Taking advantage of the recent creation of a piste cyclable linking the Cap de L'Homy beach, Lit-et-Mixe, Uza and Levignac, we have designed this circular route of about 36 km. There is only one small section without a cycle lane, between Saint Julien en Born and Uza, but it is only four kilometres with little traffic and long straights, completely without danger. As it is a circular route, it can logically be started from any point and in any direction; we will start here at Contis Plage and do the route in an anti-clockwise direction.
First of all, there are five picnic areas on the route, as you can see on the map opposite, but they are very focused: three of them are located on the route between Lit-et-Mixe and the beach of Cap de L'Homy, while the other two picnic areas are on the road between Contis and Saint Julien en Born. This should be taken into account when organising breaks and lunches.
If you start your journey at Contis Plage, go to the end of the straight where the Lous Serrots campsite is located and turn right. A few metres further on, before you reach the pink bridge, you will see on your left the actual bidegorri that leads to Saint Julien en Born. We, however, take the direction of Cap de L'Homy, from where we have 6.6 km to go, according to the signs.
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The bike path, which is part of the Velodyssee -the cycle route that crosses France along the Atlantic coast, from Brittany to Hendaye- runs along a small road (perfectly asphalted) between the trees of the endless pine forest that is the Landes region and parallel to the sea, although at a distance from it.
This track is almost entirely flat, so there is no difficulty for any cyclist, young or old.
Cap de L'Homy
We then reach the vicinity of Cap de L'Homy. At this point there is a crossroads of pistes cyclables. One of the paths heads south towards Saint Girons, following the route of the Velodyssee. We have to take the lane leading to Lit-et-Mixe to continue our route.
However, in our opinion, it is worth taking a slight detour and turning right to see this small village - perhaps it would be better to call it a neighbourhood - even if it means going up a small but steep slope.
If we do so, after the descent we will reach an esplanade where on the right we will see the beautiful municipal campsite of Cap de L'Homy, while on the left is the first picnic area of our journey.
After regaining our strength and taking a rest from the effort of the climb, we head along the cycle path that runs between the road and the campsite. A few hundred metres further on, and before the obligatory slope down the dune before the beach, we will see a small, pretty square on the left.
If we go inside, leaving one of the very few telephone booths that have survived the age of mobile phones, internet and whatsapp on our right, we will see a good number of objects with maritime decoration, as well as a shop where you can buy food products, newspapers and bread, as well as other small shops.
In the centre of it, a space for children's games coexists with a nice restaurant with tables on the terrace and original Hawaiian umbrellas. A different and beautiful place, no doubt.
After this visit to Cap de L'Homy, we retrace our steps and head back towards the crossroads, passing by the campsite and going up the slope on the other side. Once at the crossroads, we head towards Lit-et-Mixe. This cycle path, which links Cap de L'Homy with Levignac via Lit-et-Mixe and Uza, has been recently built, so the tarmac is in excellent condition.
The first part of the route is once again through pine trees, although in several areas there are more open spaces. The second part runs alongside the road, although always next to the grove.
It is on this second stretch where the second picnic area is located. It so happens that this rest area, which is ideal for cyclists, is located next to a couple of small signposted routes for walking, which is indicated on some posters and signs next to the tables. In fact, it is not uncommon to see some cars at the start of the routes and people walking along them.
We follow our route and it won't be long before we enter again through the trees, leaving the road on our right and leaving behind us one more of the innumerable campsites that exist all over the Landes area.
Here the road is truly beautiful. The path meanders through beautiful vegetation as the sun's rays filter through the leaves and create a beautiful rainbow of light and shade.
A little later we arrive at the third picnic area. Located in a small clearing in the forest, it is reached after crossing a beautiful wooden bridge. It has only two tables, but it is worth stopping to contemplate the scenery. The sound of the narrow river helps to create the peaceful atmosphere that we urbanites appreciate so much and that we can enjoy so much in few places as here.
Filled with harmony, we set off again. A little over a kilometre later, we can already make out the bell tower of a church. We are now entering the centre of Lit-et-Mixe, a pleasant and welcoming village whose main street welcomes us with cobblestones worthy of the Belgian and Dutch cycling classics. Very suitable for cyclists like us, even if our speed rarely exceeds that of Mikel Landa climbing the Tourmalet...
At one end of this main street is the Landes d'antan Museum, housed in a small and spruced-up outdoor courtyard, dedicated to Landes traditions. The museum was closed the last few times we have been here, but it is certainly worth a visit.
When the paved road ends, and continuing along the same main street, after about twenty metres there is a crossroads where we return to the piste cyclable, or at least the transition to it.
In reality, it is a pavement protected from the road by bollards and dedicated exclusively to the circulation of bicycles.
In any case, it is only a few hundred metres, as shortly afterwards the signs indicate that we must turn left, at which point the actual cycling track begins.
The 4.25 km that separate us from Uza, our next destination, are made up of long, flat straights alongside the profuse tree vegetation. It won't be long before we reach the outskirts of Uza. The cycle path ends suddenly and we ride along a wide, almost deserted road, where there is a crossroads shortly afterwards.
Here there is a sign indicating that the right-hand path leads to the continuation of the piste cyclable towards Levignac.
As we wanted to go towards Uza and then take the road to Saint Julien, and in the absence of any other signs, we decided to take the road on the right. However, we were convinced that both routes would lead us to the village.
Indeed, we reach an avenue that leads directly to the centre of Uza, a very small village whose main attraction is the Etang de la Forgé, a lake of singular beauty flanked by innumerable trees.
This is another place where it is advisable to stop and spend a few minutes gazing at the placid waters of the lake.
We continue our journey, now by road, always looking for the D41, which will take us to the next destination of our journey.
The road to Saint Julien en Born is, as we have already said, very little travelled, absolutely flat and wide. In fact, it is actually three straight stretches of road that can be travelled easily and in a short time. Thus, in just a few minutes we will be in the village that will mark our next - and last - stage.
Saint Julien en Born
When you reach this town, take the path to the right, towards Contis Plage, at the only crossroads you come across. A few metres further on, after a bend to the right and next to the Tourist Office, take a cycle path that will take you to the start of the piste cyclable, on the long straight road that dominates the centre of this town. This is just after crossing a wooden bridge - exclusively for bicycles - over the Courant de Contis.
It is also at this point that you will find another picnic area, although it consists of a single table.
We then take this cycle path to cover the approximately 8 km that separate us from the end of our route. This track runs parallel to roads at all times, with little traffic in the first part and more traffic in the second half.
A few kilometres further on, there is another picnic area in a shady area under the pine trees, which, contrary to the usual practice, has a litter bin. This is a good moment to get rid of all the rubbish we have been accumulating...
A couple of kilometres later, our track follows its last stretch along the Contis Estuary. After crossing a new picnic area - which we have not highlighted as it is very close to the end of our route - and after about 400 metres more, we finally reach the end of our journey.