Arnaoutchot, or Arna as it affectionately known by many, is a naturist resort situated in the beautiful pine forests of Les Landes de Gascogne in South West France. It has the added advantage of being right next to the Atlantic ocean.
Arnaoutchot is about one and a half hours drive south of Bordeaux down the A63. Exit at Junction 12 to Castets and head for Leon. We try to arrive at Leon at mid morning for coffee and croissants in the main square (or maybe a lunchtime pizza!!).
Arna is no more than fifteen minutes drive from here heading north up the D652 and turning left at a painted tower (you'll understand what we mean when you see it!).
You will find the resort in about five minutes down this road. Having gained access through the barrier the reception is situated just up the lane on the right.
You may be able to choose your site depending on the time of year but all the pitches are spacious and close to the sanitation blocks.
For our first ever visit to Arnaoutchot we had a camping pitch in an area called Le Tuc.
It was a very peaceful pitch right next to the woods and about five minutes walk from the beach.
Luckily for us it was also situated close to the jogging circuit which winds its way through the pine trees and passed various exercise points. For the less energetic it is still a lovely walk.
Whenever we have camped at Arnaoutchot since then, we have stayed in the areas Far West or Sauvages, both of which are conveniently situated closed to the jogging track and the beach.
This was particularly useful when we first started taking Harry, our grandson, with us because it became his job to cycle to the lifeguards hut at the top of the beach to check on the colour of the bathing flag indicating the state of the sea.
It is very unusual for the red flag to be flying indicating 'No Swimming', and whenever swimming is allowed there is a specific area marked by flags between which you are allowed to swim.
This is patrolled by lifeguards who are also policemen.
Jan and I have both been lifeguards in the past and we can appreciate what an excellent job these 'guards' do.
The beach itself is vast and backed by sand dunes so there is always plenty of room.
It would be possible to spend the whole of your holiday on the campsite without having to leave.
There is a bar and several restaurants with a variety of menus, a mini-market with ample fresh meat and vegetables plus other necessities, a newsagent and also a bakers where you can buy fresh baguettes and pastries.
However, we mentioned Leon and it is well worth a morning visit to see the bustling market and have a coffee at one of the cafe's in the square.
We have mentioned only camping at Arna. One year we spent several very enjoyable days staying in a chalet. The chalets are comfortable and well equipped.
This particular holiday was spent with, as well as Harry, our very good friend Clare. This was her first experience of a naturist holiday and, as ever at Arnaoutchot, the holiday was very relaxing.
Since then we have had several stays in a chalet. Fantastic! It is like being home from home!
We also spent several days in one of the three wonderful Nid Perche (tree houses).
New additions in recent years are Roulottes (a traditional looking wooden caravan).
Other forms of accommodation include mobile homes, cottages or canvas bungalows.
We have looked around a new Cabane Marensin. What fantastic accommodation, ideal for a family of five, or two couples.
One bedroom has a double bed and the other has two singles and a bunk bed. There is a well equipped kitchen and a shower room with a separate toilet.
A lovely lounge/dining room leads out onto the covered terrace with hammock and griddle.
We were too late to book these really popular Cabines so, to avoid disappointment, Book Early!
The Bassins d’Arna lie in the heart of a 5,000m2 green space.
Opened in 2018, this magnificent complex includes a spa, relaxation garden and four treatment rooms.
There is a lovely path through native plants and dune grass to reach the new facilities, which blend seamlessly into their surroundings.
Amongst the wonderful facilities here is a sauna, a bubble bath and Turkish baths. An idyllic solarium is situated by ornamental pool, where bushes and plants hug the bank.
Unwind in the neighbouring relaxation garden, with its terraces surrounded by grass lawns, and the herbal tea plantation, where aromatic plants are grown. Relax, bathed in sunshine, surrounded by lush vegetation and soothed by birdsong.
To pamper your body, go to a completely new area overlooking the garden, which has 4 treatment rooms, including a two-person room, for beauty treatments, massages and balneotherapy.
It has everything you need for relaxation, well-being and inner peace.
Relaxation can take the form of lying on the beach or, if you prefer, beside one of three pools.
This water park has three large swimming pools. One, which is heated to 28°C out of season and is equipped with a heated terrace, is covered. Perfect for aquafit classes in the morning! Keen swimmers will also love doing a few lengths here.
The two outdoor pools are arranged around a spa pool, which is perfect for relaxing outdoors. In addition, there is a paddling pool especially for the younger guests, and a covered play area for children is located next to the covered pool.
Would you like to improve your swimming technique during your stay at Arnaoutchot?
Arna has thought of everything and offers swimming lessons for adults and children during the high season (available for an additional charge and must be booked).
For the more energetic there our over sixty activities organized during the season and there are other facilities such as tennis, badminton, boule, table tennis and a fitness room.
Other services include a first aid post, doctor, osteopath and hairdresser. Thankfully we've never needed any of these!
We have experienced many different naturist holidays and intend to explore many more areas. However, Arna in south west France is one place we hope to return to for many years to come.
If you should contact Arna please could you mention that you read about Arnaoutchot on The Naturist Holiday Guide.
For more details and information about Arnaoutchot or to make a booking please click here!