Believe it or not, France has some of the best surf spots in Europe.
And you know what they say- You haven’t gone surfing until you’ve gone surfing in France!
With their gorgeous coastline views, plenty of nearby surf shops, and tall waves available all year round on any of their many picturesque beaches, it’s no wonder that this country calls itself “The Surfers Paradise.”
So then, what are the best places for surfing in France?
The answer is pretty subjective and depends on what you’re looking for, but luckily there are options for any type of surfer.
Some of the best places for surfing in France can be found all over the country, in regions like the Côte d’Azur, Bretagne, Normandy, and the Basque Country, and most surfers in France can be found at popular beaches like: Hossegor, Biarritz, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, La Grande Motte, and Arachon.
You’ll have a blast at any of these surf-perfect beaches, and you can ride the waves all year long, it just depends on how experienced your surfing skills are!
From gentle waves for beginners to pounding wall-to-wall barrels, this guide to the best surfing places in France has got you covered no matter what your experience level is- There’s an option waiting at every turn on these coasts!
Best places for surfing in France for Beginner surfers
New surfers in the south of France will enjoy the Cote d’Azur, with its warm water and mild currents that are perfect for beginners.
These areas are ideal for those who want to learn how to surf, because the waves aren’t too large and you’re not likely to get hurt by a wave.
However, it may be difficult for beginners to find the best places for surfing in France that isn’t crowded with other surfers or big swells.
If this is the case, you might consider traveling to an area with less tourists and more waves, like Hossegor for example.
There are many surfing schools located in this area that provide surf lessons for beginners as well.
You may also want to try out surfing lessons in Saint Jean de Luz or Hendaye if you’re new to this sport.
Just remember to be careful, as many beginners tend to overestimate their surfing abilities. If you’re just starting out – always listen to the experts!
Best places for surfing in France for Intermediate surfers
For intermediate surfers, head to Hossegor, which has some great left-hand breaks near La Grande Plage.
In Hossegor itself, venture down the coast from La Grande Plage to find Soulac-sur-Mer, which is one of the most popular surfing beaches in France.
Soulac-sur-Mer has plenty of super consistent waves that are perfect for intermediate surfers, and plenty of shops nearby where you can rent boards or buy anything else you might need for your day at the beach!
From anywhere in Hossegor, it’s super easy to get down to Soulac, so give it a shot!
Cannes is also an ideal spot for intermediate surfers looking to catch some waves on the Cote d’Azur. Nearby, St Tropez is another great option for intermediate surfers looking to ride the waves.
If you’re hungry for more options, consider checking out La Tranche Sur Mer and Royan. They both provide an amazing experience for all levels of surfing skills!
Best places for surfing in France for Advanced surfers
If you’re an experienced surfer, go to nearby Bayonne. Bayonne has some really powerful waves because of the jet stream that runs through the city’s beautiful beaches.
Just be careful when surfing here, as you can get into trouble pretty quickly.
This is a great option for advanced surfers looking to challenge themselves and get the most out of their surfing trip. If you’d like to try something similar, go to nearby Biarritz or Saint-Jean-de-Luz!
Advanced surfers can also try to tackle big waves at Lacanau or Le Penon.
Best places to take surfing lessons in France
If you are a complete beginner and looking for somewhere to take surfing lessons in France, there are a number of good options, including Hossegor.
Hossegor is famous for its sandy beaches and strong waves in the surfing area, and it is at this beach that you will find most of the surfing schools in the area, as well as some of the best surf shops.
Located in Hossegor is a surfing school that offers a huge range of lessons in different languages, for every experience level, both group lessons on the beach or with a private instructor.
You can book everything in advance online or just show up at one of their many locations!
Another great spot is in the town of Lacanau, in the west of France. This popular beach destination is equipped with a professional surfing school where you can learn to surf at all levels.
Lacanau also offers lessons for beginners who just want to enjoy paddleboarding and other water activities, if that’s more your speed.
If you’d like to try something similar for a beginner, go to nearby Saint-Jean-de-Luz where the range of equipment and lessons is as good as Hossegor’s.
With strong winds all year round and huge waves, Bayonne is the place to go for pro surfers looking to challenge themselves. Here, it’s easy to find experienced instructors willing to help novice surfers grow their skills and quickly come up to speed at this popular beach.
Check out my Ultimate Guide to Visiting Bayonne, France for ideas on things to do, see, and eat in this city!
If you’re looking for an instructor that’s a little more advanced than others, then head down south or Lacanau. Because of the range of surfing conditions, the instructors there are amongst the best around.
Whether you’re a seasoned surfer, a few years in, or a complete surfing newbie, the thought of surfing in France might be your dream come true. There are many great places to surf on the French coastline and most importantly, there is a perfect option for all skill levels.
The Côte Basque has some of the best waves for advanced surfers, while Soulac and Hossegor offer great spots for beginners.
Biarritz is a favorite among families with young children because its sand-bottom ocean floor makes this beach safer than most others on the coast.
Hossegor Plage is a perfect surf getaway for those looking for fewer crowds and more waves.
Whether your goal is to ride some waves or simply just watch others do it, there’s a beach for everyone.
So pack your board shorts, head out and hang loose!