8 ideas for getaways in the Landes
One hour’s car ride from Bordeaux, you’ll find yourself in the great outdoors. Pine forests, hidden beaches, great lakes, and great festivities… From Biscarrosse to Capbreton by way of Mont-de-Marsan, Sanguinet, Dax and Hossegor: welcome to the Landes!
1) The Landes, 100km of coastline!
Fifteen vast, fine sand beaches stretch over the Landes coastline. Amongst the best known: the central Biscarrosse beach, Gravière beach in Hossegor, Sablères beach in Vieux-Boucau, the Estagnots beach in Seignosse, not to mention the Ocean beach in Soustons
Idling suntanners are sure to appreciate clubs and trendy bars lighting up the oceanfront in Biscarrosse and Hossegor come nightfall, or might succumb to a horse ride along Messanges’ beach, an intimate picnic in Contis, or a bike ride down the coast…
2) The Landes, surf valley !
Hossegor the surfing capital is an unmissable stop for thrill seekers: every year it hosts the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro surfing competitions. Water sports are popular all along the Landes coastline (Mimizan, Seignosse, Moliets,…), an ideal spot for a themed vacation: surf schools and houses welcome both experts and novices!
3) Chill in the Landes
The Landes region is also home to great lakes where you can peacefully float about with family in the turquoise water, shaded by pines. The two largest lakes are located near Biscarrosse (Parentis-Biscarosse and Cazaux-Sanguinet).
For professional relaxers, head to one of the region’s 5 thermal stations for some thalassotherapy: Eugénie-les-Bains, Saubusse, Dax, Saint-Paul-lès-Dax and Préchacq-les-Bains.
4) Towns and villages in the Landes
Medieval ambiance in Mont-de-Marsan or Art Deco in Dax, home to the unexpected hot fountain: take your pick! Don’t forget to stop by the House of Espadrilles in Soustons or Vieux-Boucau and pick up a must-have souvenir! In terms of local fashion, Oxbows are also a classic!
Within the Landes you’ll also find quaint villages, like Saint-Sever and Mauvezin d’Armagnac, whose streets you must wander down to admire half-timbered houses of the Southwest.
5) The largest pine forest in Europe
The Landes’ Regional Natural Park once belonging to Gascogne covers 290,000m2 and was entirely planted by the man himself in the 18th century. Before that? Picture vast desert expanses, brush, and swampland, largely unexplored. The cultivation process was massive by instruction of Napolean III in the 19th century. Today, the park welcomes hikers, horseback riders, and cyclists, not to mention kayakers on the Amazon-like Leyre.
6) Have a “feria”
No less than 800 days of celebration take place each year in the Landes. The most famous are of course the “ferias” with their bands and bullfights. Celebration of Madeleine à Mont-de-Marsan, Dax ferias, Celebration of Saint-Vincent-de-Tyrosse, and even of Parentis-en-Born… the choices are endless!
Many traditional Landes’ music festivals also offer a festive and congenial setting: Musicalarue, Springtime of the Landes, Jazz in Sanguinet…
7) Eat duck from the Landes… and more!
Landes gastronomie is known for its exceptional livestock and produce, recently regrouped under the brand “Landes quality.” Of these red labels, AOC and IGP, you’ll find Adour Kiwi, Chalosse Beef, asparagus from Landes’ sand, and the famous poultry. As far as desserts go, local pastis and madeleines are unmissable. In your glass: de l’Armagnac, du Floc de Gascogne, and Vin de Tursan… all in moderation of course.
Refined palates can choose from five different starred restaurants and creative tables like the recent “Bib Gourmand”, including Le Saint-Vincent in Roquefort, L'Amphitryon in Dax, L’Auberge du Pas de Vent in Pouillon…
8) Historical and religious patrimony in the Landes
Visit the Dax arenas, the Chalosse Museum, the medieval homes in Armagnac, Hontanx, Geaune, and Hastingues, Roquefort’s fortified city, the abbeys of Sorde, Maylis, and Arthous… The Ecomuseum in Marquèze is also unmissable and will take you to the heart of the countryside in the Landes…100 years ago! A fascinating visit for the whole family!