How French surf spots compete with Brazilian ones

Surf is developing everywhere in the world. Both the lifestyle and the sport itself attract new people every day. In France, the trend is the same. The top spots are getting crowded (for good reasons) and new spots are found for every level.
How French surf spots compete with Brazilian ones


Surf is developing everywhere in the world. Both the lifestyle and the sport itself attract new people every day. In France, the trend is the same. The top spots are getting crowded (for good reasons) and new spots are found for every level.

As a French citizen, who wants to inspire people traveling the world, I felt obligated to share with you  the best surf   spots in France. You probably already know at least one of them, Hossegor, but I want to prove you that there is more than this spot and that France is a big surf country.

Surfing in France

On the West Coast (especially in the South), surfing is all part of the French culture. The coast is called La Côte Basque and is known for both his beaches and his waves. That’s why some celebrities enjoy their holidays in Biarritz or Anglet. Since the Atlantic Ocean is not wavy every day, those celebrities can relax during calm days and surf when the waves get bigger. Basically, there is room in France for everyone: on some spots, the beginners can directly learn from the pros. On others, considered more professional, beginners let the pros surf and learn from them by watching.

Top 3 best surf spots in France

1. Hossegor

This spot may sound familiar to your ears. If you cannot remember where you have already heard about this spot, I will refresh your memory: it is one step of the world cup. In 2017, it was the 9th step, after Trestles in California and before Moche in Portugal. During all the year, surfers invade the beach and practice their best surf. The mythic beach in the Landes forest possesses powerful and voluminous waves which span on great distance. They are ideal for pros. On the other hand, if you are a beginner, we do not recommend that you go to this spot.

2. Les Cavaliers

Located in Anglet (also on the Cote Basque), this spot hosts regularly local competitions where the pros show off their best tricks. The beach is so large (more than 3.5 kilometres) that there is room for all surfers. With around 10 spots, it makes it one of the most surfed places in France. It can also be a good location for families since non-surfers can watch the pros surfing or even do other activities. The region is touristic, so you will easily find sea activities.

3. Les Estagnots

The last spot to complete the top 3 is even Norther than the other two. Located in Seignosse this spot is not as famous as the previous two. It still hosts some famous international competitions, like the Swatch Girls Pro. It is a good spot for both beginners and pros and that’s why I wanted to mention it.

What I recommend you do, as a surfer who is travelling in France, is to try going to Hossegor first, in order to see the best. This way, you can see how you feel about the waves. Then, if it does please you, if this is too hard for you, simply go back to your car and drive ten minutes North to Les Estagnots. Indeed, Hossegor and Les Estagnots are next to each other’s. If you prefer walking, you can even join Les Estagnots by the beach. Walk along the sea heading to the North and stop when you find the spot of your dreams.

Surfing in France as a beginner

In this top 3, we named 3 spots for hardened surfers. Except Les Estagnots which is a little bit easier, the waves you will see in those spots are impressive.

What if you are a total beginner? Don’t worry France has spots to offer you if you are just starting to surf. The rule is simple: the more North you go, the calmer the waves will be. Be careful not to travel too high North. Basically, from Biarritz to Le Cap Ferret, you will find great spots wherever you park your car.

We advise you to try the Cap Ferret spots. It will be a bit long to drive to because it is a peninsula. It will take around 3 hours from Hossegor to get to the Cap Ferret. This is where I had my first surfing experience, during summer 2018. It was not a success, but not because of the waves (it was probably because of my poor level). I also had trouble with my board. Consider investing in a great board before surfing, to learn the great habits and perform as well as possible. If you have issues with your board too, you should inform yourself on how to choose your board. A good board will provide you better results in a shorter lap of time.

Traveling to France

If you want to join the French surf vibes, it isn’t hard at all. Simply book plane tickets to Paris and then either take a train or rent a car. The trip is 4 hours long by train and around 10 hours long by car. You could also consider flying to Spain and do the same. It is a little bit shorter to drive from Barcelona than from Paris. To do that, I recommend that you use  flight comparators   to check what are the best options for you. Those tools will help you to plan your trip as well as possible. If you want to come to France to see the world cup’s step in Hossegor, we encourage you to check the  worlds cup organization   to save the dates.

Surf consciously

As you probably know, the top spots are getting crowded (and this article will not help, I admit it). But it’s everyone’s right to enjoy the best waves in the world. That’s why we ask you  to surf   responsibly. Know your limits, always keep in mind that other surfers want to have fun too, so you should respect the priority rules in order to please everyone. Surfing abroad can be a little disturbing because you are outside of our zone of comfort, but you do not have to prove anything to the locals. Simply have fun.

Guillaume Borde, Roots Travler
Guillaume Borde, Roots Travler

Guillaume Borde is a French 19-year-old student who launched his website to inspire people to travel and share his values. Interested in minimalism, he also writes books in French during his spare time.

Frequently Asked Questions

In what ways do French surf spots rival Brazilian ones in terms of wave quality, surf culture, and accessibility?
French surf spots offer unique wave quality with a variety of breaks, a rich surf culture influenced by European charm, and accessibility to other famous surfing destinations. They rival Brazilian spots with their distinct seasonal swells and a mix of beach and reef breaks catering to all levels of surfers.

Michel Pinson
About the author - Michel Pinson
Michel Pinson is a Travel enthusiast and Content Creator. Merging passion for education and exploration, he iscommitted to sharing knowledge and inspiring others through captivating educational content. Bringing the world closer together by empowering individuals with global expertise and a sense of wanderlust.

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