Place des Arros and take the cycle path. At the stop sign, turn right and walk along the seafront. You pass in front of the replica of the Statue of Liberty, a tribute to La Fayette who boarded the ship La Victoire in 1777 a few kilometers further on.

The lighthouse of cordouan - the statue "The dance"

Throughout your walk you will see in the distance the famous lighthouse of Cordouan “the Lighthouse of the Kings, the Kings of the Lighthouses”. Continue your way, you then arrive at the casino. Facing the ocean stands the statue “La Danse”.

The chapel of Amélie

Take the cycle path that runs along the dune cord, passing by the orientation table. You use part of the dune path. When you arrive at the stop sign, turn right and continue on the cycle path to the Amélie chapel. Continue on boulevard Guy Albospeyre for 400 m and take the Tottoral pass on your left, you will discover Médoc vegetation composed of maritime pines, holm oaks, mimosas.

Fountain Clemenceau

You must then turn right to follow Boulevard Marsan de Montbrun. Continue for 600 m and turn left on rue Antoine Saint Exupéry to use the cycle path. It will take you to Place Clémenceau and its magnificent fountain.

The Benedictine monastery

Go around the roundabout and continue in the streets Maréchal Leclerc, Gambetta and Lahens to discover remarkable Soulac villas. Rue Lahens, take a break on the benches and discover the Anna residence, a former convent that became an orphanage in the XNUMXth century. Then continue the street, you are facing the basilica turn right, continue in rue Laporte after the roundabout. The small park is called “square of the pilgrims”. This point offers a nice view of the Roman-Byzantine style monastery. A rich place, the Benedictine monks made their toothpaste there and exploited the vines that surrounded the monastery.

Back to the Tourist Office

Continue on your way and take rue Barriquand on your left then rue Désorthez. You pass in front of the reformed church. Caution, dangerous slope at 10%. At the bottom of the street, turn left to take the rue de la plage.

Extension of the circuit to the port of Neyran

Return to Rue Jean Laporte and head towards Jeune Soulac. At the bend continue to your right. Turn right on rue de Berniche, then straight ahead, pass des Trois Ecluses. Continue for 500 m to the church of Jeune Soulac. Turn right, cross the RD1215 with caution. Continue straight ahead and take the direction of Port de Neyran. You completely change the landscape, you cross the oyster port. Continue along the canal. You arrive near a bunker, stop to admire this view of the estuary. To return, take the same road.

Points of interest

La basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-fin-des-Terres

The Basilica of Our Lady of the End of the Lands

Le Phare de Cordouan

Cordouan Lighthouse

To discover