Of the many routes that can be done in the Landes, here is a particularly beautiful one. The route runs along forest paths and cycle paths, is between 8 and 10 kilometres long (we will show two variants) and is very easy to follow, making it accessible to all ages.
You can see the complete route with Google Earth in this link. To download it and open it with that application, just click on .
We start the route in the village of Contis, which belongs to the commune of Saint Julien en Born. Once in the village, head towards the Camino del Faro, which is very well signposted as this light tower is a great tourist attraction. There you come to this crossroads, which marks the start of the piste cyclable towards Mimizan, a beautiful stretch of the Vélodyssée:
Take the path marked with the red arrow. After fifty metres there is a crossroads, we follow the straight path that climbs slightly towards the mountain. After several hundred metres, the tarmac road ends.
At this point, we see that a very wide forest road opens up to the left, with a long straight stretch that includes a narrow cobbled section that is suitable for mountain bikes. We take this path and follow it without leaving it.
Further on, the path narrows, while maintaining the asphalt or stone corridor. This entire route takes us through the characteristic trees of the endless pine forest of Landes.
You will also see a typical Landaise farmhouse nearby, set back from the centre of civilisation, like so many farmhouses in the Basque territories.
The path continues to narrow little by little, but there is no danger of getting lost, just follow it without taking any crossroads or deviations.
These are probably the most beautiful sections of this route. The various shades of green of the surroundings contrast with the ochre colour of the leaves that adorn the path, and all of this is presided over by a very special feeling of peace.
We will hardly be able to see any signs on this route, but there will be, curiously, one in the middle of the route warning us that this is one of the variants of the Way of Saint James (more information about the Way of Saint James in Las Landas in this link).
The last stretch through the trees is now narrower, just over a metre, and descends slightly until it reaches the road linking the centre of Saint Julien en Born with Contis Plage.
After a long straight road we will reach this crossroads (we are coming from the narrow road shown in the picture).
From here we have two possibilities:
- Take the cycle path on the other side of the road to the right to return to Contis.
- Take the cycle path to the left to go to a picnic area located a kilometre and a half away.
As the second one includes the first one, as you have to return along the same cycle path, we will explain the second variant.
When you cross the road (watch out for cars on the road), take the cycle path to the left.
After about a hundred metres you will see a crossroads. We take the path on the right, the piste cyclable towards Saint Julien en Born.
The bidegorri continues in a straight line to the right of the road.
Next you will see a large workshop next to the track, which normally has an old car on display outside. A few hundred metres further on you will see the symbol of the picnic area (or rest area, as you prefer). It is a perfect place to refresh yourself after the walk, with several tables and litter bins located among the pine trees.
The way back is the same way you came. When you reach the crossroads where you took the path to the left, continue straight on along the piste cyclable, which will take you directly to Contis Plage.