Surf in France

France is one of the best destinations to surf in Europe

Frances 7 best surf beaches

The south of France has turned into surf paradise where fans come from all over the world. Apart from being one of the places to host the world circuit runs, the Pro France, the big variety of beaches lets us see tons of spots in a small amount of time. This has made French Basque Country into a must-go stop for surf lovers.

Now we will tell you our 7 best surf beaches:

  1. Lacanau
  2. Seignosse/Hossegor/Capbreton
  3. Les Cavaliers
  4. La Grand Plage
  5. Lafitenia
  6. Belharra
  7. Hendaya

 Today we will travel 282kms of French coast and visit the best beaches to surf.

Best beaches in France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It may seem like a lot, but you will see that you´ll want more. In that case you can continue the Basque coast, which you can see in our surftrip here.

Beach Route through France

1.     Lacanau

The town of Lacanau is very easy to reach. Situated in the region of Aquitaine in the southeast of France, this small locality is known for offering the best sand bottom tubes in all of Europe. Only an hour from Bordeaux, this small French locality is also known for hosting the WCT Lacanau Pro.

This is a very consistent area, and has similar conditions as its neighbors Hossegor, Capbreton or Anglet. The best time for waves is in the summer and especially in autumn. It´s when the offshore winds are prevalent and the water temperature is more agreeable than in winter.

Lacanau is without a doubt the perfect place to start your quick trip through the Atlantic coast, since from this starting point and heading south you will keep finding surf options.

Swell: Medium (<3 meters)

Direction of swell: West – Northwest

Sea bottom: Sand

Waves: Multiple peaks

Tide: Low – Medium

Wind: East

Lacanau

2.     Seignosee/Hossegor/Capbreton

The classic within the classics. Most people within driving distance have come here during holy week (week long holiday usually) and spent time under the typical roxy, quicksilver or hurley tents and splashed about in the saturated peaks of Seignosse, Hossegor or Capbreton. Good athmosphere, good waves, and chill bars are what this is about, what more do you want? Because of this, the area is called The Landes (the moors) and at an international level, the Surf Capital of Europe.

Pro France Hossegor

Plage des Culs Nus en Hossegor foto @singlequiver

We could say that out of the three, Hossegor is the neural center of the region. Also host one of the stops for the world surf tour WSL. This makes this beach, with Supertubos in Portugal, one of the best known beaches in the world. Some of its peaks like La Graviere, La Nord or La Sud, it normal to see surfers like John John Florence, Kelly Slater or Rob Machado. And if that’s not enough, 500 meters north is the peaks of Seignosee and in the south, Capbreton. With so many options, it becomes hard to choose.

The region of The Landes is known for its high quality sand banks. With a bit of knowledge, your sessions can become unforgettable. You can enjoy powerful and deep tubes in La Graviere to perfect waves to maneuver all the way to shore pumps. The optimum conditions for this area can depend from one spot to another, usually from September to November. In those months the sand banks are well formed after summer, and the climate is still agreeable as well as the water temperature. It´s precisely at the end of September and start of October that we see the Quiksilver Pro France, one of the most relevant test for the WCT.

Swell: Medium (1-3.5 meters)

Direction of swell: West – Northwest

Sea bottom: Sand

Waves: Multiple peaks

Tide: All

Wind: East – Southeast

3.     Les Cavaliers

Les Cavaliers beach, 30 km south of Capbreton is world famous for its excellent tubes and wave potential. This beach houses a number of surf competitions and is usually Quicksilver Pro Frances plan B. We get a lot of sea in this beach than in its neighbors.

Swell: Medium (1-3 meters)

Direction of swell: West – Northwest

Sea bottom: Sand

Waves: Multiple peaks

Tide: All except high

Wind: East – Southeast

4.     La Grand Plage

La Grand Plage in Biarritz is known as the surf mecca in Europe. Only 30kms from Spain, its situated in between the sea and the mountain. Biarritz is famous for its waves, thalassotherapy, its palaces, its gastronomy  and for being one of the most elegant places in all of France.

Biarritz draws the frontier of the sandy coast of The Landes and the rocky coast of Basque Country. One of the most beautiful places which in other posts we´ve talked about “the most beautiful part” of France. Biarritz is just an ideal place to escape to, any time of the year.

Swell: Medium (1-2.5 meters)

Direction of swell: West – Northwest

Sea bottom: Sand

Waves: Multiple peaks

Tide: All except high

Wind: East – Southeast

5.     Lafitenia

Lafitenia is a beach that’s in between Guethary and San Juan de Luz. We would almost dare say that this we´re talking about one of the best breaks in the region. What we have here is right waves, that keeps its size and also functions with relatively small swells. To reach the peak you will have to paddle a bit.

Surf Lafitenia France

Swell: Medium (0.5-4.5 meters)

Direction of swell: West – Northwest

Sea bottom: Rock

Waves: Multiple right peaks

Tide: All except high

Wind: Southeast

6.     Belharra

This wave is not apt for any surfer. This is one of the most well-known spots for big waves. These waves can reach 8 to 15 meters. In 2012 it got the Billabong XXL awards, a real spectacle for XXL fans.

Swell: Medium (8-15 meters)

Direction of swell: West – Northwest

Sea bottom: Rock

Waves: A-Frame

Tide: All except high

Wind: Southeast

7.     Hendaya

And we finish our route in one of the best surf spots in the south of France, Hendaya. Next to the frontier of Basque Country, 21kms from San Sebastian, we have this locality which name means Great Bay. When the surge is big, Hendaya is the place to be.

Swell: Medium (0.5-3 meters)

Direction of swell: North – West

Sea bottom: Sand

Waves: Multiple peaks

Tide: All

Wind: South

What surfboard do I bring to France?

Just as the rest of the places, the waves in France depend on when we go. It’s not the same traveling to France in August than October, which is right in the middle of the Pro France competition. If you are thinking about a surftrip to The Landes in august, we recommend a wide board with volume or one of the new Mick Fanning softboards. This lets us enjoy daily surfing and get your fill of waves. Another good option for summer waves is a Twin Fin. In En el Pico, we are decalred Twin Fin addicts since this type of board has a lot of good factors going for it.

Recommended reading: The ebst summer surfboard: The Twin Fin

If your favorite waves are vertical, fast and tube-like, just as our French neighbors enjoy from September to December, we propose a Hypto Krypto. You can read our review here. Another good surfboard fo these types of conditions is the Clayton Spine Tek Solar. A board shaped by the most prestigious shaper, Clayton Nienaber, made with its latest Spine Tek Technology.

What wetsuit do I need?

The water temperature in Hossegor from September to October, months when we see the Quicksilver Pro France, is around 2 ºC more than what we have in the Cantabric. If you are thinking about coming to the Pro France we recommend that you bring a good wetsuit in your luggage. Even though the exterior temperature can reach 30ºC, the water is already cold. We usually bring our O´Neill Psycho One 3/2mm, a warmer wetsuit than the Hyperfreak 3/2 which you can read our review here.

What to do in The Landes?

Apart from being an absolute paradise for surf, The Landes in Aquitaine is a privileged enclave. Not only can you enjoy its kilometric beaches, you can also ride the bicycle routes, explore with a paddle board in Viex Boucau, enjoy the delicious croissants and crepes or go to one of the World Surf League concerts that they organize to celebrate the Pro France. In this years agenda we could see an exposition of photos of Tom Carroll and a Momentm Generation documentary projected.

Foto @singlequiver

Foto @singlequiver

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surf videos The Landes

We will finish off with a good video where we see two great surfers, Lee-Ann Curren and Adrien Toyon, show us all the natural splendor is worth going to.

If you liked this post, keep visiting or Surftrips section. If you want more guides please subscribe to our newsletter and don´t miss out on the best spots in the world.

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