If you are looking for the best surfing spots in France, you are in the right place. The country boasts more than 310 miles of surf beaches for every level of surfer to enjoy.
France is famous for its wines, cheeses and bread, especially baguettes. However, it is the rich local history, French cuisine, sunbathing, pulsating nightlife, and amazing beach breaks that make France one of the most romantic surfing destinations in the world.
With consistent amazing swells throughout the year, reef and point breaks and reliable waves, the France surfing experience is out of this world.
Surfing Seasons in France
Although France offers surfing opportunities all year round, there are high and low seasons to consider.
High season occurs during autumn and spring. The weather is still decent, with exciting swells hitting the shores from the North Atlantic.
As a result, the waves in this season are perfect. There are huge crowds and accommodation can be on the higher side, however.
If you are looking for the heaviest waves in France, coming in winter is your best bet. The surfing experience is less than perfect, but the prices are low and crowds are non-existent.
For beginners, summer in France provides the best surfing conditions. The good weather means parties, open concerts and festivals are all in full swing.
For your best surfing experience in France, pack your wetsuit, gloves, booties and hoodies, because the waters can get cruel during cold weather, especially on the north coast. You have the freedom to use your board shorts during summer.
Surfing in Hossegor, France
If you are looking for some of the most powerful and fastest hollow beach breaks and perfect peaks, Hossegor has you covered.
There are many reasons why surfers flock to Hossegor throughout the year. With warm waters, reliable swells, sandy banks and amazing beaches, what other reason could there be? Depending on the time of year, there are huge tides, different swell directions (mostly west and north) and changing winds. This means that every surfing experience is unique and dynamic in its own way. You can enjoy different surfing experiences in a very short time in Hossegor.
Among the most popular surf spots in Hossegor are Les Culs Nus, La Gravière, La Nord, La Sud, Le Penon, L’Estacade, Le Santocha, Le Prevent, Casernes, Capbreton, Les Estagnots and Les Bourdaines. These surfing spots have different characteristics and can be enjoyed by surfers of different levels (summers are better for learners and intermediates while winter is for the veteran surfers). However, what cuts across all of them is their consistency and how much fun you can have. For learners, there are surf schools and academies for surf lessons. There are also shops and rentals where surfers can get their surfing gear.
Things to Do in Hossegor, France
There are countless places to enjoy the nightlife in Hossegor. These range from campsites and hotels on the beach to apartments and villas to rent. For a chance to enjoy the night off after a day’s surf, there are pubs, cocktail bars, seafood and pizza restaurants that will delight every taste bud. Among the most popular of these joints in Hossegor include the following; for your dinner, you can head to Le Napoli, or drink and chat away the night with other surfers at Dick's Sand Bar or Rock Food.
Surfing in Biarritz/Anglet
This area boasts waves and swells all year round. The best time to go surfing here will depend on your available time and your surfing skill. During summer, the waves are small and suitable for learners and intermediate surfers. However, during the other seasons (spring and autumn), the waves are huge and better suited to advanced surfers. The Côte Basque has exciting reefs and some of the best swells, as well as intimidating waves that provide surfers with the most thrilling surfing experience.
In Anglet, there are breath-taking headlands, jetties and coves that provide wind protection, a feature that northern beaches lack.
The majority of surf spots here have offshore winds and the best swell directions of West and North.
The most popular surf spots in Baiarritz/Anglet include Biarritz Grande Plage, Cote Des Basques, Guethary, La Barre, Lafitenia, Le Club, Sables D’or, Les Corsaires, Le Vvf, Marinella, Les Cavaliers, La Madrague, and Ilbarritz. In all these surfing spots, there are surf schools, academies, camps and private surfing instructors for learners to receive surfing training. In no time, learners will be able to hit the waters surfing like professionals.
In addition to this, there are surf shops and rentals to provide surfers with the surfing equipment they need. Here, the waters begin getting cold in December. Even deep into winter, you do not need more than a 4/3 wetsuit.
Things to Do in Biarritz/Anglet
To chill out after your day’s surfing, there are many entertainment spots waiting for you in Biarritz and Anglet. For a great night out, there are restaurants and hotels with the best views, beachside cafes and casinos, nightclubs and bars, dance floors, seaside food joints and many others you can head to. Among the most popular of these entertainment joints include L’Artnoa, Aréna Biarritz, Le Caveau, Le Bar du Jardin and Casino Barrière. Others include Eden Rock Café, Le Soleil des Antilles, La Pompe and Katie Daly’s.
Surfing in the Channel – France
The Channel coastline of La Mache and Normandy has some of the biggest west swells or wind swells created locally. This is the closest of all surfing areas to the French capital of Paris.
If you are looking for the most consistent surfing in this area, you should be in the northern area of Cotentin Peninsula. However, the Normandy coast is better for the southwest storms.
To enjoy the best surfing experiences in the Channel, winter is the time to get into the water. However, you should be prepared because the biggest of the tides, very cold waters and heavy rips here challenge even the most experienced surfers.
There are a number of popular surf spots in the Channel for surfers to enjoy. These include Yport, Vaucottes, Surtainville, Sainte Adresse, Siouville, Petites Dalles, Trouville, Wimereux, Collignon, Dielette, Le Rozel, Etretat, Corblets Bay, Hatainville, Cap Gris-Nez, L’Anse Du Brick and Calais.
Surfing in Calais, the Channel
Located north of the French capital on the English Channel, Nord-Pas de Calais is one of the most popular France surfing destinations. Featuring white chalk cliffs and north east winds, right and left beach break waves and north-northeast swell directions, Calais has always been the place to surf due to its vicinity to the capital. It has exciting white and sandy beaches spanning for miles from Equihen-Plage (north side) to Fort Mahon-Plage (south side). The best surfing spots here are close to the jetty. However, the ferries also contribute to the surfs at the Sangatte and Blériot. For learners, there are surf schools and academies to provide them surfing lessons. Additionally, there are surf shops and rentals for surfers to stock up.
Things to Do in Calais
Calais has a vibrant nightlife that fits everybody’s tastes. The city offers cocktail bars, beach hotels, restaurants, and all manner of eateries. Unlike in many other French locations, beer is more popular than wine. You should be sure to try bière de garde, a type of ale loved by locals here. For your appetizer, you should be asking for escargots (snails, a typical French delicacy). Among the most popular joints to sample in Calais include Le Street Café, Au Beaune'Heur, Studio 54 Cocktails & Pintxos Bar, Cinema Cinos and Baramousse.
Surfing in Cap Frehel, North Brittany
Cap Frehel is a fairly exposed reef break and popular France surfing spot that attracts surfers in all seasons. This spot provides consistent surfs with the ideal winds coming from the southeast. Here, you can enjoy both groundswells and windswells in the same measure.
The best swell direction is from the west. The waves here are both right and left beach breaks that are especially suited for the experienced surfer. The surf spot is generally busy, but there is always space for everyone to surf. There are many surf schools and academies as well as surf shops and rentals. Other popular surfing spots close to Cap Frehel include Pors Ar Vag, Le Dossen, La Chapelle, La Palue and Pors-ar-Villec.
Things to Do in Cap Frehel, North Brittany
After a day’s quality surfing experience, Cap Frehel offers amazing evening activities. There are many hotels, pubs, cocktail bars, restaurants and beach cafes. You can also decide to spend some time playing pool or just watching something on the big screens. Among the most popular joints that you can visit in the city include La Ribote, The Disco Shed, Le Café De La Plage, Le Maryland's Pub, Pub les Embruns and Bar Café du Centre among many others.
In conclusion, France offers some of the best surfing spots in the world. These spots can be surfed in during all seasons, making France the best go-to country for surfers of all surfing skills. There are also countless entertainment spots in the country making sure that visitors and locals alike have all the elements that characterize a memorable surfing tour. If you are planning your dream surfing holiday, look to France.