Discover the richness of local traditions and the unique historical heritage in the Arcachon Bay.
The oyster, our local culinary heritage
On the Arcachon basin, the ports and oyster-farming villages are part of the scenery. Generations of oyster farmers have contributed to the reputation of local oysters and continue to perpetuate this traditional and authentic profession today.
The pearl of the basin
It’s hard to imagine, when tasting a plate of oysters, that it took over three years of work to produce them! Oysters reproduce in summer. First of all, the spat (baby oysters) are deposited with the waves on the tiles expertly limed by the oyster farmers. Eight months later, they are unhooked (detached from the tiles) and placed in wire mesh pockets, which will be moved and returned daily to the oyster beds. Against all odds, by filtering water and algae, the pearl in the basin will reach maturity after three years.
The oyster port
With its postcard-like appearance, the oyster port is above all a place of professional activities for many men and women of the sea. The colorful, typical and flowered huts house the equipment necessary for fishing and oyster farming, and the barges, oyster farmers’ flat-bottomed boats, come and go according to the tides.
It only takes a few steps in the streets of Andernos to cross the ages; from prehistory to the 19th century, from the Gallo-Roman period to the present, the many historical monuments will delight lovers of old stones, authenticity, and walks.
Saint Eloi Church
This 11th century Romanesque church is one of the oldest religious buildings in the Arcachon Basin. Wall paintings from the 13th century and the end of the Middle Ages adorn the interior of the church, which was completely restored between 2002 and 2010.
The remains of the Gallo-Roman villa
A stone’s throw from the oyster port, adjoining the Saint-Éloi church, we discover the substructures of a vast Gallo-Roman villa from the 4th century, unearthed around 1850 and classified as a historic monument in 1933. Long considered a Christian basilica, it was subsequently identified as a Gallo-Roman villa as it possesses the typical architectural characteristics of New Aquitaine.Part of these ruins were used for the construction of the Saint- Eloi.
Maison Louis David
This villa, called “Ignota”, belonged to Louis Théodore David, mayor of Andernos from 1920 to 1929 and it bears his name today.
Built in several stages from 1908 to 1914, it has all the characteristics of seaside architecture from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Long neglected, it regained its former glory in 1982; its garden becomes a public park and the villa an exhibition space.
It also houses the municipal museum where prehistoric objects found on the Bétey site and those exhumed from the site of the Gallo-Roman villa are exhibited: ceramics, coins, jewelry, fragments of statues …
The beautiful Andernosiennes
On foot or by bicycle, explore the streets of typical villas and houses full of character. Arcachon architecture, Art Deco style, these residences from the beginning of the 20th century have a timeless charm.
The Bétey district and the marina
The Bétey stream takes its source at a place called Querquillas and flows into the marina of Andernos. This stream, whose name comes from the Gascon and which means “woodcock net” is a place steeped in history where the oldest objects collected date from the Paleolithic! Indeed, near the old cemetery gushes in winter a “rusty” spring at the edge of which were found traces of a prehistoric habitat as well as an important treasure of flint, cut stones, but also ceramics.
The marina was dug in 1932 on the mouth of this stream and was then exclusively dedicated to oyster farming. In 1968, it became the marina and accommodated 151 boats.