The cabins tchanquées and the Bird Island
It attracts the curious, nature lovers and celebrities. Some like Pascal Obispo, fascinated by its uniqueness, sang it. Located in the heart of the Arcachon basin, off La Teste-de-Buch, the Île aux Oiseaux is one of the most astonishing natural sites in Gironde. Several boats organize outings in the basin to tour it, throughout the year. If you want to live this unique experience during your camping trip in Gironde with the Grand Sud, we recommend that you do so when the tide is high. Thus, you will be able to approach unusual constructions which will not leave you indifferent: the cabins tchanquées.
What are cabins tchanquées?
Cabanes tchanquées are two wooden cabins on stilts built on the water’s edge on Île aux Oiseaux. They were built to oversee the operation of the oyster beds. At low tide, it is possible to appreciate their foundations, their piles planted in the mud. The first was created in 1881, but was completely destroyed in 1943 by a violent storm. A second was erected next door in 1946, now recognizable by its red shutters. A few years later, the second Tchanque hut was built nearby, which was able to withstand weather and storms. The second hut, built under the leadership of Hubert Longau, was subsequently enlarged and repainted, becoming one of the symbols of the Arcachon basin. Abandoned for a long time, it was taken over several decades later by the city of Teste, which decided in the 2000s to destroy it and rebuild a faithful replica.
Access the Île aux Oiseaux and the tchanquées cabins by boat or kayak
There are several ways to explore the Arcachon basin and its tchanquées huts. The most classic is to board a barge, a pinnacle or a more comfortable sightseeing boat designed for excursions. Check with the tourist offices of the basin or on the jetties to find out the times and prices of the outings (possibility of privatizing a boat). If you want to combine sport and nature, you can also rent a sea kayak. Kayaks can move closer to the shore and huts than boats, a nice reward after paddling between 1 and 3 hours. Unfortunately, you will not be able to enter the cabins as they are closed to the public, but you will be able to photograph them from different angles and climb the first steps to take with you beautiful memories of your getaway in the Arcachon basin.
When to go to the tchanquées cabins on Île aux Oiseaux?
The Arcachon basin and its seaside resorts such as Cap Ferret are very popular during the high season. If you want to discover the tchanquées cabins, we recommend the low season, when the villages of the basin regain their authenticity. This will avoid the summer rush and feel more like you are alone in the world. In spring, you will enjoy long days, a pleasant climate and lots of sunshine. In autumn, you will have the opportunity to experience an Indian summer and be able to witness the most beautiful sunsets of the year on the Arcachon basin.