What to do in Mont-de-Marsan, with family and in the heart of nature?

Mont-de-Marsan
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What to do in Mont-de ...

Mont-de-Marsan is the prefecture of the Landes, but beyond this administrative aspect, it is a perfect holiday destination for a nature weekend, or a week to discover the Landes. Well located, 1h30 from Bordeaux, the Bassin d'Arcachon or Agen, it is a city on a human scale, dynamic and gourmet, bordered by 3 rivers and where it is good to walk in the nearby nature. Family weekend, filled with sporting activities, outdoor walks and exploring the surroundings of Mont-de-Marsan, a great program awaits you!


Photos of the article © Tourist Office of Mont-de-Marsan + additional individual mentions


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Where to go for a walk in Mont-de-Marsan?

If Mont-de-Marsan is surrounded by nature, this country town does not forget the essentials and also spares greenery in its center: the town of three rivers (the Midou and the Twelve, whose confluence which form the Midouze is the heart of the city) is equipped to stroll in the open air and enjoy a break for a snack or a picnic on the banks' terraces.

Take advantage of the banks of the Midouze to stroll while you soak up the memory of the flourishing period when Mont-de-Marsan was a large river port, one of the most important in Gascony and the southwest. The gabarriers transported foodstuffs and materials on their wooden galupes, from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. Today, at the very place where the oxen pulled the barges full of salt, wine and wood, it is a gentle journey, with resting places, a footbridge and a belvedere.


Discover the flora and fauna of this environment every Thursday (from July 8) at 9:30 am as part of a nature walk or on Wednesdays 07/28 and 8/18 at 9:30 pm during a storytelling ride on the riverside. Reservations at the Tourist Office.

Mont de Marsans © Teddy Bear

The banks of the Midouze Photo © Teddy Bear

The confluence Photo Frederic-Ferranti

The confluence of the two rivers Photo © Frederic-Ferranti


A little further north is Parc Jean Rameau (who was a poet and novelist from the department). This green setting is the host of a beautiful collection of remarkable plants and ornamental plants which are used for the flowering of the municipal space in summer and in spring. It is for this reason that it was once called the nursery. It is pleasant to walk there to appreciate the natural environment but also to get good ideas for your garden… Because all the plants are identified. It's a horticultural-inspired walk! Tuesdays 20/07 and 10/08 at 10 am there will be 2 storytelling walks. Reservations at the Tourist Office.


Parc Jean Rameau Agency-the-storytellers
Parc Jean Rameau Photo © Agence les conteurs

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Tuesday and Saturday morning, it's the Saint-Roch market! The weekly market of Mont-de-Marsan offers a wide range of gourmet food products to take away. Come with a shopping basket, stock up on bread, canned duck or fresh garnish, smoked trout, seasonal vegetables, goat cheese and a tasty dessert such as pastis landais (local brioche cake), to be enjoyed by the sea. the river or in a park, with the family and a country picnic version!


The Urban Atmosphere market © GA

The Urban Atmosphere market © GA

marche-st-roch © agency the storytellers
Saint-Roch market © Agence les Conteurs


The Nahuques Animal Park is a large green space of 4 hectares, which is located to the east of the city center. It is the ideal place to roam, on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Entrance is free and children love to go there, to see the menagerie of wild and domestic animals: sheep, spotted deer, woolly llamas, dwarf goats, donkeys… It's fun, there are has games for children and you can also go pony rides and enjoy a small snack / fast food service in season.


Nahuques Animal Park © Gilles-Arroyo


Mont-de-Marsan is an attractive town, which has many surprises in store with quality cultural and heritage tours. Museums, art galleries, artisans and know-how are in the spotlight, also a little shopping for lovers of fashion and local products!


The Lacataye dungeon © N-Le-Lièvre

The Dungeon Lacataye Photo © N-Le-Lièvre

Discover the surroundings of Mont-de-Marsan

Mont-de-Marsan is not only the city center, it is also an agglomeration with nature activities and very pleasant walks. The ocean and the seaside resorts are about forty minutes away, but all around you is the Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural Park. Take a weekend or a week in nature, to recharge your batteries in Mont-de-Marsan, spend different, original and very authentic holidays. The people of Mons are warm and will gladly tell you about their territory, their good addresses and favorite hikes!

A few minutes southwest of the city center, is La Base de loisirs du Marsan (link in French). It is a lively place, host to many outdoor activities, which will delight the whole family. You can swim there in season (the beach is supervised), practice fishing, and all a host of leisure activities. There is a playground for children, a tree climbing park to test your ability to climb trees, yoga classes, an outdoor laser game and if you prefer to bow guns, come try archery tag! Also enjoy pony rides, a fine sandy beach for making sand pies and a restaurant area for eating and refreshing. It is a place acclaimed by the locals, where the atmosphere is good-natured and the entertainers smiling.


Marsans Leisure Center © NLe-Lièvre
Marsan Leisure Center Photo © NLe-Lièvre
Marsan leisure-base © Gilles-Arroyo
Marsan leisure center © Gilles-Arroyo


Do you like challenges? Discover the orientation courses at the Base du Marsan! Download the map or get a leaflet from the Tourist Office and follow the trail! Adventure to do with the family, to spend a moment to reflect, while doing sport and sharpening your sense of direction… click to see the routes. (link in French)


Yoga at the Leisure Park
Yoga at the Leisure Park

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The Marsan Urban Natural Park (link in French) is a grouping of several sites, at the level of the Montoise agglomeration. It is a great enhancement of the natural heritage, these sites are arranged for tourists but also and above all for locals, so that everyone can benefit from this setting in the best conditions. Marked trails, hides to observe wildlife, enhanced wetlands, service providers with a catalog of educational activities, producers to meet… This is the opportunity to (re) discover the region, with a new eye!

  • Come and discover the pastoral activity and taste the farm products in the goat farm!
  • Take a walk with the binoculars, to see the local wild fauna, in its natural environment, at the ponds of the nine fountains!
  • Walk in the footsteps of our ancestors, 3 routes familiarize you with a site where humanity took its first steps 50,000 years ago, at the castle mounds of Castets
  • Tease the fish at the Massy pond, in a preserved Natura 2000 area

The Marsan Urban Natural Park is the ideal place to go for a walk and clear your mind! 5 places welcome the visitor to practice hiking, fishing, orienteering, observation of flora and fauna, discovery of producers or even that of small heritage. You can also improvise a picnic and discover the 5 towns and villages of the park. We can meet the goatherd at the site of the nine fountains in Bostens, observe the point of view from the site of Castets a Bougue, go on the hiking trails to the pond of Massy in Gaillères, stroll along the banks of the Midouze in Mont de Marsan or discover the small heritage and the small people of the Limac wetland in Laglorieuse.


Visit-nine-Bostens fountains © NLL
Visit of the nine fountains pond in Bostens Photo © NLL
Castets site © Gilles Arroyo   Limac site
Castets site © Gilles Arroyo & Limac site


Finally, lovers of hiking and art, can take advantage of these two attractions during walks to discover sculptures, scattered in the Landes forest . The Contemporary Art Forest (link in French) is a large-scale project, which combines the verticality of trees with the surprise of finding a work of art in the middle of a pine forest. Plastic artists have been working, since 2009 and after a selection of talents, to bring the forest to life by offering large-scale works to look for like a great treasure hunt... Start looking for them! Your starting point may be the sculpture “Paysage et loup”, in the Jean Rameau park in Mont de Marsan!


Contemporary-art-forest © Carine Couerbe   Contemporary-art-forest © Carine Couerbe

Contemporary-art-forest © Carine Couerbe

Organize your stay and take guided tours of Mont-de-Marsan

Do you want to discover Mont-de Marsan and its surroundings, but not on your own? Would you like to be accompanied or guided? Go to the Tourist Office, to find out more and prepare your stay. Guided tours are sometimes organized, depending on the season.

And what could be better than trusting the locals? Do you know the Greeters (link in French)? These are the inhabitants who offer you to follow them to discover a place, an experience, to live a moment of sharing, as between friends! This is the opportunity to discover the generosity of the Landes, in addition to this beautiful region. At Mont de Marsan you can discover the Rozanoff space, BA118 museum, art deco with Vincent, the pine forest with Thierry or even the history of Saint Pierre-du-Mont with Franck.


Follow a VG-Nocturne-Rivières Guided Tour- © OT-MC
Take a guided tour Photo © OT-MC


The “ Sculpted Walk in the City ”: 44 works were displayed in the city. Card-cartels printed on plaques which are placed near each sculpture allow visitors to discover the different works during the walk. For young audiences, a game trail, refocused around works close to the museum, is also offered to families.


The sculptures © GA41186
The sculptures Photo © GA41186

Finally, modern budding adventurers will be able to download Tèrra Aventura on their smartphone (link in French) and go in search of the Poïz... It's a geocaching treasure hunt, you follow clues to get from one cache to another, until reach an end point with a little treasure. A great concept to make children walk! You can also trust Bubulle the Libellule (link in French), who will take you for a walk in Mont-de-Marsan on a beautiful family treasure hunt!


Night visit with a guide
Night visit with a guide

You are now ready to go on a nature, outdoor and family holiday in Mont-de-Marsan ! An attractive town in the Landes, still far from the main tourist routes, a jewel to be polished that you can now appreciate, thanks to these good advice.


Terra-aventura © Lucine-Lucat
A visit with Tèrra Aventura Photo © Lucine Lucat
TerraAventura┬ «MalikaTurin-056
Tèrra Aventura Photo © MalikaTurin


Did you like our article? Find others on the Landes Guide Blog. Follow us on the Facebook page of the Guide des Landes, we are also on Instagram @guidedeslandes

 


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