Vieux Boucau is a large modern village, formulated around the ancient
village of "Vieux Boucau les Bains" (continues to exist today as the older
centre ville area, with the Church & Mairie), which was again renamed from the ancient
town of Port d'Albret, before the turn of the 17th century, when it ceased to be an
operating Port once the river Adour was re-routed to Bayonne in 1578.
The large natural sea fed salt water lake (with its own beaches & Island) known as the
"Lac Marin de Port d'Albret", was the first port in ancient history on the Cote
d'Argent, but was placed into redundancy when Capbreton (15 kms South by sea) commenced
construction as a larger port in the early 1400s and 2 centuries later the grand port of
Bayonne (32 kms South).
Today the lake is shared by two communes, Vieux Boucau on the North side and Soustons
Plage on the South, West & East, the Lake has tidal control sluices on a dam at the
estuary, which retains the maximum high water level in the Lake when the sea reaches low
tide, maintaining the use of the Lake for the water sports at all times.
The dam also
enables people (not cars) walking or on cycles to traverse the whole lake and arrive back
where they started, but this does mean that boats, motor or sailing can not enter the harbour and would have to seek sanctuary in Capbreton or Bayonne.
Tourism first arrived in Vieux Boucau in 1930 on a large scale and has grown ever since,
but has still retained its Village atmosphere and size, the Town and Complex centers are
buzzing with bars, cafes, restaurants etc., the "Place de Mairie" (square outside
the small Town hall) has live music concerts, modern, pop, jazz and folk on stage every
night from June to early September with firework displays on the 14th of July (Bastille
day) and 15th of August... Summer events
Enjoy your visit!