The best surfing spots in France

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Marta Rzepecka's picture
Marta Rzepecka
09 · 30 · 2019

France is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. If you want to discover the surfing side of this country skip Louvre and Versailles and head to the beach! It is a must-see gem for all surf lovers, let us show you why.

Surf trip to France should be on top of your list due to various reasons: sandy beaches, long coastlines and great waves of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. World class beach breaks will steal your heart, no matter the level you're at. France has a lot to offer, depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re not sure which place to choose, let us recommend you the best spots.

Atlantic Coast

The surfing gems of France are to be found at the Atlantic coastline. We can divide it into two main areas: the West coast and the North coast. 

The Northern area, going from Brittany through Normandy to Belgium, offers plenty of great spots with sandy beaches and powerful breaks. In Normandy you’ll find not only rich historical heritage, but also one of the closests surf spots to Paris. In winter it offers strong winds and big swells, yet due to low temperatures and difficulty it might results challenging even to the most skilled surfers. During summertime it’s easily accessible for beginners. Try one of these spots to catch your first waves:

  • Le Havre: it’s beach break is situated just a few minutes from the town, by the mouth of the river Seine. And if you need to catch a breath, try visiting the chalk cliffs of Étretat, located just a short drive away.
  • Cherbourg: beautiful nature and surrounding scenery are a great addition to the sandy beaches and consistent waves of this spot. Again, a great option for everybody but recommended mostly for beginners.

In Brittany you can enjoy both exposed stretches and hidden coves, which makes it a perfect destinations for surfers at all levels. Brittany’s top spots are:

  • La Torche: here you’ll find wild white beaches, strong currents and great waves all year round. Even though it’s perfect for beginners, more experienced surfers will also enjoy the waves’ frequency. 
  • Port Blanc: great spot for more experienced surfers that offers breathtaking views and a less crowded beach. Perfect moment to catch its easy waves if during the early autumn.
  • Guidel: perfect for beginners and intermediate surfers. If you’re looking for consistent, long and gentle waves, this is a perfect place for you. 

The West Coast of France is where the adrenaline rises. It’s wild Atlantic Ocean offers some world class spots to catch the waves. 

  • Biarritz: the entire region of the Basque Country is famous for its unique culture and Biarritz is its best spot on the French side where you’ll always find a wave to catch. With the sound of the Atlantic Ocean, great vibes in the city and the silhouettes of the Pyrenees in the background you’ll feel like in paradise. Go there in summer for easier waves but be careful, as it might get crowded. During spring and autumn months the temperatures will fall, but also you’ll get bigger waves and less tourists so, whatever floats your boat.
  • Lacanau: one of the Europe’s top surfing spots with powerful beach breaks and Atlantic swell. The best time to go there is in early and late summer, even though the conditions are amazing all year round.
  • Hossegor: this is the big wave territory. You’ll find the biggest swells in the northern part and a sheltered bay with easier conditions in the south. Advanced surfers will love the breaks of La Nord, La Gravière and La Piste. One of the most consistent spots in France. You’ll always find a wave to catch there, but the best moments to do it are in early summer and in autumn. Watch out, it might get crowded during the season!

Mediterranean Coast

The Mediterranean coast of France is not the main surfing destination but definitely has its charm. The waves here are generated mostly from wind swell. Expect a small clean surf rather than huge waves. Although summertime can be flat, wetsuits are not required. If you’re only starting your surfing adventure then it’s a great place to learn. The most popular surfing spots in the Mediterranean are: Gruissan, Narbonne Plage and Tamaris.

Discover the French surfing gems and book now your next surf trip to enjoy the rich culture, great food and awesome waves. Check out the surfcamps we have in offer!

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