Landes

Blue and green

If one had to describe this department with 2 colours it would be definitively blue and green.

 

BLUE FOR A MAGNIFICENT COASTLINE OF 120 KM

Known as the “Côte d’Argent” (The Silver Coast) with wild, long, almost empty sandy beaches, and as if it was not enough blue, many vast natural inland lakes. It is not Hawaï, nor Australia but the French Côte Landaise is renowned for its excellent surfing conditions and shelters each September events of the World Surfing Cup. The easy going life style of surfers even permeates the general gentle way of life on this coast which is turned towards outdoor activities and nature.
For those who want to enjoy water pleasures more peacefully than surfers, the many inland lakes offer sailing activities and safe swimming for the little ones.

 


GREEN FOR THE ENDLESS FORESTS OF MARITIME PINE TREES

that cover the majority of the territory. Green is also to be found on the many golf courses of the “Côte Landaise”. The golfing conditions are very pleasant (which is often the case with golf one must admit!) since the courses are surrounded by majestic maritime pines or border the Ocean, or both in the Golf of Moliets-et-Mâa. If the Golfs of Hossegor, a rather stylish resort hosting the holidays of well to do families of Toulouse or Bordeaux, Seignosse, and Ardilouse near Lacanau are not enough to satisfy you, the 11 golf courses of the neighbouring Pyrenees Atlantiques are easily accessible by motorway and less than 40 minutes drive.
So, if you are in search of a quiet, peaceful retreat and outdoor living without the crowds of the Mediterranean, search no more. Landes offer smaller surfing stations than the stylish Côte Basque but enable to live a gentler life style closer to nature. It is easy going, family friendly, no show off like the Riviera or part of Provence and mainly frequented by French people.

 

 


A typical summer day on the Côte landaise

A typical day on the Côte landaise looks a little bit as follows:
You can start by a stroll on one of the many food (and clothes, linen) markets where you will find fresh produce of good quality, the Landes department and the neighbouring one of Lot et Garonne being mostly agricultural. Then you can ride for km along flat (a detail but of importance) cycling tracks in the forest, have a picnic under the sweet smelling maritime pines followed by a nap during the hottest hours of the day under the fresh shade. To continue you can go to one of the many beaches and enjoy the pleasures of the Ocean. If you are brave enough to walk a bit further away from the central supervised area of the beach, you can lay your bath towel in an almost empty part of the beach and enjoy the fine golden sand with only a very few people. Yet when you want to swim always go to the supervised area because the Ocean in the Landes is dangerous. Avoid absolutely swimming in the “baïnes” which look like peaceful natural pool but are a real trap and follow the lifeguards instructions at the entrance of the beach. Only surfers are allowed to surf anywhere (except in the swimmers area!) because they can rest on their board. To finish with, do like some French do and have dinner or simply an “apéro” on the beach while you contemplate the sunset. Then cautiously (especially if you had an “apéro”) cycle home and be assured to have a good night sleep thanks to your plentiful day and a fresh temperature at night.
Economy in Landes relies mostly on agriculture, forestry and tourism. Even if you can find the amenities needed in every day life, including health and education, in the main two cities of Mont de Marsan and Dax, there is no big city as such. So, if in the long run quiet life in the woods gets on your nerve and you absolutely miss the hectic pace of modern life, you can have a fix of urban life in the neighbouring Bayonne and Biarritz or Bordeaux which is slightly farther.