By Maria Ascensão Marrachinho, Agrupamento de Escolas de Albufeira

Breathtaking moment in the dune of Pilat


A breathtaking moment

It was within the scope of the ODDdience  2030 Project, an Erasmus+ KA2 Programme, which took place between the 13th and 17th of November 2023, in Bordeaux, France, that we experienced a breathtaking moment in the dune of Pilat.

The Portuguese team from the Albufeira School Cluster was formed by Ilena Gonçalves (Director of the School Cluster), Maria Ascensão Marrachinho (Project Coordinator of the School Cluster), Naseema Saiyad (Coordinator of the ODDience project), and Daniel Vaqueiro (Coordinator of the subject of Citizenship).

During the mobility week we had the opportunity to carry out several activities on the SDGs and the 21st century skills, to participate in teacher training, as well as visiting Île Nouvelle in Garone and the Pilat Dune.

pilat observation
Agrupamento de Escolas de Albufeira team

Climbing the 100m of the dune was a real challenge

We would like to highlight the visit to the dune of Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe, located in the Arcachon Bay area, with its forest-dune-ocean landscape that we greatly appreciated.

Climbing the 100m of the dune was a real challenge for all of us, quite radical, having been a real fight against the wind making the moment unique and unlike any we’ve ever experienced.

The visit was guided by the project’s partner, the association “Terre et Océan” and made us understand the importance of this area, its exceptional extension, associated to its 40 centuries of history.

The Pilat dune also stands out for its exceptional beauty and diversity of its natural environment. The Pilat dune is located between the ocean and the forest, we learned that it moves 1 to 5 m per year to the east, under the influence of prevailing winds and tides.


Although we have dunes in our region of the Algarve, in Portugal, they are nothing compared to the size and grandeur of this dune that we visited, which makes this place unique and breathtaking.