The 7 ports of Gujan-Mestras, discovery walk with the family

Gujan-Mestras
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The 7 ports of Gujan- ...

Yes, there are indeed 7 ports in Gujan-Mestras! Small oyster ports full of charm, smelling of iodine and immersing you in the atmosphere of the work of oyster farmers. Strolling from port to port is an excellent way to spend a great day with the family, while eating oysters fresh from their pond like kings. It is a feast for the eyes and the possibility of walking along the coastal path. The landscape changes with the tides during the day and the highlight is the sunset, at Port Larros for a friendly atmosphere or one of the other ports for an intimate atmosphere. Don't forget to come and visit the Oyster Museum! Let's go?

Opening photo: © Chromoprisme | Adobe Stock - The Port of Gujan

Other photos of the article © Guide Bordeaux Gironde

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Why are there 7 ports in Gujan-Mestras?

Gujan-Mestras is the oyster capital of the Bassin d'Arcachon and this, in fact and because of its history, intimately linked to sea bathing. The Bassin d'Arcachon is a favorable place for growing oysters, because its 155km2 (at high tide) are subject to the incessant comings and goings of the tide which gives this water reserve an unparalleled nutrient richness. The daily renewal of its waters (we fall to 40km2 of submerged space at low tide!) makes it possible to produce 7000 tons of oysters annually.

Gujan-Mestras is a town well located and easily accessible from Bordeaux. It enjoys a pleasant setting with the nearby forest, pretty beaches and if many ports have settled there, it is also due to the formerly seaside vocation of this city in the Arcachon basin. People came there to take sea baths and two establishments were acclaimed in this regard, which have now disappeared, but the adjoining ports, with their footbridges, dykes and piers, are still there. The small ports of Gujan-Mestras are supported by the General Council of Gironde, which sees to their embellishment, but also their maintenance and the issuance of authorizations for use. Because all this is very regulated, as you will see when you walk there. Remember to respect the work and movement of fishermen and oyster farmers, who ultimately leave their daily workplace available to tourists and vacationers.


Click to download a map of the 7 ports of Gujan-Mestras (in fr), so you don't get lost. It's not very complicated, from one of the ends, you just have to go up the coast.



The Port of La Hume

You can take the tour in either direction, the ports are laid out in a linear fashion, so it's not a loop. We visited from West to East.

Port de la Hume is a very pleasant tourist spot. In the summer season at the end of the day, it is a delight to walk there. It is the only marina of the 7 ports of Gujan-Mestras. It is geared towards tourism and nearby is the Hume beach , which is pretty and supervised. It is a beach that is conducive to the practice of kite or kitesurfing , due to its orientation. It's a pretty sight on a windy day. Come and discover a place full of charm appreciated by families.


Did you know ? Gujan-Mestras is one of the prettiest seaside resorts in the Gironde, but there are also others and not very far! To organize your wanderings during the holidays and always put the towel in the right place, read our article on the best seaside resorts in Gironde.


Port of the Hume
The Port of La Hume
Hume Beach
Hume Beach

The Port of Meyran

The Port of Meyran is a former stranding port, which means that due to its elevation and the geometry of its bottom, at low tide there is no more water and the boats are placed on the sand. We can then careen them (clean them and work on their watertightness). At this place was the terminal of a railway line. At the start of the 20th century, trains transported wood from the forests of Landes and Gironde to northern France and England. It is a large oyster port, the largest in the municipality of Gujan-Mestras, it is also divided into 2 parts: West and East. There are 2 oyster huts there for tastings. If you are lucky, you will arrive at the time of the ballet of the " plates ", the boat of the oyster farmers who come and go to collect oysters in their beds.


The Port of Meyran

The Port of Meyran
The Port of Meyran

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The Port of Gujan

The characteristic of the Port of Gujan is its 450 meter long footbridge. It was once an access road for a bathhouse that was located there, the Bains Gujanais in 1843. There are no specific oyster huts for tasting, but you can find direct sales there at competitive price. You may see heaps of cups or limed tiles (coated with lime). These are devices used by oyster farmers to capture spat, baby oysters. They settle on the cups or tiles and the lime that covers them, allows them to be taken off without any problem, to then raise them in the parks. A bit like butter in the dish to make a cake!


You may notice oyster bags (like nets) that are sometimes left on the road? Why? It's to clean them! When the shells remain entangled in the mesh, we roll over them to break them up and it is then easier to wash them. Cleverrrr !


The Port of Gujan

Port of Gujan Port of Gujan
The Port of Gujan

The Port of Larros

The Port of Larros is the best known because it is completely authentic, with a very friendly atmosphere, restaurants, oyster bars and La Maison de l'huître. This pretty port dates from 1883, it is a former sardine fishing port, another delicious specialty of the sea and the region. Go for a walk at the very end of the pier, depending on the tide, a beach is revealed and at the very end is the Sailors' Cross, which dates from 1891. In this port there is also a flourishing shipyard activity, with companies of fame. Come and visit the Maison de l'Huître, it is a museum on oyster farming in general and more specifically here in the Bassin d'Arcachon. The museum route is interesting and fun, there is also an outdoor route. In summer, it's party time on the Port de Larros esplanade, every Thursday evening with concerts, shows ...


Port of Larros

Port of Larros Port of Larros

Port of Larros

Port of Larros Port of Larros
The charming Port de Larros and its pier, beach and restaurants


To find out all about oysters from the Arcachon basin, Cap Ferret and Médoc, read our article!


A video on The Oyster House

The Port of the Canal

The Port du Canal is also linked to an old bathing establishment, the Bains de Mestras, a dyke made it possible to go from one to the other ( dike which was created by digging a canal, giving its name to the port ). Today it is a very active oyster port. You can go along the docks, the working basins of the oyster farmers, to take a walk.

Some verses found in an archive, about the baths of the region:

“In Gujan, the air is healthy. Nothing is less debatable;

There are cold baths and hot baths on the sand;

On one side the forest, on the other the Basin.

If he was well known, he is no doctor

Who did not have almost all his patients stay there”


Do you want to have fun with the children or with friends, after or before your trip to the ports? Read our article on Bassin Aventure, a gigantic magical treetop adventure course in the pine forest, to spend a super sporty and fun day.


Port du Canal beach
Canal Harbor Beach
Canal Port Canal Port
Canal Port

The Port of La Barbotière

It is the oldest port in Gujan-Mestras! It dates from the 18th century. They are the headquarters of the Regional Shellfish Farming Committee as well as the renowned Lycée des Métiers de la Mer.


For a successful family outing, you can pick up at the Tourist Office, or download the Pistes de Robin en Gironde brochure (in fr). It's a discovery game that will take you through 4 of the 7 ports. Ideal to occupy the children, while you admire the boats... 


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The Port of Mole

And here is the smallest of the 7 ports of Gujan-Mestras, Port de la Mole. It offers wild landscapes, in fact it is no longer a port, because its steep geography makes oyster farming difficult, you can no longer move around it and around there are salt meadows and a fish tank. The atmosphere is very natural, perfect for observing local wildlife and birds.


The coastal path goes from the port of Hume to the port of Mole, you can walk or cycle. It's 8km and it's not a loop, so getting back to your vehicle is almost 17km. On foot, we recommend that you go from Port de la Hume to Port de Larros, because then the path is closer to the road and less suitable for pedestrians.


The Coastal Path

The Coastal Path The Coastal Path
The Coastal Path


Are you sporty, do you like cycling? Follow us to go around the Arcachon basin by bike , read our report!


Mole Jag Port Images
Port de la Mole - Photo © Jag Images | Adobe Stock

Did you like our article? Find others on our Blog “Do it your way”. Follow us on the Guide Bordeaux Gironde Facebook page and on Instagram @guidebordeauxgironde


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