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A Miraculous Discovery

Dax may never have existed were it not for its number one asset, the seven million litres of warm mineral water that emerge through its five wells every single day. The discovery of the town's unusual resource and the development into the important spa town it is today is immersed in legend. It is said that a Roman soldier's dog was so crippled by its rheumatism that he had no choice but to leave it behind here. After returning from his travels he was overjoyed to discover that his lovable mutt was back to its former health.

The rise to fame

Puzzled, he followed the dog to a pool of hot mud where it had been frolicking. Word soon spread of the amazing curing powers and it wasn't long before it had its first celebrity endorsement from Augustus' daughter who claimed she also had her rheumatism cured. The now booming spa town was given the name 'Aqua Augustus', although the locals chose to butcher the words into 'Dax'.

Lose yourself

Today, Dax is France's premier spa resort. It's the best place for people to visit who are suffering from a wide range of disabilities, although it is particularly renowned for its treatment of rheumatism. Even when you're not relaxing in a mud, the town is the ideal setting for relaxation.

Lovely location

The town is located on the edge of the Landes Forest and contains a large number of pleasant walkways and public gardens. The River Adour flows through the town centre.

Plenty to keep you busy

The beautiful pine forests are perfect for a stroll or picnic. If you venture beyond that you can find either the sandy beaches of Aquitaine, which are perfect for surfers, or the challenging Pyrenees mountain range that is great for hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter. You're not likely to run out of adventures to embark upon while you're staying here.

The home of French rugby

Dax is incidentally also the home of French rugby, with the game being played by most people throughout the region.

Enjoy the Feria in August

There are a number of other factors that make the town particularly luring for visitors. The Feria is a week long festival of singing and dancing, sporting and cultural events, fireworks, street music and wine and food tasting. It is a major tourist event in August. Then there is bull fighting to watch, one of the regional pastimes.

Explore the Cathedrale Notre-Dame

There are also a number of interesting churches around Dax, although the main attraction is certainly the Cathedrale Notre-Dame. It was first built in the 11th Century in a Romanesque style, although it wasn't long before the English destroyed it. Next came a Gothic construction, which unfortunately collapsed in the 17th Century. Finally a classic style Cathedral was built, which has been lavishly decorated. The huge Gothic doorway is all that has been kept from its previous incarnation.

Delving into the past

There is a fantastic museum for exploring the town's ancient to recent past. The Musee de Borda has displays covering everything from the Gallo-Roman and Medieval days to 18th, 19th and 20th Century paintings. There is also a lot of memorabilia relating to two local celebrities, the scholar Jean-Charles de Borda and Millies-Lacroix, once a Minister for the French colonies.

How to get there

Thanks to the boom in cheap airlines, as well as a lot of help from the French government in rejuvenating the area, the accessibility of the region has improved immensely. The nearest airports are Bordeaux and Pau, both of which have regular flights to and from the UK. If you are a nervous flyer then you can still get there in comfort and speed by hoping on the TGV rail network. Dax has a railway station and is the next stop on from Bordeaux. This means the trip is only just over four hours from Paris Montparnasse. Buses are available from the station which will take you to many outlying towns, including Mont de Marsan and Bayonne.

Dax property prices

Properties in and around the town come in at great value. There was a time when the Dordogne was only place in southwestern France that Brits would move to. Now, with the explosion in access thanks partly to the increase in budget airlines, the entire area is becoming more and more popular. Dax is well placed, has tremendous potential and is definitely one to watch over the coming years.

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Dax AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Dax?

South west corner of the Landes department.

Dax Property Map

IN THE REGION OF AQUITAINE

Aquitaine Guide

Aquitaine Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF LANDES

Landes Guide

  Landes Map


Population: 10,228


Access: Nearest airport is Pau with regular UK flights. Dax has a railway station, so travelling by TGV is another option.


Economy: Developed as a spa town and has become famous for its healing waters.


Interesting fact: The healing waters take thousands of years to surface.


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