Dune du Pilat, France
A few kilometres from Bordeaux, in France, there is an area of almost two square kilometres completely covered with sand, surrounded by vegetation. It is known as Dune du Pilat and, with its 120 meters high, is the highest dune in Europe. The dune, considered by many to be a living creature, is what remains of an enormous sandbank in the Arcachon basin, now partially covered by the sea: at low tide it reappears a few kilometres offshore and is known as Banc d ‘Arguin.
Dunes of Piscinas, Sardinia
The Dunes of Piscinas, on the west coast of Sardinia and within the municipality of Arbus (South Sardinia) reach a height of 100 meters and extend over an area of about 1.5 square kilometers. The sand, brought here by the wind and shaped over the years, seems to cover rocks and debris lying in this area from the flow of nearby rivers, but also the nearby mines of Ingurtosu and Gennamari, now abandoned, seem to have contributed with their materials waste. Junipers and brooms, typical of the island, surround the area and which is not only a destination for tourists and sportsmen, even sea turtles sometimes arrive on the beach to lay their eggs.
Råbjerg Mile, Denmark
The sand dunes of Råbjerg Mile, also called “the Danish desert”, are located on the northernmost tip of Jutland, on a strip of land that tends towards Sweden. They extend for about two square kilometres and reach 40 meters in height. The peculiarity of these dunes is that they are not directly bathed by the sea but develop inland. Today, among the grains, only the old bell tower appears, all the other buildings in the area were demolished in the 700s.
Fuerteventura, in the Canary archipelago, is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts thanks to the constant presence of wind, which attracts many athletes every year and has created the sand dunes on the north-east coast of the island, part of the Parque Natural de Corralejo. The Dunes of Corralejo have a very particular feature: the sand, in fact, was carried by the wind in thousands of years and comes directly from the Sahara desert, so the colour of these dunes is very different from that of the nearby volcanic area characterised by red and ocher sands. The area is today a UNESCO heritage site.