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Beautiful Lac d'Hourtins-Carcans is nestled within France's Aquitaine region. One of the longest and largest bodies of water in the country, it has a surface area of 14,085 acres and a maximum depth of 33 feet. This freshwater lake is also known as Lac d'Hourtin-Carcans-Maubuisson (after the names of three cities that surround it) - or simply Lake Hourtins, for short. It is sandwiched in between Lac de Lacanau to the south and the Gironde estuary to the north.
The variety of activities on and around Lac d'Hourtins-Carcans has turned the lake into a family-friendly destination. Here you'll find activities suitable for everyone: children, teenagers, parents, and even grandparents. If you are looking for a quiet and peaceful vacation, Lac de'Hourtins-Carcans offers swimming, sailing, and crayfish fishing. Bird and animal watching enthusiasts can expect to find small animals such as toads, rabbits, lizards, and frogs. At night, take advantage of the vast array of restaurants and pubs in the vicinity; everything at Lake Hourtins is within walking distance.
More vigorous land activities include mountain biking, horseback riding, or hiking. For cyclists, a fabulous track connects the Lake Hourtins to the ocean. Intense recreational pastimes like wind surfing, canoeing and kayaking are extremely popular Lac d/Hourtins-Carcans. Kite surfing conditions are at their prime during the summer, when there is a consistent thermal wind in the afternoon. Tree climbing and parachuting can be done year round.
Facilities at Lac d'Hourtins-Carcans include a marina, a jet ski slipway and sport centers at Maubuisson, Bombannes and Hourtin Port. Paths around the lake make getting around by foot or on a bicycle a breeze. Budget travelers can pack a lunch and take advantage of various picnic areas that are perfect settings for an intimate outing.
Just southwest of Lac d'Hourtins-Carcans lies the town of Lacanau Ocean, where surfing is the name of the game. This summer hot spot includes nine miles of immaculate white-sand shores, and surf camps abound. For short-term visitors, individual surfing lessons are also available. Lacanau's downtown tourist office can help arrange surfing and other activities, as well as provide maps of the area's many local cycling and hiking trails. One path stretches just under four miles, ending at a charming carousel - an ideal daytrip for families with young children. There is also a championship golf course and some spectacular shopping nearby.
Another town situated to the south of Lac d'Hourtins-Carcans is Maubuisson, the site of the Popular Museum of Art and Traditions, or the Musee des Arts et Traditions Populaires des Landes. Afterward, you can get some fresh air at the Etang de Cousseau, a protected marshland that is eight miles long and home to adorable otters and skittish deer. Various vineyard tours in Medoc make for another spectacular excursion near Lac d/Hourtins-Carcans. Aficionados can learn about the winemaking process and - best of all - treat themselves to an elegant wine tasting afterward.
Real estate properties and vacation rentals are available around Lake d'Hourtins-Carcans, many with private pools and lake access. In this area, restored homes belonging to former "resiniers" are all the rage. These are old domiciles previously inhabited by forest dwellers, who subsisted by collecting pine tree resin, back in the time of antiquity. Many cottages offer short or long-term holiday rentals with both lakeside views and a close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.
Lac Hourtins-Carcans is a unique place where you can parachute from an airplane in the morning; lose yourself in a peaceful nature walk in the afternoon; and enjoy a shopping spree at the local mall in the evening - all in one day. The word 'bored' simply is not a part of daily vocabulary at this charming French lake.
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