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Premier Thermal Spa Town in France

Dax - Thermal SPA town in south west France

Region: Aquitaine Departement: (40) Landes Locality: Cote d'Argent, Marensin

Dax is a lively market town well known for its thermal spas

As the North & East start to fade into the distance, all roads going South converge at this timeless point. Dax, a city whose wide open sky welcomes its visitors after their long journey through the forest of the Landes. But this image is no substitute for the real sensations one experiences when meandering down the lanes of Dax at one's own rhythm. The roads of Dax, for reasons now known only to them, all unfailingly lead to the "Fontaine Chaude" constructed by the Romans.

The Romans first cultivated the city, which they Christened "Aquae Tarbellicae" (a name derived from the name of the first tribe who settled in the region : The Tarbelles) and then "Aquae Augustae" (named after the daughter of Emperor Augustus of Rome, Julia Augustae, who's visit made the city and its beneficial springs famous throughout ancient Rome). The city remained loyal to its vocation as a spa town, despite those periods of profound sleep (from the 5th to the 12th centuries) following Barbarian invasions.

A simple glance at the ramparts (largely destroyed during the last century, were build originally in the 4th century and later reconstructed in 1465 with 46 turrets and 4 gateways), makes it clear that the history of Dax (shortened to Acqs and later renamed Dacqs) was not always such a peaceful one.
The city, as throughout the Aquitaine region, experienced three centuries of English rule (1152 - 1453, Alienor of Aquitaine through her marriage to Henry Plantagenet of England, gave Aquitaine to the English, this did not include the Pays Basque at the time), a somewhat strange period, when rulers offered wedding dowries of no less than a region of France! Time is the key for such a wealth of history to be truly understood.

In the night light, one can sense the reassuring presence of the Adour, the river that has played an important role throughout the history of Dax. From the time of the Tarbelles, who built lake dwellings, right through to the exploitation today of the silt deposited along the "Barthes" (marshes) flood plains of the river, raw material of the Dax "Peloide" (mud with extremely rich properties for alleviating the pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis).

Right up to the beginning of the century, Dax was a port, a port which witnessed the comings and goings of the flat bottomed boats (the "Galupes"), packed high with the wines of Chalosse, Tursan & Jurançon, barrels of Armagnac, resin, wax and timber from the Landes forest.
All of this abundance was enough to irrigate the Pays Basque and the far away lands of England and the rest of Northern Europe.

The Thermal Spas

The roman fountain hot water spring in the centre of Dax

Accommodation and Restaurants

Holiday rentals Property for sale Bed and Breakfast Self catering
Hotels Camping Restaurants
Real Estate in Dax

Sites and Events

Cathedral Churches Corrida Festivals & Fetes
Folklore Fortifications Lake Museums
Parks Pelote Basque Places of interest Markets/Shopping
Tourist Office

Sports and Leisure

Beaches Billiards/Snooker Bowling Canoe & Rafting
Casino Discotheques Equestrian Centre Fishing
Go Karting Golf Kayak & Canoe Quad Bikes
Swimming Pools Tennis Club Thalassotherapy/spa Wind Surfing

Situation Maps

Dax Comm-e Map Cote d'Argent Travel Routes  
Aquitaine Landes 40 Chalosse Distance-Ometer

Local Transport

Biarritz Airport Bus Services Local Train Services Taxi Services
Car Hire Cycle Hire

Coastal Towns Close By

Hossegor 33kms S/West Moliets 34kms N/West Vieux Boucau 34kms West