And the river flows through the middle

135 km long, the Leyre has its source in the Landes and flows into the Bay of Arcachon.

Located on one of the most important migratory routes in Europe, the delta consists, upstream and down, of a mosaic of meadows and flood-prone woodlands, dyked areas, reedbeds, salt meadows fragmented from tidal lakes, as well as sandy banks and mudflats criss-crossed by numerous channels.

delta-de-la-leyrePatrice Hauser

An emerald mosaic

Surrounded by a tunnel forest made up of deciduous trees (pedunculate oak, alder, red willow), the river has rust-coloured water due to the presence of hardpan (iron ore). These two characteristics have earned it the nickname “Little Amazon”.

Where this river meets the Bay of Arcachon, a Delta is created, composed of islets between which fresh and salt water mingle and separate to the cycle of the tides. From the sky, this “green gold” looks like an emerald mosaic formed by wet meadows, salt meadows and dammed areas.

Malprat island

Located at the mouth of the Leyre Delta, south-east of the Bay of Arcachon, Malprat Island is wild and unspoilt. Dyked in the 18th century to create salt marshes, it now belongs to the Conservatoire du Littoral, which ensures its protection.

To maintain the tranquillity of this fragile environment, the site is only accessible in the presence of a guide. Work is planned for 2023, but a few visits will be organised “Around Malprat Island” far from the crowds, in the off-season of 2024. To access it, embark on the Lou Bate’Leyre galupe (flat-bottomed boat) to discover the 139 hectares of meadows surrounded by hedges, then the salt meadows bordering the outside of the area and the Bay of Arcachon as far as the eye can see. The boatman will show you the rare species that live there: egrets, coots and, with a little luck, the discreet bluethroat.

creative-commons-ile-malpratCreative Commons

Leyre, wild river

  • In Mios, take a walk along its banks or climb aboard a 10-seater canoe to explore this world.

  • In Biganos, discover the pretty port of Biganos, where colourful huts have preserved the authenticity of local life, or opt for a visit to the authentic and unchanging port of Tuiles.


delta-de-la-leyre-canoeCharlotte Moutier
demoiselle-foret-parc-naturel-regional-landes-gascogneParc Naturel Regional des Landes de Gascogne
canoe-deltaPatrice Hauser

Le Parc Birabeille

Du côté de Mios, rendez-vous pour une journée familiale au Parc Birabeille. Un endroit idyllique au bord de la leyre, où l’on peut s’y balader, flâner, mais également profiter des nombreuses activités aménagées : parc accrobranche, skate park, pump track, air de jeux pour enfants…

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