The Landes department is full of museums, each more fascinating than the last. Here are the 10 places you must visit during your camping holiday in the Landes!
The Ecomuseum of Marquèze (Sabres)
Located in the commune of Sabres, the Écomusée de Marquèze is one of the cultural sites not to be missed in the Landes de Gascogne Regional Nature Park. A steam train takes you to the heart of this "living museum" which smells of the Landes of yesteryear, at the time of the wading shepherds. You will discover century-old Landes houses, the trades of the past (weaver, miller, ploughman, resin maker), traditional Gascon games and farm animals from ancient breeds.
The Borda Museum (Dax)
Housed in the Carmelite chapel, one of the oldest buildings in the town of Dax (1525), the Musée de Borda is entirely devoted to the archaeology and history of Dax. The museum has, among other treasures, a bronze statue of Mercury, one of the largest of the Gallo-Roman period, dated from the 3rd century AD. Also worth visiting is the archaeological crypt, which houses the remains of a Roman civil basilica. Fans of ancient history will not be disappointed!
The Musée de l'Aviation Légère de l'Armée de Terre (Dax)
Still in Dax, we continue our visit with our heads in the clouds, but our feet on the ground. Head for the Musée de l'Aviation Légère de l'Armée de Terre (ALAT), which traces the history of the helicopter, with all kinds of aircraft, from the origins to the present day. A very beautiful aeronautical heritage with planes and helicopters really impressive !
The Chalosse Museum (Montfort-en-Chalosse)
A few minutes from Dax, the Musée de la Chalosse maintains the rural memory of Chalosse. In the heart of a wine-growing estate, this former 19th century farmhouse houses a mansion typical of Landes architecture, a wine storehouse and its Roman press, a vineyard conservatory with 55 different grape varieties, a bakery that is still in operation, not forgetting the farm animals, Chalosse cattle and Gascony sows.
The Hydraviation Museum (Biscarrosse)
While in Biscarrosse, discover the Hydraviation Museum and take off from the former Latécoère base. This museum, unique in Europe, traces the history of the first transatlantic flights to New York and Fort-de-France. It's also an opportunity to take a first flight in a seaplane!
The Priory Museum (Mimizan)
In Mimizan, the Priory Museum is a major cultural site in the Landes, devoted to the natural and human history of the region, from prehistory to the Middle Ages. The highlight of the visit is the bell tower-porch of the Sainte-Marie church and its sculpted and ornate tympanum, a medieval jewel classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The Despiau-Wlérick Museum (Mont-de-Marsan)
The Despiau-Wlérick museum is the fine arts museum of Mont-de-Marsan. A large part of the collections is devoted to French figurative sculpture between 1880 and 1950. The place is beautiful, with gigantic statues and a very nice park. An interesting and instructive museum, and free of charge!
The House of the Lady of Brassempouy
The Prehistosite of Brassempouy is one of the most prestigious museums in the Landes. The House of the Lady is a museum space dedicated to the prehistoric site of Brassempouy, where the "Lady with a hood" was discovered in 1894. This fragment of a carved mammoth ivory statuette is the oldest known representation of a human face.
The Museum of Earthenware and Tableware (Samadet)
South of Mont-de-Marsan, on the road to Hagetmau, the small town of Samadet is home to a superb ceramics museum, inherited from the "Manufacture royale de fayance" created in 1732. The museum presents a rich collection of old and contemporary pieces decorated in blue and green monochrome, polychrome flowers, roses and goshawks, in the purest tradition of the 18th century master pottery makers.
The Landes Race Museum (Bascons)
In Bascons, a small village in the Pays de Marsan, the Landes Race Museum is the only museum in the Landes region devoted to the traditions of Gascon bullfighting. It explains the history and origins of the Landes race, through dioramas, video testimonies, slide shows, costumes, posters, postcards, etc. You will learn all about this Gascon game which has become a regional sport recognised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.