Mimizan travel guide

Photo of Mimizan

Visit Mimizan (Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France)

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The town of Mimizan and the associated seaside resort of Mimizan Plage are on the Atlantic coast (known as the 'Cote d'Argent') of France, to the south of Arcachon and Biscarrosse.

Explore Mimizan

France This Way review: Mimizan Plage has a large and attractive beach, and the resort has the usual selection of cafes, shops and ice cream stands - but you should be aware that Mimizan is quite far from other towns, resorts and villages so you are likely to spend most of your time in the resort rather than exploring, so best if you are visiting for the beach!

If you have ever visited the long Atlantic coast in southern France you will know what to expect - the resort of Mimizan Plage has a long beach of fine sand ideal for surfing and sunbathing as well as basic resort facilities, while a few kilometres inland you can visit the original town of Mimizan and the large Aureilhan Lake.

The resort is perhaps best known as a destination for young people to take a beach holiday, with a good choice of bars and nightlife, and as a destination for families with young children looking for a low price holiday.

beach in Mimizan

Most visits will to Mimizan will focus around the beaches - that is after all the reason why people come here!

There are several beaches along the Atlantic coast in and near Mimizan stretching a total of ten kilometres, with a popular family beach in the heart of Mimizan Plage and longer beaches backed by sand dunes to the north and south of the resort.

There are actually about six 'named' beaches in Mimizan Plage, although it is not always clear where one starts and one ends: from north to south, these are Plage Remember, Plage des Ailes and Plage de la Garluches to the north of the river, and the Plage des Goelands, Plage des Mouettes and Plage Sud to the south of the river.

As well as the Atlantic beaches, there is another beach, called the Plage du Courant, on the river that connects the lake to the sea and passes through Mimizan Plage. There is also a small port on the south side of this river and almost opposite the beach.

The resort next to the beach has a town centre along the Avenue Maurice Martin, with lots of small 'tourist' shops and cafes. A circular route wil take you along this road, along the promenade along the Atlantic Ocean beaches, and return along the path next to the Courant (the river in the town centre) and will allow you to see most of the places of inteerst in Mimizan Plage.


Mimizan town

Now a few kilometres from the coast and beaches, for many centuries Mimizan was an active port town until the encroaching sand dunes blocked access to the port. It is not of great interest but you can visit if you are passing.

The main historic monument of interest in Mimizan town is the church, with a belltower which forms part of the UNESCO Heritage Sites list, because of the town's previous role as a stopping point on the pilgrimage route to Santaigo di Compostella.

In part dating from the 11th century, the church was once part of a more substantial priory complex but the other buildings no longer exist except for a 16th century house in Mimizan which was once the sleeping quarters for the monks. Look in particular at the intricate stone carving of the 'clocher-porch'.

The town also has a small museum looking at the traditions and heritage of the region, if you can keep yourself away from the beach for a while and convince the children they would rather visit a museum than play in the sea!

centre of Mimizan Plage

Mimizan activities

Aureilhan Lake, at the east edge of Mimizan town, is very popular with visitors because of its nature trails and the chance to enjoy picnics in a picturesque setting. Much of the lake is now a protected natural environment: a lovely way to enjoy the peaceful environment is to hire a boat to explore the lake.

In particular, there is a walk at the west end of Mimizan-Aureilhan lake called the Promenade Fleurie that is a very lovely walk through flowers, shrubs and ornamental trees, next to the edge of the lake. The walk takes about 40 minutes and is one of the highlights of your visit to Mimizan - entrance is free but it is more attractive than many gardens that we have paid to enter in France!

You can also walk all the way around the edges of Aureilhan lake, the route is about 13 kilometres long, and various other activities are available including kayak, stand up paddle and paddle yoga.

A few kilometres south of Mimizan Plage at the site de Leslurgue there is a protected forest area with picnic areas and trails that lead to viewpoints across the ocean and another large sandy beach called the Plage Lespecier.

Promenade fleurie at Aureilhan Lake

Attractions nearby

Mimizan beach and town are backed by the large forests of the Landes. These pine forests, one of the largest forests in Europe, extend over vast areas of south-west France and give you the chance to enjoy various outdoor activities such as walking, cycling and horse riding. There are various car-free cycle paths in the forest including the cycle route that extends 200 kilometres along the Atlantic coast.

There are also several small villages hidden away in the region, without major monuments of importance but giving you a chance to see traditional Landais houses and churches. Among those we suggest you visit are Aureilhan (on the edge of the lake) and Pontenx les Forges and Saint-Paul-en-Born, both just a few kilometres east of Mimizan.

Mimizan is quite a distance from the other important Atlantic resorts: see Atlantic beaches and resorts for details. A day trip to Biscarrosse Plage is a popular option during a stay here and we would also highly recommend you have a day out to see Arcachon (our favourite resort on the Atlantic) and the Dune de Pyla (the largest sand dune in Europe and a great experience).

See more seaside resorts in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Landes guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also: 

Photos of Mimizan

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Arrange a visit to Mimizan

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Hotels in Mimizan

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Reserve excursions

Map of Mimizan and places nearby


Visit near Mimizan with France This Way reviews

La Promenade Fleurie near Mimizan

La Promenade Fleurie near Mimizan

The Promenade Fleurie on the Etang d'Aureilhan near to Mimizan is a lakeside walk which has been beautifully gardened and is a pleasure to visit.

La Promenade Fleurie near Mimizan guide


A small and modern sea resort Biscarrosse is also one of the liveliest and most popular in the region

Biscarrosse guide


Moliets is one of the more recently established resorts on the Atlantic coast, very popular with families

Moliets guide
Arcachon Zoo

Arcachon Zoo

Arcachon zoo is home to over 800 animals including rhino, elephants and tigers.

Arcachon Zoo guide
Dune de Pyla

Dune de Pyla

The Dune de Pyla is the largest sand dune in Europe and a Grand Site of France

Dune de Pyla guide
Cap Ferret

Cap Ferret

At the south-west of the Medoc peninsula, Cap Ferret is quite an upmarket resort with several places of interest nearby

Cap Ferret guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Landes

Tourist classifications for Mimizan

Mimizan is classified as a village in bloom (ville fleurie) 4*

Address: Mimizan, Mont-de-Marsan, Aquitaine, 40200, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 44.2019, longitude -1.22722

Plan your visit to Mimizan, Landes

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Mimizan clocher-porche (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site
  • Courant de Contis: site of natural beauty (14 km)
  • Etang de Biscarrosse et Parentis: site of natural beauty (17 km)
  • Biscarrosse: ville fleurie 4* (22 km)
  • Etang de Cazaux et Sanguinet: site of natural beauty (32 km)
  • Courant de Huchet: site of natural beauty (36 km)
  • Dune du Pilat: grand site of france (43 km)
  • Landes de Gascogne: regional natural parc (46 km)

Market days in Mimizan, France

Regular market(s) are held in Mimizan each Thursday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Mimizan (Francais)