Among many other reasons to make it the perfect summer surf holiday destination, Southwest France offers hundreds of kilometers of largely uninhabited beach, famous for punchy sandbars and its incredibly consistent barrels. You’d be hard pushed to find anywhere else with even close to the same combination of sun, surf, great food (and wine!) and incredible party vibes. Surf holidays in Southwest France are the best in the business!
Most of the Southwest features sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye can see, backed with beautiful dunes and pine forests. During the summer months, the water temperature reaches as high as 20 degrees, depending on the conditions so make sure to pack your bikinis and board shorts! The softer summer swells serve up a whole mix of conditions creating perfect beginner waves as well as world class beach breaks for the more experienced surfer.
The most famous surf destinations are Hossegor and Biarritz. Hossegor is home of the Quiksilver Pro, the annual surf contest that’s sees the world’s best showing us how it’s done. If anywhere is working, you can bet your money its Hossegor. The beaches to the north catch everything the North Atlantic can throw at them and will handle huge swells in all seasons, while the beaches to the south of the town are much more sheltered, meaning a surf holiday to France a great spot all year round for all levels. Hossegor is also famous for its parties and the surf shopping outlets, the perfect ‘lay-day’ activity, when the waves go flat.
Biarritz is best described as a mini Paris by the sea. Beautiful, historic castles, buildings, promenades and a hot spot for French cuisine. There are fewer more beautiful spots around to head on a surf holiday. If you want to combine your summer surf holiday with French culture, Biarritz is your best choice. Just be careful for crowds in July and August! There are two main surf beaches in town, Grand Plage and Cote des Basques. Grande Plage is an incredibly playful beach break, the more exposed of the two, featuring punchy peaks everywhere you look. If you’re after barrels, this is where you’ll find them. Cote des Basques is supposedly the first European spot ever surfed. Expect long, clean walls of water, so Cote des Basque is best surfed on an old school log! South of Biarritz, you can find a handful of playful reef breaks, for those wanting to have a quieter option.
Arguably, the best way to surf in France is to visit a dedicated surf camp. And when we say surf camp, that could mean real camping (although glamping is the newest, most popular thing!) or maybe a surf house. There are more surf camps than you can imagine in this area, each offering a different experience depending on the town, the vibe in the camp and the nationality of the hosts. If you are after a camping experience the surf camps in France that we highly recommend the Moliets Surf Tipi Camp and if you are looking for a little bit of luxury then the Surf & Yoga Deluxe Camp is the place to be. Go with a group of friends, or solo, and you’re sure to be welcomed into an amazing group of people, from every corner of the world. Surf camps in France will offer luxury camping accommodation, along with competitively priced surf lessons, yoga classes, delicious food and unbelievable night life. They’ll take care of every aspect of your summer surf holiday – it’s what they do best!
Wherever you end up in the Basque region of France, rest assured that you will encounter some of the most delicious food and drink you’ve ever tasted. It’s hard to give good advice when everywhere around is good. Try and seek out the local restaurant famous for its mussels and chips – every little town has one! Otherwise you can’t go wrong with croissants, pain au chocolates, French fromage, suasion and baguettes. The red wine goes without saying… and make sure you check out the Gateau Basque at the local patisserie!
If you have time for a day trip, San Sebastian is just across the border into Spain, less than an hour from Biarritz. Expect even more delicious food, breath taking views and a whole new variety of surf spots. Make sure to book a pintxos tour to experience the flavours San Sebastian has to offer.
If you have any more questions about heading out to France for your next surf holiday then get in contact with us and we can help you find the perfect option. And don’t forget to look out for our next Surf Travel Series blog – a surf trip to Fuerteventura.