It was Maurice Martin, an adventurer and chronicler, who first came up with the expression "Silver Coast" when speaking of the Landes area, and more specifically, of the town of Mimizan, on 20th March, 1905. He had just driven an "exploration caravan" along the coast, accompanied by 17 poets, musicians and painters. Little by little, the small fishing villages and their peaceful lakes became renowned seaside resorts, acclaimed for their mild climate and beautiful beaches.
The Landes Coast became an extremely popular surf spot. Biscarrosse, Moliets, Seignosse, Capbreton, Ondres… Each year, in August, one stage of the World Surfing Championships takes place in Hossegor, where the headquarters of the French Surfing Federation has been based since 1984.
Here, as in the Médoc area, great lakes were formed by the dune bar. 5.800 hectare Cazaux-Sanguinet lake is worth a visit, as are the other lakes. From north to south: Remarkably, the ruins of villages of the Iron Age (4th to 1st centuries BC) and Gallo-Roman vestiges were discovered 13, 8 and 5 metres beneath the ground. They are on display at Sanguinet museum (dugouts, sacred objects, ceramic objects…). Learn all about the excavations which began in 1977. The golden age of Biscarrosse lake was in the 1930s, when the French airmail service "L' Aéropostale" tested its seaplanes on the lake, then again in 1954 when an oil slick was discovered. It is still being exploited today.
If you head south along Sainte-Eulalie current , you'll reach Aureilhan pond, where Winston Churchill and Charles Chaplin came to stay, in the Duke of Westminster.'s residence. They were charmed by the beauty and peacefulness of the lake.
From Léon pond, further to the south, enjoy a "galupe" ride (a traditional flat-bottomed boat) down the Huchet current to the Atlantic, and explore its lush "gallery forest".
The area's nature reserves are home to hundreds of plant, bird and mammal species : Soustons lake, Hardy pond, Blanc lake with its sandy soils, all the way down to Marais d'Orx, south of Capbreton.
Our seaside lakes are a paradise for anglers, cyclists, photographers, horse-riders, and hikers alike!
Further information about the Landes area