Landes Atlantic Coast
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Landes department Atlantic Coast is a part of the so called "Côte d'Argent" - the name given to the French Atlantic Coast between the rivers of Gironde and Adour.
Endless Ocean sands, the biggest planted pine forest of Western Europe, natural reserves and blue water and sandy beaches lakes that rival any tropical region lagoon make of the Landes department Atlantic Coast an extraordinary beautiful place.
The Landes forest owes its current extend – almost one million hectares- to Napoleon III during whose reign the law called “The Act sanitation and cultivation of Landes of Gascogne” was adopted on June 19, 1957.
The law provided for the planting of marine pine trees in order to assuage the moors that were covering the region since the dawn of the time. Also to prevent the sand deposits formed by the wind from advancing inside the land, a system of artificial dunes was created - starting from the simple idea that the windborne sand naturally accumulates around obstacles that slow down the wind - by the setting up of fences between the Atlantic Ocean and the planted forest.
To stabilize it, the artificial dune, was covered with beachgrass (marram grass) which is a good fixing plant having its roots extending in the sand that accumulates around the plant.
Nowadays the dunes are a protected (and still fragile) environment, covered by many types of plants and walking on them is restricted to special restricted paths.
The Landes Atlantic Coast is a bike enthusiast’s heaven. It is not only the famous Velodyssée road that stretches on around 163km in the Landes department from Biscarosse to Tarnos but also the picturesque inland bike tracks, the “green routes” and little circulated roads.
Absolutely stunning !