Surf Spots in France

If your interests include a lively nightlife, rich local history, superb
food and consistent swells, than France is for you. Its long coastline
boasts a glut of hollow beach breaks and some exceptional reef and
point breaks. Besides good surf, what attracts world-class and average surfers alike
is the total surf experience. On a coastline packed full of culture and waves, you can catch A-frame tubes in the morning and then kick back après surf for some good food, wine and sights.

Culture and ambiance aside, the real draw is the waves. Not to worry - France delivers.

The French Mediterranean and the northern coast of Brittany occasionally deliver waves, but the most dependable surf potential lies to the south. The west-facing Atlantic coastline catches swells as they are funneled into the Bay of Biscay. The SW coast of France, known as the Cote de Basque (Basque Coast), renowned for its wealth of surf, runs down to the border with Spain. Hossegor, Biarritz, Anglet and Guethary, to name a few beaches, are popular surf destinations in this wave rich zone. Tubing beach breaks, pumped with swell from low-pressure systems, are the wave du jour when it’s on. The warm months of June – August find the more popular spots thick with people. But if you are willing to explore and come armed with some basic knowledge, you can find your own peak.

Fall, winter, and spring usher in cooler water and more powerful waves, with winter water temperatures plummeting into the mid to high forties. Those willing to surf the colder months will find light crowds and gaping tubes. The bottom line: France’s Atlantic coast is blessed with hundreds of miles of wave-filled experiences. Whether you surf the spitting beach breaks of Hossegor, the mellow waves of Cote de Basques in Biarritz, or tackle a big wave spot like Guethary, you will enjoy your time in surf-stoked France.

Find a surf school in France.


La Torche

Surf Location Brittany region on northwest coastline
Best Swell Direction Northwest, Southwest and West
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction East, Southeast
Best Surf Season Fall
Wave Quality One of the most consistent breaks in Brittany region. Long left with some hollow rights.
The Surfers Crowds in the summer but a generally friendly vibe
Boards All boards work here
Paddle Out Easy to difficult depending on size of swell
Skill Level Intermediate
Bottom Sandy with some rocks. Topography consists of rocky headlands and coves.
Watch Out For… Summer crowds and the occasional rock
Water Condition Relatively clean
 

Lacanau

Surf Location North of Hossegor in Gironde region. Home of the Lacanau Pro.
Best Swell Direction West, Northwest
Best Tide All
Best Wind Direction East (offshore)
Best Surf Season Fall (September-November)
Wave Quality Fair to excellent depending on swell
The Surfers Expect crowds in summer. Overall good vibe.
Boards All boards work here
Paddle Out Fair to difficult depending on swell. It is a beach break, so big days may be difficult.
Skill Level Intermediate
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Crowded lineups in summer months
Water Condition Relatively clean
 

Hossegor - La Graviere

Surf Location Central beach of Hossegor near the seafront plaza
Best Swell Direction West
Best Tide Low to falling tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Autumn (September-November)
Wave Quality This world-class beach break produces pits with intense power. Often compared to Hawaiian juice when firing.
The Surfers All skill levels show up in summer months. In the fall you’ll find experienced surfers hunting serious barrels.
Boards Shortboard
Paddle Out Easy to very difficult. Limb-torturing paddles when all the elements line up.
Skill Level Intermediate to Experienced depending on season
Bottom Sandy with some rocks
Watch Out For… Summer crowds and strong riptides in the autumn
Water Condition Relatively clean
 

Hossegor

Surf Location Long beach with multiple peaks. Don’t miss this fertile stretch of beach if you’re in France. Pick your spot and park your car on the side of the road - access via the dune trails. You can also use the parking lot at Les Estangots…another good spot.
Best Swell Direction Northwest, West
Best Tide Low incoming tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Fall, Winter and Spring
Wave Quality Superb spitting tubes. Arguably the best stretch of beach breaks in France.
The Surfers Pretty good vibe as long as you are respectful. Talent level is high when the waves are firing.
Boards Shortboard to big wave gun
Paddle Out Like any strong-breaking beach break, it can be challenging
Skill Level Intermediate to Pro
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Crowds and thumping closeouts
Water Condition Can get suspect at times, but generally okay
 

Hossegor, France - Surf Video

 

Capbreton -La Piste/WF

Surf Location Located in the seaside resort of Capbreton, just south of Hossegor
Best Swell Direction Northwest, West
Best Tide Low to mid tide
Best Wind Direction East, Southeast
Best Surf Season Fall, Winter and Spring
Wave Quality Good to excellent. This spot is known for spitting tubes close to shore.
The Surfers Heavy localism, especially in the evening
Boards Short board
Paddle Out Depending on the wave size, paddle out can run from easy to difficult
Skill Level Novice to Pro. Tom Curren made these tubes famous.
Bottom Sandy
Watch Out For… Crowds when it’s going off
Water Condition Relatively clean
 

Les Cavaliers

Surf Location 5 km of pumping beach break that runs south to Anglet and begins just south of the river Adour
Best Swell Direction West, Northwest
Best Tide Low to mid tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Fall, Winter and Spring
Wave Quality Super hollow wave helped by a series of jetties/breakwaters. Multiple beach breaks of superb quality when swell is present.
The Surfers Local surfers are skilled and not overly friendly
Boards Short board
Paddle Out Moderate
Skill Level Intermediate to Experienced
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Other surfers and closeouts
Water Condition Pretty clean
 

Anglet- Marinella

Surf Location In Anglet. American world champ Tom Curren lived and surfed consistent barrels in the Anglet area for years.
Best Swell Direction West, Northwest
Best Tide Low to mid tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Fall, Winter and Spring
Wave Quality Quality beach break good for all skill levels
The Surfers Locals rip, and there are lots of them due to the proximity to the city center
Boards Short board
Paddle Out Easy to moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Intermediate
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Crowds
Water Condition Relatively clean
 

Anglet - Les Sables d’Or

Surf Location Anglet
Best Swell Direction West, Southwest
Best Tide Incoming tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Fall, Winter and Spring
Wave Quality Hollow beach break
The Surfers Beginners to Expert, very localized
Boards Short boards
Paddle Out Easy to moderate
Skill Level Beginner to Intermediate
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Localism
Water Condition Relatively clean
 

Biarritz - Cote de Basques

Surf Location Seaside resort mecca south of Anglet and north of Guethary, known for its numerous shops and eateries as well its oceanside castle. Good spot for beginner surfers to catch waves… and the scene. (Look for the castle and you're there.)
Best Swell Direction Anything out of the West
Best Tide Low and mid tide
Best Wind Direction Anything with East in it
Best Surf Season Summer and Fall
Wave Quality Sheltered right point break that is reliant on shifting sand bars. Not much power, which makes it a good starter wave. “Cool” factor is off the charts - it breaks in front of a castle.
The Surfers All kinds of surfers and a multitude of surf craft. The place to be in the summer.
Boards Anything goes
Paddle Out Easy
Skill Level Beginner to Expert
Bottom Sand with some rocks
Watch Out For… Super fuel-injected crowds
Water Condition Clean
 

Biarritz- Gran Plage

Surf Location In front of the gothic casino and down the beach from Cote de Basque
Best Swell Direction West and Southwest
Best Tide Low to mid tide
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season Autumn, Winter and Spring
Wave Quality Hollow and fast wave that works as a good substitute for a trip north to Anglet
The Surfers Experienced surfers. Vibe is okay if you show respect.
Boards Short boards
Paddle Out Typical for a beach break. Can get tough with big swell.
Skill Level Intermediate
Bottom Sand
Watch Out For… Locals in the lineup, naked men on the beach
Water Condition Relatively clean

Biarritz, France - Surf Video

 

 

Guethary

Surf Location Laid-back French town south of Biarritz. The break is to the right of the harbor.
Best Swell Direction North, Northwest
Best Tide On big swells, it will break on any tide. For the rest of us, it takes a lower tide on smaller swells.
Best Wind Direction East
Best Surf Season If you like it big, winter months are for you. Summer produces fun smaller surf.
Wave Quality Excellent if you like large, powerful, open ocean surf. It breaks well offshore compared with most breaks in the region.
The Surfers Experienced surfers tackle this big wave spot starting in September
Boards Short board, long board, or big wave gun.
Paddle Out The wave breaks well offshore, which makes for an arduous paddle. On big days, mix in large shifting peaks, and you could be in for some real work.
Skill Level Novice to Expert. When it’s big…experienced surfers only.
Bottom Rock reef
Watch Out For… Getting caught inside on big days. Crowds on smaller days.
Water Condition Clean
 

Guethary, France - Surf Video

 

Lafitenia

Surf Location Located just south of Guethary near Acotz
Best Swell Direction Northwest
Best Tide Low to Mid
Best Wind Direction Southeast
Best Surf Season Fall and Winter
Wave Quality Right point break with long reeling rides when the conditions are right. Long walls outside and a hollow section inside.
The Surfers Respect and patience go a long way here
Boards Shortboard to longboard
Paddle Out Easy to difficult
Skill Level Intermediate
Bottom Rock and sand
Watch Out For… Rocks, crowds in the summer
Water Condition Clean

 

 

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