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Arcachon, a popular seaside resort and bay in the Gironde department in southwest France, is fairly new, having only officially been declared the City of Arcachon by Napoleon III 150 years ago, back when it was still a minuscule fishing hamlet. Fishing still plays an important role in the town’s economy today, not only because of export but also tourism; indeed, Arcachon is said to have some of the best oysters in all of Europe, and tourists from all over the country flock to the bay in the name of gluttony and seafood. The area is famous for its Arcachonnaise villas, which were built in the 19th century by bourgeois vacationers who believed the unique combination of salty Atlantic air and dense Landes forest air would cure their mysterious illnesses.

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