Have you just started surfing and do you want to catch some waves in France? Find out where the 7 best surf spots for beginners in France are located. These spots will also allow you to improve your surfing skills.
Are you a beginner?
Or are you an intermediate surfer, advanced or even a pro?
To make things a bit clearer check out the complete descriptions here. But we see a beginner as follows:
You have either never surfed at all, or just a few times. On a good day, you can ride the white water of a broken wave and get up on your surfboard. You use a bigger surfboard (from a mini Malibu to a softtop).
Where to go in France – as a beginner
France’s coastline spans across thousands of kilometers. Of course, you will always be able to find a good wave for a beginner here.
Here you will find a list of our 7 favorite beginner destinations, because they:
- Provide shelter in case of a strong swell.
- The waves break ‘softly’.
- The view is beautiful.
- You can take surfing classes here.
You’ll find them here in France, with a description and picture attached to each number.
There are plenty of opportunities for beginners in Brittany. The coastline is full of turns and bays, so you will always be able to find a smaller wave that is sheltered from the wind. Even if there are barely any waves, you will find a spot somewhere that will offer enough swell.
Plovan is one of those spots.
Near the famous La Torche, but much less crowded – and the waves there break very ‘softly’.
Penhors is next to Plovan. Once again, near the harbor, the waves break very softly. This makes it a great surf spot. Next to the harbor, you can paddle out quite easily. In addition, it never gets too crowded here, and the water is crystal clear!
If you’re looking for surf lessons in this area, check out Soul Surf Skol. This is a mobile surf school.
Would you like to stay somewhere in this area? Check out Surfhouse Charcuterie.
3. Les Dunes
A bit more to the south, you will find the Vendee. The Vendee is underestimated by many of us[RH2] , but it has plenty of waves to offer. And together with the Côte d’Azur, the Vendee offers the largest amount of sunshine in the entirety of France.
Les Dunes is a lovely surf spot. And with its huge beach, there’s plenty of space for everyone.
Next to the beach, you will find Campsite Les Dunes.
L’Amelie is located in the Gironde area, close to Bordeaux. It’s a well-known area for most Dutch people. It can be a bit more crowded during the summer holidays. However, a big advantage of L’Amerlie is that the waves don’t break as heavily on the coast as, say, at Lacanau.
You’ll definitely find the dunes and infinite beaches here that we’ve come to expect from France, but the waves are more relaxed.
5. Côte des Basques
Due to its idyllic location and the house on the rocks, this spot has nearly reached a kind of cult status. In addition, the Roxy Pro – a surf contest for women on long boards – is held here every year. Not without reason of course; you can generally find some mellow waves here. Of course, the surf schools know this as well, so it’s often busy here during the high season. Still, if you choose this spot, you’ll get to have a beer in sizzling Biarritz after your surf session.
Erretegia can be found under Biarritz on the map. There aren’t many tourists that know about this spot. It’s mostly locals that surf here, but it hardly ever gets crowded.
It’s not ideal for the French either, as the parking lot is relatively small, and you have to walk quite a bit. But who cares if you’ll get a beautiful beach with great waves in return?
Even with unfavorable conditions everywhere else, this is the place to be if you desperately want to catch some waves. The best thing about this spot is the view that you get in this area. As it’s very close to the Pyrenees, this is the perfect destination for surfers that love nature.
In our opinion, your best bet as a beginner is either Brittany or the Basque country, due to the winding coastline. This provides protection from waves that are just a little bit too high, so that you can surf comfortably and make plenty of progress.
Sources we’ve used for this article:
- I Love the Seaside
- StormRider Surf Guide France
And of course our own experience with surfing at these spots.