Discover the Landes coastline - its endless beaches, its pine forest, its large boating lakes, its protected streams and ponds, its miles of bike paths…

A single sandy beach, fringed by dunes and forests, seems to go on forever…

Here on one of the most spectacular coastlines, the sun sets over the sea and the vast beaches, stretching from Biscarrosse to the Adour estuary, stretching over more than 100 km.
First-time visitors to the Landes cannot help but be amazed by the spectacular array of pristine natural environments, where beaches, dunes and forests live side by side. These dunes stop the beaches of the Landes from being invaded by cars and construction work, as is the case in other areas. The utmost is done to preserve the wild nature of the Landes coast intact.

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Contis - The Landes
  

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Boats in Capbreton - The Landes
  

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Biscarrosse beach - The Landes

The protective role of the dunes and the forest

Scattered with bluish thistles, carnations and silvery helichrysums, the first line of dunes plays a protective role, preventing the sands from moving inland. This fragile space needs lots of maintenance and re-vegetation work. That is why it is strictly forbidden to go wandering round the dunes, so as not to damage this natural habitat.
These dunes back onto a protective forest, born in the 19th century from the works of the engineer Brémontier. A strip of 90,000 hectares has been wooded with pines in order to keep the dunes where they are. Along with these maritime pines, you can also see cork oaks and French oaks, often scorched by the salty winds or grains of sand.
Today, this forest, symbol of the Landes identity, has become a favourite spot for cycling enthusiasts. They travel the coastline along the département’s numerous cycle paths and greenways, among the scent of the pines and the smell of seaweed coming off the ocean.


The seaside towns of the Landes

This beautiful, wild coastline alternates between landscaped tourist towns with a bustling summer population, such as Biscarrosse, Mimizan, Capbreton, and Hossegor, and more natural towns, such as Cap de l’Homy, Vielle-Saint-Girons, Messanges, Moliets, and even Vieux-Boucau. Backing onto the dunes and the Landes forest, 15 seaside towns are dotted across the area.
Tourists wanting to visit these towns have the choice between campsites, hotels, tourist apartments, holiday villages, various seasonal rentals, but also guest houses and other types of gîte, for the perfect setting...
  

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Biscarrosse lake - The Landes
Behind the dunes - lakes and “étangs”

The long beaches, their dunes and the numerous seaside towns are not the only jewels in the Landes crown. The sandy dunes, which form an obstacle for coastal rivers trying to reach the ocean, have led to the formation of many stretches of water all along the coastline.

Around forty lakes and ponds are dotted along the coastline of the Landes, between the coast and the country further inland, creating many refuges for boats, windsurfers and bathers in calm waters.

To the north is the region of large coastal lakes and ponds hugged by thick vegetation- Sanguinet and Biscarrosse/Parentis Lakes, Aureilhan Lake, and the streams of the Courant de Contis and the Courant de Mimizan.

Further south, you can find the Léon and Soustons Lakes, the Courant d’Huchet, and Hossegor Marine Lake, as well as the Étang Noir and the Étang Blanc at  Seignosse.

These streams or ‘courants’ are little rivers which criss-cross the Landes, leaving the coastal lakes and ponds  to empty into the ocean. The most well known is the Courant d’Huchet, which was designated a Nature Reserve in 1981, a miniature river and outlet from the  Étang de Léon, which snakes across the sands beneath a canopy of green, straight towards the ocean.

 

 

A Paradise for Surfers and Fishermen

The straight, sandy, coastline, washed with the Atlantic Ocean which erupts in powerful waves, is pure joy for surfers. It is not for nothing that the best French professional surfers, who feature at the top of the world ranking, live in the Landes, and that the Quicksilver Pro, the only French event in the world professional surfing calendar, takes place on the Landes coast.
Another group of sports enthusiasts who are particularly enamoured of the Landes are fishermen! Here they can enjoy protected spots providing various activities -  river fishing, coarse lakes, boat trips, surf casting etc... Some fishing holiday resorts can provide equipment during your stay.

Swimsuit, bike, walking boots, wind surf board, fishing rod, boat, paddle board... choose your equipment and make the most of the many options on our coast! It’s up to you…
 

Julie Lequime (CDT des Landes - Updated 22/03/2017)