Heres a quick-fire guide to some of the recommended waterside must-see spots on offer in our region of South West France:
The Atlantic Coast from Arcachon (famous for its oysters and the Dune du Pilat) to Le Verdon-sur-Mer has miles and miles of stunning, unspoilt beaches, facing the mighty Atlantic. The surf along this shoreline is hugely inviting, but always best to only swim where there are lifeguards.
Lacanau-Ocean has a backdrop of pine forests, sand dunes and nature reserves, whilst Royan has vibrant shops, restaurants and of course access to the Cote Sauvage, which again has its own unique scenery and is equally as beautiful.
More locally, just 40 minutes away from Les Vieilles Ombres is Le Plan d’Eau de Saint Yrieix, a welcoming 26-hectare tranquil oasis.
As well as a sandy beach for swimming, there are small boats to hire and for the more ambitious, a sailing school/windsurfing club, where instruction is provided.
As an alternative to sand, consider the picturesque lakesides of the Poitou-Charente. The tranquillity that can be found in these secret, nestling oases is far from the hustle and bustle of the beach, especially in the height of summer.