Southwest France lures surfers with amazing and consistent surf. The Atlantic coast delights them with some of the best swells they’ve ever had the chance to conquer, the north coast puts on a fight for a place on the podium, while the Mediterranean coast tries to keep up with shorter but equally lively swells.
Surfing in Southern France is an experience you won’t forget! Once you’ll get face to face with the superb collection of beach breaks, reef breaks, and point breaks, you’ll suddenly start planning your surfing holiday in Southern France for the year to come, and the next, and…probably the next. You’ll just can’t get enough of the Southwest France’s generosity when it comes to the ocean barrels.
Where to surf in Southwest France
Surfing in Southern France can be done in three main areas. You have the Mediterranean coast, which is not exactly worth the trip if you’re visiting just for the swells, the north coast, from Brest through the Normandy Coast, and the west coast, caressed by the Atlantic Ocean. The west coast of France is the absolute winner if you’re looking for fabulous adventures on the waves! Here you’ll discover the Silver Coast and the Basque County, the coast of South Brittany, and the Coast of Light, from Brittany to La Rochelle and Poitou-Charente.
La Côte d’Argent is the most spectacular destination for surfing in Southwest France. The beaches along the coast are blessed with fabulous swells, golden sands, and lovely backdrops. From the tip of the Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural Park to the glitzy Biarritz, experienced surfers will be pampered with some of the most beautiful swells in the world.
Lacanau is one of the best spots for surfing in Southwest France, a 14 km sandy shoreline adorned with powerful beach breaks for courageous surfers. As you move forward towards Biarritz, you’ll also discover the Bourdaines Beach in Seignosse, one of the most popular surf spots in Southern France, ideal for experienced surfers who are searching for the best and most challenging waves.
Next stop is Hossegor, a famous surfing spot especially in the months of autumn and winter. Here awaits La Graviere Beach, a surfing destination that can very well compete with surf spots like Hawaii when the sea is generous enough and the weather is good.
Biarritz is considered to be Europe’s surfing capital, so it needs no introduction. Besides its constant swells and coastal vibes, the resort also is a glamorous holiday destination for the rich and famous. If you’re looking for a challenge, take to the waters of Biarritz in the spring and autumn, when the town is less crowded and the waves are more generous, while if you’re a beginner or you want to combine a surfing trip to Southwest France with a glitzy holiday, book your trip to Biarritz in the summer.
The best waves in Brittany await on the coast between Quimper and Quiberon where you’ll also discover beautiful sandy beaches fringed by sand dunes and vegetation and a relaxing holiday vibe. South Brittany is famous for the waves that hit the shore in La Torche, a lovely beach town visited by a considerable amount of swells and home to a few surf shops and a multitude of little crêperies. Experienced surfers often gather in Port Blanc too, on the Quiberon Peninsula, a destination that receives amazing waves in the months of September and October and charms visitors with a lovely beach and a laidback atmosphere.
Coast of Light
The Coast of Light or La Côte de Lumière will take you from southern Brittany to La Rochelle and reward your curiosity and surfing initiative with fabulous waves all through the year. This stretch of coast has numerous surf schools and cool places to relax, as well as long sandy beaches untamed by modern times and mass tourism. The Coast of Light is a great destination for summer surfers and beginners, especially since the waves here are more reasonable than on the Silver Coast and the summer crowds are significantly smaller.
When to surf in Southwest France
The best time to surf in Southwest France is outside the peak season. Between June and September tourists flock to Southwest France not only for the surf but also for the sun, sand, food, and wine. You can very well combine a surfing trip to Southwest France with a summer holiday, but if you’re visiting Southwest France with only one goal in mind – to feed your appetite for gargantuan barrels – plan a trip to Southern France in autumn.
The weather is still warm and pleasant in September and October and the water is still welcoming and adorned with consistent swells. Moreover, surfing in Southwest France in the autumn will be a lot cheaper than in the summer. And don’t worry about paying extra to bring your own surfboard to Southern France! Unless you really want to! You’ll find plenty of surf shops along the coast.
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