Escalans / Mont-de-Marsan La Scandibérique
Forest and moorland
3 h 52 min
I begin / Family
Welcome to the county of Landes, a land full of traditions, offering opportunities aplenty to enjoy the place’s conviviality, with many ferias and places at which to savour local specialities. From Escalans, the Scandibérique heads for Labastide d’Armagnac, a medieval village boasting a rich traditional heritage, nestled in the midst of vineyards that produce the oldest spirit in France. Every self-respecting cyclist should pay homage at the Chapelle des Cyclistes before tasting (in moderation, of course!) Armagnac made by a local producer. Cycling on towards Mont de Marsan, enjoy little detours to the village of Bougue and the archaeological site of Castets. At Mont-de-Marsan, the figurative sculptures at the Musée Despiau Wlérick, plus, not far off, but in the midst of forest, Marsan Lake, with its outdoor leisure centre, are two good reasons for prolonging your stay here.
Elevation of the stage
250 m 155 m
Waytypes of the stage
By road: 10,71 km Cycle path: 47,50 km
Surface of the stage
Lisse: 25,99 km Accidenté: 32,23 km
Mostly on the Voie Verte du Marsan, a greenway along a former railway line. The way takes you in a straight line through the countryside, first past agricultural land, then through woods where the mix of oak, chestnut and pine trees provides plenty of shade.
The first part, from Gabarret to Villeneuve de Marsan, is simply provided with a fairly rough surface of gravel mixed with earth, while the second part, from Villeneuve to Mont de Marsan is covered in asphalt and very well maintained. Take care crossing the N524 road as you leave Gabarret. Signposted EV3.
Surfacing smooth: between Villeneuve and Mont de Marsan, asphalt.
Surfacing rough: from Gabarret to Villeneuve de Marsan, compacted tracks with gravel mix.
- Mont de Marsan train station: regional TER trains to and from Bordeaux, daily.
- Connection at Morcenx for high-speed TGV trains to Paris or to Dax, Biarritz and Hendaye
- Gabarret: the colourful bullring; the medieval brick and timberframe Maison du Gabardan, holding tourist office, shop and exhibition space
- Labastide d’Armagnac: a gem in the Landes, part of the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France; the central square with its timberframe houses, arcades and colonnades; the imposing fortified church; the artists’ studios and curiosities dotted along the medieval streets. Labastide is a member of the worldwide network of Cittaslow towns that encourage you to enjoy a slower pace of urban life.
- Chapelle Notre Dame des Cyclistes (Labastide d’Armagnac): since 1959 and uniquely in France, La Chapelle des Cyclistes is home to collections of cycling jerseys that belonged to legendary cycling champions such as Raymond Poulidor, Eddy Merckx and Luis Ocaña, of bikes going from Penny Farthings to typical French postmen’s vélos, and of all manner of unusual cycles, all preciously preserved here.
- Bougue village: the listed church with its 11th-century fortified bell tower.
- Domaine Ognoas at Arthez d’Armagnac: even the medieval door to this former fortified house recalls its rich past, best summed up by the word ‘timeless’, as can also be seen in the very old cellars, where the oldest spirit still in Gascony, dating back to 1804, is listed as a French historic monument! Everything here comes together to offer you the best possible introduction to how the spirit Armagnac is made.