Walk in Soulac-sur-Mer: the must-sees

Soulac-sur-Mer
Walk in Soulac-sur-Me ...

Today we take you for a walk in Soulac-sur-Mer, a very attractive seaside town that sits at the tip of the Médoc. Soulac is 7 kilometers of fine sandy beaches, with a view of the Cordouan lighthouse in the distance, as well as the coasts of Charente Maritime. It is an emblematic city for its tradition of sea bathing and its neocolonial villas from the beginning of the 20th century, elegant, sometimes exotic and particularly pleasant to admire. To this end, we suggest a 7km stroll to do as a family, quietly to admire the essential points of interest of Soulac-sur-Mer, such as its Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-fin-des-Terres. On the way to the La Soulacaise promenade!

Photos of the article: Guide Bordeaux Gironde

Seafront of Soulac-sur-Mer
Seafront of Soulac-sur-Mer


Soulac-sur-Mer, a seaside town in the Médoc

It's good to live in Soulac-sur-Mer, it's undeniable! At the northern tip of the Médoc, Soulac is a pleasant town. If the gossips will say that it is asleep in winter, it is because they do not appreciate its old- fashioned charm, its many nature activities to do in the surroundings and above all, the very practical link to the dynamic town of Royan just a few kilometers, in the Verdon. A quick BAC (ferry) and hop, we're going to party, shopping or an urban walkabout. Soulac is this kind of place which multiplies its population considerably in summer (by 10 without problem), because it is a very popular vacation spot in Gironde. The beaches are absolutely magnificent and the region's particularly good level of sunshine makes it a real pleasure all year round for lovers of sea bathing. It was in the 1860s that the first bathhouse opened in Soulac, the benefits of the ocean, the iodized air, the emanations of the pines and the peaceful atmosphere are praised. With the rise of the railways, Soulac is easily accessible and this medical, cosmopolitan, bourgeois and joyful tourism is developing, bringing with it a wave of quality architectural growth.

But what first made Soulac famous was the religious pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, via Soulac (a secondary route). Benedictine monks settled in Soulac from the 11th century and the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Fin-des-Terres is a popular stopover to come and honor Saint-Véronique who brought back a drop of milk from the Virgin Mary: a relic .


Basilica of Our Lady of the End of the Lands
Basilica of Our Lady of the End of the Lands


Visit of Soulac, a dynamic and perfect city for holidays

To appreciate Soulac at its fair value, you have to stroll there. Strolling with your nose raised towards the pretty villas, inhaling the resinous and woody smell of the pines, to then switch to the iodine and the spray of the ocean. It's quite a poem.

Go to the Médoc Atlantique Tourist Office, the Soulac office will offer you a tour guide with a map of Soulac.

We start the walk in the center of the city, at the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Fin-des-Terres. This basilica, built in the 11th century, has a history full of twists and turns and sand... Indeed, it was buried under the dunes at the end of the 18th century (like a good part of the city which had to fight against silting for a long time) and was saved at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th at the instigation of an archbishop of Bordeaux. You will find that the building has not been completely cleared, to preserve its structure. Enter the church which is well documented on these events.

Visit of Soulac
Interior Soulac Church
Notre Dame Basilica


We will then walk towards the villa district , to see the sumptuous Soulacaise villas. Most of them date from the first wave of construction between 1860 and 1890. There are 500 neo-colonial style villas in the town and this old village is an incomparable heritage! The Circuit des Villas Soulacaises offered by the Town Hall, will allow you to find out more about the emblematic villas, with pretty female names (mostly).

In the direction of rue Perrier de Larsan
In the direction of rue Perrier de Larsan
Villa Soulac
Villa Soulac
Villa Soulac
Villa Soulac
Villa Soulac


We will then switch towards the seafront, to reach the Signal, a coastal residential building which has suffered the ravages of time and especially erosion and silting. The seafront promenade runs along the coast and the beaches, it is very pleasant and as you approach the town center there are restaurants and shops. In the distance, the Cordouan lighthouse and dikes can be seen, sea breakers installed to counter the effects of beach erosion.

Monumental Fountain of Soulac
The Monumental Fountain of Soulac, it is said to come from Bordeaux, from the Allées de Tourny
strawberry trees
Avenues of pines in Soulac

Arbutus trees are found in Soulac, as in Cap Ferret and Arcachon, they are trees with edible fruits (but I advise you not to eat them on these trees by the roadside or in private properties)

Arrival at the ocean
The Signal, Soulac

Turn off towards the small sandy paths that lead to the beach, towards the Le Signal building

At this stage you can stay in the town center or continue towards the Batterie des Arros , bunkers which are remnants of the Atlantic Wall from the Second World War. It is now a popular place for graffiti artists and perfect for a walk. Right next to it is the departure of the little Soulac tourist train, which goes to the Pointe de Grave in July and August. It's a real train on rails! A curiosity will be on your way, a reproduction of the Statue of Liberty!

In Soulac, you have to come with your bike, there are 3 routes to follow on a cycle path, towards Montalivet in the forest, towards Amélie beach on the seaside and also towards the Pointe de Grave. Consult the Map of Cycle Paths in Soulac (in fr). Other sports activities are available, there is a skate park, mini-golf (in season), surf schools, sand yachting, hiking trails (especially the GR8 and the coastal path).

Soulac seafront
Seafront and in the distance, Cordouan and Charente Maritime
Seafront Soulac
Statute of Liberty of Soulac

We walk quietly and presto, who do we meet? A replica of the Statue of Liberty


Finish the walk in Soulac with a stop in the town centre, most of the streets are pedestrianized and in summer it is happily lively. There are shops, craft shops, souvenirs, delicatessens with regional products, ready-to-wear and accessories and of course cafes, bars and restaurants to eat. To please the children, there is no shortage of ice creams, waffles and other sweets in the summer season. However, enjoy Soulac-sur-Mer all year round, in low season, on sunny days, you have the beach to yourself...

Soulac town center
Soulac pedestrian street


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