7 surf spots in France for beginners

Beginner surf in France

Do you start surfing and do you fancy the French waves? Then discover the 7 best surf spots in France to enjoy surfing as a beginner. These surf spots will also allow you to improve your surfing skills.

Are you a beginner?

That is quite a difficult question. Whether you are intermediate or perhaps already advanced, or even a Pro.

We try to give an explanation:


You never surfed or occasionally surfed. You can surf the white water of the broken wave on a good day and stand on your board. You surf on a larger surfboard (from mini Malibu to a soft top).


You can surf down-the-line. So you are passing the white water and riding to the left or to the right of the wave, depending on the direction the wave breaks. You also know how to make (slight) turns on the wave. And you can duckdive.

You can surf on both a smaller and larger board.


You can surf on multiple boards. You paddle out easily. Even if the conditions are challenging with currents and larger waves (2 meters plus). You simply surf rail to rail. And your cutbacks are also good. You have various boards for different types of waves.

You easily surf on a reef and / or a pointbreak.


You are constantly looking for the barrel when there are hollow waves. You set the cutback very sharp. Whether the wave is half a meter or 4 meters high. You get everything out of the wave. You probably have a fairly extensive quiver.

But where can you go as a beginner in France?

France has a coastline of thousands of kilometers. Of course there is always a wave for a beginner.

Below is a list of our 7 favorite destinations for beginners, because they:

  • Provide shelter if there is a thick swell
  • The waves break “softly”.
  • The surroundings are stunning.
  • You can take surf lessons.

Here you will find them in France, with the description and photo below.

7 surf spots in France for beginners

1. Plovan

In Brittany you will find many opportunities for beginners. The coastline is full of bends and bays, so you can always find a smaller wave combined with an offshore wind. And if there are hardly any waves to be found, then there is a spot somewhere that’s picking up anything.

Plovan is such an example.

It’s near the famous La Torche, but Plovan is much quieter. And the waves break very “soft”.

2. Penhors

Penhors is next to Plovan. At the harbor the waves break very soft again. So you can also surf here. And you can easily paddle out through the port (officially forbidden). It never gets really crowded here. And the water is also crystal clear.

If you are looking for surf lessons in this region, check out Soul Surf Skol. The mobile surf school.

Are you looking for an overnight stay nearby? Then check with our friends of Surfhouse Bretagne.

3. Les Dunes

A little further south we arrive in the Vendee. De Vendee is underestimated by many. But here the waves come rolling in abundantly. And the Vendee can count on the most sunshine in France, along with the Cote d’Azur.

Les Dunes is a wonderful surf spot. And has a large beach. So room for everyone.

In addition to the beach you will find Camping Les Dunes.

4. L’Amelie

L’Amelie is located in the Gironde region. Near Bordeaux. A well-known region for many tourists. So here it can be a bit busier during the summer holidays. But what’s nice about L’Amelie is that the waves do not break as full on the coast as for example at Lacanau.

So the familiar image of the dunes, the endless beaches, but more relaxed waves.

5. Cote de Basques

This place almost has a cult status because of the idyllic location and the house on the rocks. Moreover, the Roxy Pro is held here annually. A surfing competition for the Pro ladies on longboards. That is not for nothing. You often have mellow waves here. But of course the surf schools know that too. So it is often busy here in the high season. But afterwards you can drink a beer in sizzling Biarritz.

6. Erretegia

Erretegia is located directly under Biarritz. Few tourists know the place. The locals mainly surf here, but it is rarely crowded.

Also for French people it is not ideal, because you only have a small parking lot. And you have to walk a bit. Who cares when you find a wonderful beach with nice waves? And with a great place for lunch.

Check here our spotguide of Bidart (Erretegia is one of the spots).

7. Hendaye

If it’s ON in France, this is your salvation if you still want to surf waves.

Small waves will then roll into this large bay. And the beauty of this spot is the environment. You are very close to the Pyrenees. This makes this an excellent destination for surfers who also have an eye for nature.

Check here our spot guide of Hendaye.

So what will it be for you, Brittany or the Basque Country?

Sources we used

Sources we’ve used for this article:

  • I Love the Seaside
  • Magicseaweed
  • Wannasurf
  • StormRider Surf Guide France

And of course our own experience with surfing at these spots.