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Landes

The Landes is a department of Aquitaine located in the of South West France between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees mountains.

Aquitaine
 

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Geography

Lanes is bordered in the south by the foothills of the Pyrenees and on the west it opens to the Atlantic Ocean. It is the central department of the Aquitane region.
Landes is the second largest department in France (regarding the size) with the European largest forest of maritime pine trees of 600 000ha and 106 kilometres of fine sand ocean beaches and dune ridges.
The Landes coast, stretching from Biscarrosse in the north, to the mouth of the Adour in the south, is a gigantic window on the Atlantic, a paradise for all who love the beach and its myriad activities.
The principal towns are: Mont de Marson, Dax and Hossegor.

Climate

The weather in this area is much milder than in England. The climate of Landes is the Girondine, which prevails from the Loire to the Pyrenees.
It’s warm from the middle of April till the end of October and even November.
Snow is almost unknown, the spring is rainy, the summer warm and stormy.
Most of the rain falls in December and March.

Towns

Dax is a major thermal spa town where hot springs bubble at a constant 64 C and the mud from the river Adour is used as a general soothing palliative. It is a quiet, warm and peaceful town, the promenade by the river. Dax enjoys a privileged position in the heart of the Landes pine forest and within close proximity to the Atlantic coast for beaches and surfing or the Pyrenees for mountains and skiing.

At Marqueze there’s an eco-museum with a forest clearing to recapture the lost world and agricultural lifestyle of the Landes before the marshes were drained. It displays the traditional houses and way of life that shepherds used when stilts were worn to traverse the marshy ground.

Mont de Marson, the administrative capital, is the centre of the course landaise a form of bullfighting, but where the bull is not killed, the object being to vault over the horns and the back of the charging animal. It became known as ‘the city of rivers’ and was an important commercial centre for grain and Armagnac wine. Mont de Marson is well known for its poultry and foie-gras production.

Opening out on to an emerald green forest, caressed by the ocean, skirted by a glittering salt-water lake and an endless beach of fine sand, Hossegor reflects the prestige of a long welcoming tradition. With its tasteful architecture on the Aquitany Coast and as Europe’s Surfing Capital and golfer’s paradise the elegant town of Hossegor reflects the image of an old traditional welcome. In season, there is a street market every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday morning. There are numerous restaurants, cafes, casino, bridge club, cinema and several festivals running through the whole year.

Activities

Life in the Landes is punctuated by festivals. Every town and village organizes its own festivities. Some even last 5 days and nights,providing an ample opportunity to understand what people in the Landes mean by a real celebration! Between the most popular are:”Chantons sous les Pins”, “Festival Cine Fete in Contis”, “Festival des Abbayes”, Eurpean Festival of circus in autumn, 2Festival rue des etoiles” or “Remncontres Internationales de Contrebasses”.

Cultural life in the Landes is enlivened by the frequent specialized festivals: from Flamenco to ceramics, as well as dance, classical music or even cinema.
It’s also famous for a cow-baiting and bullfights. Several bullrings in the Landes are particularly well-known for their “corridas”, like Mont-de-Marsan, Dax, St Vincent-de-Tyrosse and St Sever.
The are several sport activities as well.

People who enjoy surfing, sand-yachting, surf-casting, swimming, and sandcastles all share the beach amicably, under the benevolent but watchful eyes of the lifeguards. The most enthusiastic, devoted beach-lovers are surfers and body-boarders, who find the best conditions for their sport on the Landes beaches.
Apart from being France’s leading department in terms of registeres surfers per inhabitant, the Landes is also the leading department in France for spa treatments. Between the most popular are: Dax, Eugenie-Les-Bains, Saubusse, Prechacq-Les-Bains and Saint-Pal-Les-Dax which are extremely busy from March to November.
Other activities include: golfing (10 golf courses), canoeing, hiking, boating, trekking, fishingand biking.

Gastronomy

Local cuisine is an important part of the Landes lifestyle. There are many quality products, and these are admirably highlighted by the region’s cuisine.
Duck, a delicate dish, can be prepared in 1001 ways – magrets, aiguillettes, confits, foie gras, rillons. Landes free-range chicken is also very popular. The maize-fed poultry, raised outdoors, produce succulent, tasty meat and are easily recognisable by their yellow colour.
Pastis and tourtiere are the traditional regional desserts.
Winegrowers in the Landes produce the best wines in Tursan and Chalosse, as well as Bas-Armagnac, are a pleasant accompaniment to these specialities. Not forgetting Armagnac.
The last examples of the top quality produce grown in the Landes are also kiwis and asparagus which are recognized to be one of the best in Europe.

Useful information:

Maps of Landes:

www.ign.fr
www.maps.google.fr

Travel from the UK
Landes is served by the airports of Biarritz, Pau, Bordeaux.
Budget airlines such as Ryanair fly everyday to Biarritz and Pau.

Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Landes. We have a large network of estate agents in Landes. All of them are registered French estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Landes matching your requirements. To find out more about our properties for sale in Landes do not hesitate to contact us.

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