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Prefecture building of the Landes department, in Mont-de-Marsan
Prefecture building of the Landes department, in Mont-de-Marsan
Flag of Landes
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Landes in France
Location of Landes in France
Country France
Region Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Département 4 March 1790
Prefecture Mont-de-Marsan
Subprefectures Dax
 • Total 9,242.6 km2 (3,568.6 sq mi)
 • Total 400,477
 • Density 43.32947/km2 (112.2228/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Landais
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code FR-40
Arrondissements 2
Cantons 15
Communes 330

Landes (Gascon: Lanas) is a department in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of France. Landes is the plural of the French word lande (in English:heathland); it was named so because it was the most common habitat in the region.

It is well known for the Côte d'Argent beach that attracts many surfers to Mimizan and Hossegor each year.


The department was formed during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790 with parts of the old provinces of Guyenne and Gascony. It was divided into four districts: Dax, Mont-de-Marsan, Saint-Sever and Tartas. The capital was Mont-de-Marsan.

The arrondissement of Dax, Mont-de-Marsan and Saint-Sever were established on 17 February 1800. The arrondissement of Saint-Sever was dissolved on 10 September 1926 and integrated into the arrondissements of Dax and Mont-de-Marsan.


Landes is part of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, southwestern France, and is, after Gironde, the second largest department of Metropolitan France with an area of 9,242.6 km2 (3,569 sq mi).

The department is bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the north by the Gironde, to the northeast by Lot-et-Garonne and the south by the Pyrénées-Atlantiques; these three departments are, like Landes, of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. To the east, it borders with the Gers department of the Occitanie region.

The most important river is the Adour, which crosses the southern part of the department in an east-west direction; in Dax, the river turns to the southwest and is joined by the Gaves réunis before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.

The forest of Landes is the largest forest in France. It covers about 67% of the department in its northern part, and also covers a large part of the Gironde and Lot-et-Garonne (arrondissement of Nérac). The main species of tree is the maritime pine (Pinus pinaster).


The climate in Mont-de-Marsan is Marine West Coast Climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb), with mild winters and warm summers.

The average temperature for the year in Mont-de-Marsan is 13.5 °C (56.3 °F). The warmest month, on average, is July with an average temperature of 21.4 °C (70.5 °F). The coolest month on average is January, with an average temperature of 6.2 °C (43.2 °F).

The average amount of precipitation for the year in Mont-de-Marsan is 693.4 mm (27.3 in). The month with the most precipitation on average is October with 71.1 mm (2.8 in) of precipitation. The month with the least precipitation on average is August with an average of 40.6 mm (1.6 in).


The department is managed by the Departmental Council of the Landes in Mont-de-Marsan.

Administrative divisions

There are 2 arrondissements (districts), 15 cantons and 330 communes (municipalities) in Landes.

Arrondissements of the Landes
Arrondissement Capital Population
401 Dax Dax 220,656 3,194.2 69.1 152
402 Mont-de-Marsan Mont-de-Marsan 179,821 6,048.4 29.7 178

The following is a list of the 15 cantons of the Landes department (with their INSEE codes), following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015:

  1. Adour Armagnac (4001)
  2. Chalosse Tursan (4002)
  3. Côte d'Argent (4003)
  4. Coteau de Chalosse (4004)
  5. Dax-1 (4005)
  6. Dax-2 (4006)
  7. Grands Lacs (4007)
  8. Haute Lande Armagnac (4008)
  9. Marensin Sud (4009)
  10. Mont-de-Marsan-1 (4010)
  11. Mont-de-Marsan-2 (4011)
  12. Orthe et Arrigans (4012)
  13. Pays morcenais tarusate (4013)
  14. Pays Tyrossais (4014)
  15. Seignanx (4015)


The inhabitants of Landes are known, in French, as Landais (women: Landaises).

The department of Landes has a population, in 2014, of 400,477, for a population density of 43.3 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Dax has 220,656 inhabitants and the arrondissement of Mont-de-Marsan, where is the prefecture of the departement, has only 179,821 inhabitants.

Evolution of the population in Landes

The 10 main cities in the department are:

City Population
Mont-de-Marsan 31,009 Mont-de-Marsan
Dax 20,485 Dax
Biscarrosse 14,174 Mont-de-Marsan
Saint-Paul-lès-Dax 13,189 Dax
Tarnos 12,354 Dax
Saint-Pierre-du-Mont 9,449 Mont-de-Marsan
Capbreton 8,586 Dax
Saint-Vincent-de-Tyrosse 7,717 Dax
Soustons 7,611 Dax
Mimizan 6,923 Mont-de-Marsan


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