Messanges vs vieux-boucau, the holiday match!

Published on 08/11/2022

At first, the idea of comparing Vieux-Boucau and Messanges, two of the most popular seaside resorts in the Landes, seemed pointless and superfluous. Especially as holidaymakers are unanimous on one point: the two Landes villages complement each other perfectly! And yet, when we looked at the advantages of each one, we found that the idea was not so crazy! So which destination should you choose between Vieux-Boucau and Messanges? Here are some answers to help you decide.


With an area of 4.25 km2, Vieux-Boucau-les-Bains is one of the smallest resorts in the Landes. But don't let its size fool you. The small coastal village is very lively during the summer season, with numerous events on the promenade and around the arena, where Landes races, stilt-walker shows and Basque pelota tournaments take place. Not forgetting the seasonal market, 6 days a week!
Messanges is larger than its little sister, stretching over 34 km2. In the summer, the village hosts the famous sardinades which liven up the town centre, a night market which attracts a large number of visitors, as well as colourful Toro del Fuego events. There is also the Aréna du Vieux Port, the largest theatre in the Landes, which hosts shows, concerts and festive events all year round. Clearly, our two charming resorts have managed to retain the authenticity of their Landes traditions, each with its own festive and family atmosphere. One point everywhere!


On the beach, the choice is no easier. Messanges has 5 kilometres of coastline which is a delight for surfers and swimmers. Many surf schools open their doors to share the passion of surfing or to break the wave.
But Vieux-Boucau is not to be outdone, with its seafront and its 1930s houses perched on the dune. Here too, it is the kingdom of surfing, swimming and surfcasting. The supervised beaches are more easily accessible.
And the best surf spots in all this? Messanges or Vieux-Boucau are "Kif-kif bourricot". Here and there, the spots offer long and regular waves that are perfect for beginners and experienced surfers alike. On the water, our two challengers are also neck and neck!


The Landes department is appreciated for its beaches and waves, but also for its lakes and ponds. In Vieux-Boucau, the Port d'Albret marine lake is one of the resort's most popular attractions. You can enjoy swimming and water sports: sailing, paddle, canoeing, boat or pedal boat rides.
In Messanges, you will find the Prade pond, a protected nature reserve that has become an essential walking and fishing route in the Landes. In an equally natural setting, the Moïsan pond will appeal to lovers of flora and fauna. Swimming, water sports, fishing or hiking, the choice is yours!


What about the heritage and celebrities that our two Landes villages can boast? In Vieux-Boucau, you can visit the Chiouleben museum, the stronghold of the Boucau pinnace, dedicated to the local maritime heritage, and the Saint Clément church in Vieux Boucau and its vault embellished with 17th century biblical frescos. On the people side, several personalities were born in Vieux-Boucau. One thinks of Jean Etcheberry (former international rugby player), Didier Gadou (French champion and basketball coach) or Mathilde Froustey (star dancer of the San Francisco Ballet).
Messanges plays it modest, but Pierre-François de Neurisse (lieutenant general of the seneschaussée and adviser to the king, Louis XIV) and Patrick Péchambert, Top 14 rugby referee and owner of the restaurant "Chez Péchou", are still to be found. On the monument side, you will discover the small church of Saint-Clément and the semaphore, a huge tower of the French Navy, 82 metres high. You should also take a stroll around the Camentron district to appreciate the talent of the village's craftsmen.


It is not by bicycle that we will be able to distinguish our two Landes resorts. Whether it is Messanges or Vieux-Boucau, you can do everything (or almost everything) by bike: go to the beach, to the market, visit the surrounding villages. In Messanges, the cycle track allows you to reach the beach (4 km) or to continue towards Vieux-Boucau Port d'Albret. The latest of the greenways of the Landes links the village of Azur to the north of the Soustons lake to Messanges.
In Vieux-Boucau, you can cycle to Capbreton on the Vélodyssée, along the coast and through the forest. In both cases, a car-free holiday is possible! Perfect equality on the side of the little queen!


In this match, Messanges and Vieux-Boucau are tied. No need to be jealous, because, in reality, the two Landes resorts are like twins and there is nothing to oppose them fiercely. You will have plenty of time to discover this for yourself during a stay in Les Landes at the 5-star campsite Le Vieux Port. We are located in Messanges, but also very close to Vieux-Boucau!

Read also: "What to do in Messanges? "

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