France is a great place to visit. It’s a lively destination with so much to do around the country. With mountains, beaches, large cities, and a diverse landscape, the country boasts so much fun to be had.
The most well-known things about France might be Paris and the Eiffel Tower followed by fresh baguettes and wine.
However, there is much more to the iconic country than just those little famous landmarks.
Besides the large cities, fashion, and historical monuments, there are beautiful, breathtaking beaches and tons of surfing opportunities to hang ten along the coastline of France.
That’s why I’m are here to discuss the best surf towns in France. After living in France for 3 years, I spent my time checking out the country at a slower pace.
I was able to find more local destinations and travel more off the beaten path.
France has some epic surf, the water is a bit cold, but France still have world class surf spots, from beach breaks to point breaks and even some big wave surfing. France has it all.
Best French Surf Towns
There are a few popular beach towns and surfing spots along the Atlantic Coast of France, but you should travel the coast and find your own piece of paradise if you’re willing.
There are tons of great spots just waiting to be discovered along the coast. Below you’ll find a list of some of the best places to surf in France.
These places are well-known and popular for their surfing conditions and fun coastal environments.
In addition, the southwest coast of France has tons of surf breaks and great waves for all riders if you’re willing to search for them.
Keep reading for the five best surfing spots throughout France:
One of the best beach breaks in the country is Lacanau.
It is a small town an hour west of Bordeaux. It’s a popular surfing destination on the Bay of Biscay in South Western France and one of the best surfing spots in Europe.
The Bay of Biscay has great year-round surfing conditions. Lacanau is one of the best surf spots because it has excellent waves with some barrels.
Lacanau also hosts the WCT Lacanau Pro each year which attracts tons of people to the small coastal town.
With a long coastline, Lacanau has tons of surfers that can enjoy the stellar waves simultaneously. Surfers of all levels can find some great waves here, too.
Overall, the waves are super high quality in Lacanau and deserve recognition.
The beach in Lacanau is super long and there is a nice boardwalk near the beach to shop and grab a bite to eat.
With such a long beach, you can find quiet spots and places where there are lifeguards.
Also, being only an hour from Bordeaux, there are tons of places to grab wine and enjoy the beautiful ocean views.
Biarritz is on what is known as La Côte d’Argent (The Silver Coast). The Silver Coast meets the border of Spain and is the last part of the French coastline.
This small coastline runs from just past Arcachon Bay down to the Spanish border.
The Silver Coast boasts great surfing conditions with Biarritz being the most famous place to surf on the silver coast.
It is right on the boarder of basque country.
Biarritz is known for its top-notch swells and, on top of that, has excellent beaches and tons of surfing schools. You will love this beach break and the town.
If you’re new to the sport or want to hang out with like-minded people, join a surf school for the week and rent gear and take lessons.
The main beach in town is protected, which attracts tons of beginner surfers, so you may want to head out of town a bit if you’re more experienced with the sport.
Besides the great surfing conditions, there is a ton of things to do in Biarritz, making it the perfect place to visit.
Biarritz is one of the most popular surfing locations in Europe and people visit not only for the great waves but the coastal experience.
Year-round surfing competitions are hosted here, like the Roxy Pro in July and the Quicksilver Maider Arosteguy in April.
Spring and fall are best for more experienced riders because the summer crowds have dissipated.
However, summer is fantastic for beginner surfers because there are many things to do and the surfing conditions are excellent.
Hossegor is located about a half-hour north of Biarritz. It has some of the biggest waves in France and huge swell. This is where you go for Big Wave Surfing.
Because of the excellent conditions, the Quicksilver Pro Surf Competition is held here each year. There are surf schools all over town too for the beginner and intermediate riders who want to work on their skills.
On top of the great surfing conditions, Hossegor is an all-around great place to visit with cobblestone streets, bike paths, cafes, surf shops, and more.
It has an almost Hawaii-type vibe but with a European atmosphere.
Hossegor is a super easy town to get around aimlessly while enjoying the views and the small restaurants and shops.
Surfing is the main attraction, but there is so much more to do. There is also a vibrant nightlife scene so that you can have fun all day and night in Hossegor.
Capbreton is just minutes south of Hossegor and is another great surfing spot. The beaches might be similar, but Capbreton has some great breaks.
Le Santocha is the best spot to surf in Capbreton and many surf schools teach their students around this area.
The best part is that Capbreton is a bit less popular than neighboring towns Hessgor and Biarritz, so you can expect the beaches to be a little less crowded, ideal for advanced surfers.
Capbreton can be broken into two parts: the main downtown center and the beachfront area.
The beachfront has a great marina and resorts, the perfect place to stay during your time in Capbreton.
The small fishing town is a quaint place to visit, surf, and vacation. Once you’re ready to take a break from the ocean, you’ll find that there are tons of things to do in town.
You definitely won’t get bored; Capbreton would make a great place to vacation during your surfing adventures in France.
Hendaye is interesting because it’s the southernmost town on the west coast of France, bordering Spain.
It’s the most southerly surf spot on the west coast of France and has some great waves. It’s also known for its large swells.
Along with its excellent surfing conditions, Hendaye has a bustling harbor, open-air markets, magnificent cathedrals, and tons to see and do.
The best part is once you’re done with Hendaye, head to Spain and try the surf conditions in that country too!
Hendaye can be broken up into two parts: the beach town along the water and the historic town center; both are special and unique in their own ways.
Hendaye is the perfect place to explore during your surfing adventures.
Once you’re ready for a break from the water, head into town and check out the historic buildings while grabbing a bit to eat and window shopping.
There is also an impressive chateau on the outskirts of town known as Chateau Abbadia. The land surrounding the castle is a protected natural park with hiking trails along the water and beautiful, scenic rock formations worth checking out.
Where to Surf in France
The west coast of France, from the region of Brittany down to the Spanish border along the Bay of Biscay, is the best area for surfing in France.
Brittany is on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. From the peninsula down to the Spanish border, coves and diverse landscapes create different surfing opportunities along the coastline.
The Mediterranean is an excellent place for swimming and getting a tan, but it doesn’t have the best surfing conditions.
Your best bet for surfing is on France’s west coast along the Atlantic Ocean, where you’ll find consistent, high-quality, year-round waves.
Best Time to Surf in France
From June through August, the summer is the most popular time to surf in France. Mainly because lots of people visit local beach towns to try their hand at surfing.
Beginner surfers will enjoy surfing in the summer, but advanced surfers may want to consider visiting in the spring or fall.
The waves tend to be better, the beaches are much less crowded, but the water is also colder.
Because of the crowded beaches in the summer, the fall months from September to October are considered the best time of year to surf in France.
Not only is this due to a reduction in the number of riders and tourists visiting the beach towns. The water is also warmer than in the spring, so all together, it’s the best time of year for surfing in France.
However, if you are in France during the summer, you can still have a lot of fun, and you’ll be able to find a spot to surf comfortably. You truly can’t go wrong any time of year when surfing in France.
Conclusions On The Best Surf Towns In France
While France might not be the top surfing destination in the world you think of when you think about surfing. It’s still a great place for beginners and advanced riders alike.
The waves on the west coast of France are consistent and quality year-round, with summer being the most popular time of year to visit and ride but fall is the ultimate best time of year to surf.
Many large surf competitions are held in France, proving that it has high-quality surf conditions. You can count on good breaks and great times when visiting France to surf.
The small surf towns also have quaint cafes, restaurants, and shops that make the trip even more special and exciting.
When you’re choosing your next surfing destination, consider France. Not only would you have a great time surfing, but you’d also have a great vacation in general.
France is one of the best places to visit and should be added to your bucket list.
Do you know another best surf town in France that wasn’t mentioned on this list? Say so in the comments below.
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