Waytypes of the stage
Segregated cycle paths to cross the towns of Dax and St Paul les Dax. Then minor roads leading you through a mix of agricultural fields and oak forest. Rough tracks take you across the Mèes peat bogs and the local wetlands known as barthes. From Rivière Saas Gourby, you ride beside the Adour on the former towpath that has recently been laid out for cyclists, up to Saint Laurent de Gosse, where you cross the river to head for Urt. Signposted EV3.
Surfacing smooth: asphalt and compacted tracks.
For the EV1, La Vélodyssée, 16km away at Bayonne, going from Saint Laurent de Gosse – follow the Adour towpath.
- Dax train station: regional TER line to Bordeaux and high-speed TGV direct trains to Paris, Hendaye and Tarbes
- Dax: the Fontaine Chaude, or La Nèhe Spring, emblematic of this thermal spa, built in the 19th century on the presumed site of ancient Roman baths. In former times, 2,400,000 litres of water gushed out daily, at 64°C. The thermal waters here, mixed with the algae that form on the spring’s surface and with clay from the Adour River, go into making a natural medicine, Péloïde de Dax.
- Saint-Paul-lès-Dax: the 12th-century Romanesque church with an 11th-century apse, beautiful capitals and bas-relief friezes.
- Mèes peat bogs: as explained on the instructive trail, or sentier d’interprétation, this lovely environment similar to marshland is covered with rare, very specific vegetation that decomposes to produce peat.
- Saubusse: a former fishermen’s village at the little river port, with some fine merchants’ houses.
- Base Nautique La Marquèze at Josse: an outdoor watersports centre where you can hire canoes or electric boats, without needing a special licence, to explore the Adour River and its wild fauna noiselessly and gently.
- Urt: a little river fishing port with fish ladder on the Adour; the traditional façade for playing the famed Basque ball game, pelote basque