Road Trip in the Landes: Gourmet Holidays by The Ocean


Last Updated on 10/01/2023 by Alfred

Want to discover this French department known for the finesse of its gastronomy? Opt for an original trip: a road trip in the Landes to enjoy and eat well!

Located in the southwest of France, the Landes department is popular. Indeed, its vast and wild coastline is breathtaking, and its lands in the middle of nature are absolutely charming. In addition, the department is known for its strong cultural identity: ferias in red and white, surfing on impressive waves, cycling in the huge pine forests… In short, the Landes department is a must-see place for a successful holiday.

Also, the Landes are renowned for their terroir with some iconic dishes such as Chicken from Saint-Sever and duck cuisine. Great chefs of international renown, such as Alain Ducasse or Hélène Darroze, are also from there! On the other hand, if you like good wine, you will also be served.

In this guide, we offer you an inspiring road trip in the Landes around gluttony and gastronomy to fill up on good things.

North coast: introduction to Landes gastronomy

  • Itinerary: from Biscarrosse to Moliets-et-Maa via Mimizan
  • Journey: 102 km • 1h30
  • Where to stay: at the Hotel de l’Océan

On the way to our gourmet epic through the Landes! Our first stop is Biscarosse: a charming little town surrounded by a lake. There you can do water activities and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere that smells like a holiday.

And since our road trip in the Landes takes place around culinary specialties, we invite you first to take a tour of the biscarrosse farmer’s market. There you will be able to discover all the good things produced locally. Animated, it offers a wide selection. So do not miss the stand of the farm of The Closerie, which offers delicious foie gras and equally divine products based on duck.

If you want to enjoy a more extensive meal, try a local hostel or institution like Chez Camette. On the menu, you will find emblematic dishes of the region, especially duck!

A little thirst? Take a tour of the famous Kanaha Beer microbrewery. Admittedly, beer is not the local drink par excellence, but this brewery will allow you to taste delicious artisanal “hop boomeries”. In addition, to accompany your beverage, try the Landes tourtières of the organic pastry Michelle and Simon.

And to eliminate all this: a kitesurfing session in Lake Biscarrosse! Sensations are guaranteed, but wait until you have digested well.

Then take the road towards Mimizan, located about thirty kilometers to the south. It is the ideal place to discover new local dishes. We advise you to enjoy a Landes salad composed of duck gizzards, smoked breast, foie gras, walnut kernels, corn, and salad leaves. Hearty, isn’t it? You will find delicious Chez Jean-Paul, a friendly hotel restaurant in Mimizan.

You will then have the strength to enjoy the city and its beaches. Take a trip to Contis Beach, for example, or Especier Beach. By the way, you will find delicious oyster bars in the vicinity! Close to Mimizan, you can also discover the pond of Aureilhan, around which you can make your health walk on the Promenade Fleurie.

Finally, take the road to our final destination of this first stage of our road trip in the Landes: Moliets-et-Maa. It takes about 1 hour to drive from Mimizan. You can take the opportunity to explore the Courant d’Huchet nature reserve and, of course, enjoy the beaches. Remember to book a surf or kite session if you feel like it.

Once the appetite is sufficiently opened, we invite you to try some local institutions such as La Cagette, which mixes the best of local cuisine with Asian influences. You will find flavors similar to the K-Bane. And if you want to treat yourself to simple, refined, and perfect cuisine for an experience on the edge of the Atlantic, then opt for a table at the hotel restaurant of the Ocean. The dishes, such as albacore tuna or ceviche, are delicious!

Southern coastline: good seafood

  • Itinerary: from Seignosse to Hossegor via Capbreton
  • ��� Journey: 10 km • 25 minutes
  • ��� Where to stay: at the Relais du Lac hotel

After experiencing the north of the Landes, we suggest you go south to discover three neighboring villages: Seignosse, Capbreton, and Hossegor.

First, you will arrive in Seignosse to start this second stage of our road trip in the Landes. The beach of Seignosse is 6 kilometers long: it is the opportunity to be quiet and sunbathe without feeling oppressed. In addition, the city’s beaches have the Blue Flag label for their commitment to sustainable tourism.

But what do we eat well in Seignosse? Seafood, of course! We recommend that you try the Villa de l’Étang Blanc to eat the best of the region: good seafood and fresh fish. The chef of this place with a rural setting, David Sulpice, offers his guests the Landes terroir in the purest of traditions. It is not for nothing that the establishment has obtained a star in the Michelin guide…

After the discovery of Seignosse, we recommend you take a trip to Capbreton. You can also swap the car for a bike because the fishing village is only a few kilometers from Seignosse.

Stroll through the alleys of the center and then on the port, where you can, of course, taste fresh fish. We also have a new address for you: Maison Goustut! It offers “homemade” with local and especially seasonal products that all come without exception from the local fishing in Capbreton. It makes your mouth water, doesn’t it? By the way, if you like the fishing village atmosphere, try the fish market.

To finish this stage in the landes coast, we recommend a visit to Hossegor, one of the capitals of surfing. If you have not yet tested this essential activity for during a road trip in the Landes, the time has come! You will find many surf schools to take lessons and rent your board.

Surfing, of course, opens the appetite… It is, therefore, the perfect time to taste oysters at Chez Jérôme, near Lake Hossegor. This local producer has been established since 1997 and offers tastings of its 100% local and 100% fresh oysters. This an address not to be missed under any circumstances during a road trip in the Landes if you like this type of product.

Do not hesitate to discover the traditional halls to taste tapas and discover the Cellier Landais: delicious local cheese products! Accompany it with a good bottle of Tursan wine from the market cellar, and you will be delighted.

We sink into the land…

  • Itinerary: from Dax to Mont-de-Marsan via Tartas and Saint-Sever
  • Journey: 70 km • 1h20
  • Where to stay: Airbnb Le Moun Factory

From Hossegor, you will take the path to Dax which is about 35 minutes’ drive away. And here we are in the Landes lands, less touristy but just as charming. In the village of Dax, you can discover the famous bullring and take a walk in Sarrat Park.

But Dax is also known for its pastries! On the menu: very high-quality chocolate and pastries to die for in the establishment Un Bain au Chocolat, an artisanal workshop very appreciated by the Dacquois.

Dax is also known for its madeleines. The shop Les Madeleines de Dax has existed since 1906! And since then, the family business has become an institution. It is now managed by the founder’s great-grandson, Antonin Cazelle. You have understood it: it is an unmissable passage during a visit to Dax.

After this tasting of delicacies, go relax at the Splendid Hotel, which offers a high-quality SPA offer in an art deco establishment. This is an excellent address for a relaxing session!

From Dax, we invite you to cross the small villages of the surroundings in the Gascon terroir of Chalosse. You can discover the villages of Montfort-en-Chalosse or Tartas, which are worth a look if you are looking for an authentic Landes experience.

It is also an opportunity for you to taste a dish of choice: Chalosse beef! This certification corresponds to beef from Bos taurus, which has been raised for a very long time, more than three years. The maturation of the meat can then last up to 30 days. The piece is then cooked and grilled on a plancha. You will find them in all the local taverns and restaurants.

If you are more poultry, then go to Saint-Sever to taste poultry labeled delicious. Of hardy and slow-growing strain (twice as much as conventional poultry!), the poultry of Saint-Sever are raised freely and are appreciated for their firm flesh.

You can enjoy an incredible farm chicken in the vicinity of Saint-Sever, as at the Pavillon: a local restaurant very popular with its visitors. You can also book a table at L’Art des Mets for a moment of gastronomic pleasure. The chef also cooks very well the asparagus of the sands of the Landes in spring!

Finally, you can reach Mont-de-Marsan, the city of three rivers. There, we recommend the Despiau-Wlérick Museum to discover works of art and sculpture. But above all: take the time to stroll along the shores and stroll through local markets such as Place Saint-Roch.

When you’re hungry again, you can try local addresses like divan, a traditional brasserie bar where you can taste local produce with good wine. For a 4-star meal, try Villa Mirasol: an establishment located on the banks with charming decoration reminiscent of the Belle Époque.

In addition, in Bougue on the outskirts of Mont-de-Marsan, you will find an incredible address: the Auberge du Grand Megnos. Garbure landaise (traditional soup), magret in wallet stuffed with porcini mushrooms and foie gras, candied duck leg, lamb mouse candied for 7 hours … Here, we honor the terroir of the Landes! Ideal for a romantic Landes dinner or with friends.

On the edge of the Landes de Gascogne National Park

  • Itinerary: Labastide-d’Armagnac to Garein
  • Journey: 44 km • 40 minutes
  • Where to stay: at the hotel-spa in the Landes forest

From Mont-de-Marsan, you will take the road toward the Landes de Gascogne National Park. There, we promise you one thing: you will be in the heart of the Landes terroir! If you are looking for nature and good food, then this stage of the road trip in the Landes is unmissable.

We invite you first to stop in Labastide-d’Armagnac, close to the border with the Gers. In this small town, you can admire one of the most beautiful bastides of the South-West because this iconic village in the surrounding area has existed since 1291! It was indeed created by Count Bernard VI of Armagnac and the King of England. By spending time in the town, you will learn even more about the history of this bastide…

After a historic visit and a discovery of the arcades, we are waiting for you at an exceptional table: Au Bastignac. This traditional restaurant serves tasty homemade and local dishes. They serve among the best foie gras in the area and know how to recommend very good wine for delicate palates. Do not hesitate to try the floc de Gascogne: a liqueur wine made with grapes and young Armagnac according to a recipe of the sixteenth century.

From Labastide-d’Armagnac, you can head to our final destination: the small village of Garein in the Landes de Gascogne Natural Park. This small village is home to an absolutely great place: the Auberge Chez Suzon. The terroir, the real one!

Take a seat at this local institution and order a garbure: a soup with cabbage and goose or a duck confit. The most of this place? Unbeatable value for money with menus at 13 €. After the meal, take the opportunity to discover this beautiful Landes village and the surrounding area.

Moreover, near the Landes de Gascogne National Park, you will find many local markets but also farms and vineyards that produce Tursan wines. If cooking and good products are your passion, do not hesitate to take a tour of villages like Sabres or Luxey.

Alfred

Alfred is the author behind the Travelvibe travel blog and is always searching for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

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