The 10 best surfing spots in France
France the land of medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches and significant surf breaks. Going surfing in France is one of the best things you can do. With over 2,130 miles of coastline, France is one of the best places in Europe to go surfing. So if you’re planning a trip to go surfing in France and you’re looking for the best spots? Look no further. We’ve got you covered.
The country is filled with a variety of consistent swells and top-notch surf breaks that is suitable for both beginners, expert surfers and everything in between. And don’t forget the vibrant nightlife, delicious cuisine, beautiful historical places and perfect sunbathing spots. It makes surfing in France one of the top surfing destinations in the world. So let’s dive into it!
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Read our other blogs about France:
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- 15 unique places to visit in the South of France
Surfing in France
France is an all year round surfing destination due to its consistent swell. You are going to get pretty sweet conditions during the summer, and you should head down to France during the summer if you are a beginner. You can enjoy a reliable condition between Spring and Autumn. While the Winter swells can produce powerful waves that only the advanced surfers that can tackle it. The water temperature is colder in Northern France than in the South (warmer).
There are diverse varieties of surfing spots in France. From the historically rich Normandy in the north to the renowned surfing capitals of Biarritz in the south. We’ve listed the best ten surfing spots in France below. From the popular surfing spots to the hidden gems in France.
#1 Surfing in Northern France – Brittany and Normandy
The northern coast of France receives the same swell as the southern coast of England, and it stretches from Brest in North Brittany to Belgium in the Normandy Coast. If you want to go surfing in Normandy, Northen France, you will need big western groundswells and wind swells as to get it going.
This is the most beautiful spot to go surfing in France. It produces some of the most magnificent surfing waves in France, and it is set against an enchanting white chalk cliff backdrops. Just beautiful. The best breaks in the area are at the north-western tip, also known as Finistere. The waters here are usually cold and very harsh in the winter, which is why Brittany is preferable for surfing in France.
Finistere is best suited for advanced surfers. La Palue has courageous waves during high tide, and lot’s of groundswell as well. La Torche is the most famous surfing spot in Brittany. It’s a great all-year-round beach where the waves often get very serious.
Best time to go surfing in northern France
The best time to visit Brittany and Normandy beaches is all year round. Although you will find the best and most consistent waves in the winter months, you will also enjoy good conditions in summer.
Some of the top surfing beaches in this region of France are Etretat, Yport, Wissant, Vacotte, L’Anse du Brick. In northern Brittany, you can head to Pors Ar Vag, Le Dossen, Pors-ar-Villec, La Palue, and La Chapelle for fun surfing in France. In the southern Brittany, you can head to La Torche and Treguennec for a surfing adventure.
#2 Surfing in Lacanau
You can find Lacanau in the middle of the France Atlantic coastline close to Bordeaux. It is one of the best-surfing destinations in France due to its powerful beach breaks that work very well on every tide. Lacanau is among the top surfing destinations in Europe and the most famous destination in the France Gironde area as it receives consistent Atlantic swell. If you’re travelling here in August you can enjoy Lacanau Pro.
The best time to visit Lacanau for surfing is between early and late summer, which is between May and June or from September and October. The beaches are less crowded with a more reliable swell. Lacanau also has a warmer water temperature than further north. In the summer, the beaches tend to be crowded with a less consistent swell.
#3 Surfing in Hossegor
This is a hotspot for surfers from all over Europe and it is a perfect destination if you go surfing in France during the autumn and winter months. The best beach to visit here is the Graviere Beach that is very popular for its big waves which rank up to the popular surf spots like Hawaii. The beach is a perfect spot for intermediate or advanced surfers during these times of the year.
Hossegor features some of the fastest, hollow, and most powerful beach breaks in the world that you don’t want to miss. Go to La Nord, La Piste, La Graviere for double-overhead fast and hollow waves.
Hossegor is among the most consistent surfing spots in France, and you are going to find varieties of waves here for different levels. Some of the best waves for beginners and intermediate surfers can be found in this area during the summer when the waves are quite gentle and the winter months are mainly for the magnificent heavy barrels.
#4 Surfing in Biarritz (most popular place in France)
Biarritz France is the historic surfing capital of Europe and it’s a hotspot for tourists and locals who come here for the waves. The area has a relaxed coastal atmosphere and it was a favoured spot for Napoleon III and his Spanish wife Eugenie.
Biarritz in France features year-round surfing competitions like Roxy Pro in July and the Quiksilver Maider Arosteguy in April. Some of the popular sports brands in the area like Billabong, Rip Curl, and Quiksilver are based around Biarritz.
This region is also the best spot to go for experienced surfers in the spring and autumn with fewer crowds. If you want to enjoy surfing as a beginner, you can head here during the summer, and with that, you can also enjoy Biarritz in its full holiday glory. In the south of Biarritz is the old fishing town of Guethary with few great beaches. This place is excellent to go for off-season surfing as it best waves roll from December to March.
Some of the best beaches to visit in Biarritz are Le Miramar, La Cote des Basques, Biarritz Grande Plage, La Milady, and Marbella. The best time to visit Biarritz is between May to June and September to October, which is less crowded with more reliable swells. If you are a more experienced surfer, you will enjoy the winter months as it features big and powerful swells that make Biaritzz your perfect spot for surfing in France.
#5 Surfing in Seignosse
Seignosse is not far from Biarritz and it is among the hottest spots for surfing breaks in France. Seignosse features back-to-back beaches like Les Casernes and Les Estagnots but the perfect spot for experienced surfers that are seeking big waves is Les Bourdaines. For experienced surfers, the best time to go surfing in Seignosse is during Spring (March to April) or Autumn (September to October). If you want beginner-friendly conditions, you can head here during the summer months.
#6 Surfing in Anglet
This is just a few miles from the northern part of Biarritz. It offers magnificent quality breaks for all skills and diverse levels. It is a perfect spot during spring, autumn, and winter. The swell is not very consistent during the summer period of the year. Some of the best spots in the area are listed below.
– La Barre which features left-hand beach break towards the northern end of Anglet with a sandy bottom.
– Les Cavaliers which can be found in the south of La Barre and it is among the best waves in the French Basque Country. It offers an A-frame beach break that has fast and hollow sections that are good for intermediate and expert surfers.
– Le Club, this is a legendary Anglet surfing spot that has powerful barreling lefts and can be quite crowded.
#7 Surfing in Guéthary
This area has a laid-back coastal town with an old fishing port which is located in the heart of the French Basque Country in between Biarritz and Saint-Jean-de-Luz. In the winter months, the region features world-class big waves perfect for surfing. In the summer it offers fun and smaller surf. Some of the best surf spots in the area are listed below.
– Parlementia It features a powerful right-hand reef break that has a sandy and rocky bottom, and it is regarded as a premier big wave surfing spot in France. This beach of France can be found about some meters off the coast in the northern part of Guethary, and you will need to do a 20-minute brutal paddle to reach the brutal wave.
– Les Alcyons: This beach offers a magnificent reef break that features a rocky bottom not far from the shore. You are going to enjoy an incoming tide which can be quite powerful.
In the Guethary region, it is best to visit the area during the winter months (December – March) to enjoy big swells rolling in one after another.
#8 Belharra Reef
The Belharra reef can be found off the coast of Saint-Jean-de-Luz and it was first surfed in November in 2002. The breaks do occur very rarely and it may not even break at all. When it breaks, it is among the best tow-in big wave destination in France. The waves here can go between 26 and 50ft tall and can even reach about 65 ft.
#9 Silver Coast
Silver Coast with the popular town Mimizan is a magnificent spot for surfing in France. The coast covers a vast landmass from the tip of Landes de Gascogne Regional Natural Park to the popular swells of Biarritz France.
#10 Surfing in Hendaye
This is located in the southernmost part of France and it is a beginner-friendly destination. There is a north facing A-frame reef break that features small and easy waves that are excellent for newbies. Hendaye is a great option to go when all other parts of the French Basque coast get too big. The best time to go surfing in this area is all year round and you will get the biggest and more consistent waves during the summer (between April to May) and autumn (between October to November). The winter months are suitable for experienced surfers as it features some challenging big waves.