Visit Landes, France
It is the long, very long (more than 100 km) of Atlantic coast that is the main attraction in the Landes region, with miles and miles of fine sandy beaches along the Cote d'Argent - great for families, surfing, and any other sea-based activity you can think of.
Selected places to visit in Landes
A typical 'Landaise' resort has the sea to the front and a modern resort type village offering all facilities and activities. Several also have access to lakes and lake beaches - useful for when the famous surfing waves become a bit much!
There are numerous popular resorts, including Biscarrosse and Mimizan towards the northern end (south of Arcachon) and Capbreton and Hossegor towards the southern end of the coast (a little north of Biarritz). In between - Contis, Lit-et-Mixe, Viille-Saint-Girons, Moliets-et-Maa, Messanges, Vieux-Boucau-les-Bains, Seignosse...
Note that access to the coast from 'inland' France isn't always easy - not many main roads cross the dense Landais forests to reach the sea.
Coast at Biscarrosse and Mimizan
On land that was reclaimed from the marshes 200 years ago, one of the largest forests in Europe now stands - the extensive Landaise forests were planted as part of a Napoleonic plan to reclaim the swamps that once covered the area. It is centred around the Gascony Moors Natural Regional Park, which also controls the protection of the natural environment - learn more about this at the ecomuseum at Sabres.
To the south of the forests lies the Adour region - more hilly, and less forested, with small scale agriculture, woodlands, and numerous villages tucked away in the valleys. The town of Dax contains some Roman ruins, and several of the villages have interesting Roman style churches. Dax is also one of the most important spa towns in France. There are other spa towns in the Landes, including Eugénie-les-Bains.
To the east of the Landes department around Mont-de-Marsan the countryside changes again, as the forests start to give way to vineyards - the grapes are used to produce the world renowned liqueur Armagnac. Visit Labastide d'Armagnac, and Saint-Justin, two attractive walled towns, and Mont-de-Marsan itself.
See a list of all Landes communes
Map of Landes
French version: Landes (Francais)