Discover the film Where the Road begin
The vertical of the west is the story of a road trip to discover the south west, along the Atlantic coast. From Paris to Biarritz, I invite you to (re) discover this region through this story taken from my travel diary.
So today I’m taking you on board the new Mercedes GLB, the family version of the Mercedes compact SUV. A model that fits in between the GLA, the smallest SUV decorated with the three-pointed star, and the GLC, a slightly larger model whose previous generation was called GLK. I hope you’re following!
In the GLB, Mercedes has taken great care with modularity. The right front seat folds horizontally to load long items, and the luggage compartment cover stows under the mini-floor. The interior is full of storage compartments, which are often small, like the glove compartment. Another complaint is that the USB sockets for recharging smartphones and tablets are type C, not yet “universal”, which means that adapters have to be found, to sum up an ideal vehicle for medium and long journeys.
I had to wait until October 2020 to finally organize this trip, along the west coast! And this story will detail my itinerary and all the essential places not to be missed on the road and as headquarters, a new place: Les Hortensias du Lac.
The goal of this trip was very simple, new vehicle obliges, it was to take the time as an eternal flaneur that I am. The time to get lost, to turn around, to try, to go and see, to feel, to go around in circles, to discover, to make a huge diversion, to make mistakes, to laugh, to stop…
Heading west to explore the west coast
From the west coast, it’s only a step or so away. It is possible to go from the beach to the mountains in a single day. And this is precisely the programme that I propose to you in this autumn road trip.
From the maritime pine forests to the largest fine sandy beaches in Europe, passing through the green hills of the Basque Country, the South West offers you a panorama of the Pyrenees, the Landes and the New Aquitaine region. There is a multitude of landscapes and varied activities. Avant-gardists in the blossoming of Green Tourism, the moors and the New Aquitaine region are home to atypical dwellings in the heart of nature and dense, bucolic vegetation such as the Hydrangeas of the Lake at Soorts-Hossegor.
Although it is not part of the Landes, Bordeaux, “pearl of Aquitaine” is the starting point for a road trip in the South West of France. “La belle endormie” as it is sometimes nicknamed, has a historic city centre and superb monuments. It is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its exceptional urban ensemble. The Port of the Moon, the Place de la Victoire and the Rue Sainte Catherine are perfect examples. The surroundings of the world capital of oenology offer sublime landscapes with its vineyards, medieval villages and wine castles such as Saint-Émilion, Sauternes and Pomerol. One last thing, the best wines in the world are waiting for you here.
Which GLB-Class does Roadness recommend?
For a lot of shoppers, the base GLB 250 is a great choice. Naturally, the GLB 250 4Matic is a smart alternative for those who need added traction for slick-weather regions. To either one, we suggest adding the Premium and Driver Assistance packages for their safety and convenience items
Le Bassin d’Arcachon
Situated one hour and thirty minutes from Bordeaux, on the Atlantic Ocean, Arcachon is one of the major seaside resorts along the coast. Famous for its oyster production, you will find in the south the Dune du Pyla, the highest dune in Europe. The centre of Arcachon also conceals some beautiful architectural surprises, such as the extravagant 19th century villas or the Moorish park. In other words, the Bassin d’Arcachon is a stage that you will find difficult to leave.
Important details on Mercedes GLB
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB is a small entry-level luxury SUV with seating for five. An optional third row of seats expands capacity to seven, though those additional passengers will have to be very small.
Mont de Marsan
Capital of the Landes, Mont-de-Marsan, a town with three rivers, benefits from a privileged geographical location. Situated on the edge of the Landes forest and halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees, Mont de Marsan is a Mecca for sculpture. Lovers of modern and contemporary art should appreciate the Despiau-Wlérick museum.
Where to Sleep at Hossengor?
Several months of renovation have totally transformed this mythical address in the Landes. It is a chic refuge in the Les Domaines de Fontenille hotel collection, with the atmosphere of a surf lodge facing the sunrise and overlooking the marine lake. Guided tour. Continue Reading…
Ideal for surfing enthusiasts, Hossegor should seduce you with its Californian softness and its superb sandy beaches facing the immensity of the Atlantic Ocean. It is not only an ideal place to try your hand at surfing, it is also a nature destination where you can discover the marine lake and its long walks or its forests. Its sports casino in the Basque Landes style and its elegant 1920-1930 villas nestled under the pine trees make Hossegor a destination of choice.
Nestled between sea and mountains, Biarritz is an emblem of the South West. The town offers views of the first slopes of the Pyrenees, dotted with villages and picturesque houses with red shutters. The local culture makes the charm of this “country” which still speaks Basque, the singing language that can be heard during rugby or pelota matches. Biarritz, nicknamed the queen of the beaches, has a lot to offer you.
I invite you to go (or return) to the meeting of the South-West. And with this desire, reach its lands of wild and singular beauty. The landscapes here are shaped by rare natural contrasts: the peaks of the Pyrenees stand facing the ocean, pine forests and sandy beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, oyster beds and the Dune du Pilat share the basin of Arcachon.
We say ‘chief rival’, because you could also be looking at the similarly priced Audi Q5 and BMW X3, but those are five-seaters only. If you can live without the premium badge, but absolutely must have seven seats, don’t forget that there are cheaper and excellent alternatives, including the Peugeot 5008.