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Surfing in South West France: Where and When


Surfing in South West France is one of the best experiences if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday in a very traditional part of France where you can catch some excellent waves.

While perhaps not always traditionally associated with surfing, the stretch of wild Atlantic coast that borders South West France has some of the best surfing spots in Europe – and has consequently gained quite a reputation over recent years. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer looking for the most challenging surf you can find, or a novice looking for something a little more gentle – we’ve rounded up some of the top surfing spots, easily accessible from Gascony.


Lacanau

Lacanau is a busy beach town that is well known for its consistent surf – so much so that it is home to the Lacanau Pro – one of the most prestigious surf competitions in the French sector of the World’s Surf League qualifying series.

Offshore wind: Easterly

Wave size: 0.3 – 3 metres


Pointe d’Arcachon

Located where Gironde meets Landes, this well-known spot is known for its consistent waves that can hold shape, from 0.3 – 2.4 metres.

Offshore wind: Easterly

Wave size: 0.3 – 2.4 metres


Biscarrosse

Biscarrosse marks the southernmost spot where the wild Atlantic surf of South West France begins. Consequently this area can become very popular and busy during the summer months – it’s worth exploring the northern end of the beach which stays quieter.

Offshore wind: Easterly

Wave size: 0.3 – 2.5 metres

Mimizan

A beautifully picturesque beach surrounded by pine forest that spans four surfing hot spots:

– La Garluche, Goëlands, Mouettes and Plage Sud. Mimizan is also famous for being the home of three times bodyboard champion, Nicolas Capdeville who now runs Mimizan Surf Academy.

Offshore wind: Easterly

Wave size: 0.5 – 2.5 metres


Messanges

Messanges is a popular and well-known surfing village, offering a great variety of different beach-break and A-frame waves.

Offshore wind: Easterly and South East

Wave size: 0.3 – 2.3 metres



Saint-Girons

With a great variety of different waves on offer, Saint-Girons is popular with international surfers who are trying to escape the over-populated beaches in the summer – and largely they succeed, except for when the German Surf Masters is held there.

Offshore wind: Easterly

Wave size: 0.3 – 2.4 metres


Vieux-Boucau

Popular with holiday-makers, this is a great beach for novice surfers with a number of surf schools taking up camp in the summer and good currents providing consistent surf.

Offshore wind: Easterly, North East and South East

Wave size: 0.3 – 3 metres


Hossegor

Fast and hollow waves make this beach a favourite with experienced surfers from all over the world and pro competitors alike – hosting the Quiksilver Pro France annually. The north area is best left to the experienced, while the south is more beginner-friendly.

Offshore wind: Easterly

Wave size: 1– 4.5 metres



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