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Prefecture building of the Landes department, in Mont-de-Marsan
Prefecture building of the Landes department, in Mont-de-Marsan
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
 • Total 9,242.6 km2 (3,568.6 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total 397,226
 • Density 42.97773/km2 (111.3118/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Landais
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code FR-40
Arrondissements 2
Cantons 15
Communes 331

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 Midi-Pyrénées region.

The most important river is the Adour, which crosses the southern part of the department in the 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 department is managed by the General Council of the Landes in Mont-de-Marsan.

Administrative divisions

There are 2 arrondissements (districts), 15 cantons and 331 communes (municipalities) in Landes.

Arrondissements of the Landes
Arrondissement Capital Population
401 Dax Dax 218,240 3,194.2 68.3 153
402 Mont-de-Marsan Mont-de-Marsan 178,986 6,048.4 29.6 178

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
  2. Chalosse Tursan
  3. Côte d'Argent
  4. Coteau de Chalosse
  5. Dax-1
  6. Dax-2
  7. Grands Lacs
  8. Haute Lande Armagnac
  9. Marensin Sud
  10. Mont-de-Marsan-1
  11. Mont-de-Marsan-2
  12. Orthe et Arrigans
  13. Pays morcenais tarusate
  14. Pays Tyrossais
  15. Seignanx


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

The department of Landes has a population, in 2013, of 397,226, for a population density of 43.0 inhabitants/km2. The arrondissement of Dax has 218,240 inhabitants and the arrondissement of Mont-de-Marsan, where is the prefecture of the departement, has only 178,986 inhabitants.

The 10 main cities in the department are:

City Population
Mont-de-Marsan 31,334 Mont-de-Marsan
Dax 20,776 Dax
Biscarrosse 13,983 Mont-de-Marsan
Saint-Paul-lès-Dax 12,956 Dax
Tarnos 12,269 Dax
Saint-Pierre-du-Mont 9,337 Mont-de-Marsan
Capbreton 8,396 Dax
Saint-Vincent-de-Tyrosse 7,773 Dax
Soustons 7,504 Dax
Mimizan 6,977 Mont-de-Marsan


Related pages

Landes Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.