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Short haul surf tripping: South France

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Short haul surf tripping: South France

If there’s one thing that Northern European surfers learn early on, apart from that winter surfing can be a grim affair, it’s that the Atlantic coast of France is the closest and warmest place to go for some out-of-season sun and quality waves.

A surfer girl makes a nice top turn on a clean green wave in South France
Late Autumn fun in Hossegor

I took a road trip down to the Cote Basque last October, and scoring some sunshine, was pleased (but not surprised) to find myself surfing in just boardies at Hossegor, for the region lays claim to having the warmest water temps in Europe outside of the Mediterranean.
Another amazing attribute is that a finger of deep water cut into the continental shelf points in from the sea towards Hossegor, and as all surfers are budding oceanographers, we’ll all know that deep water running into a beach equals more wave power. And so it was that I was pulling into lush little pits while the swell report read a paltry 0.9m at 10 seconds.

A fast peeling wave reels along a sandbar in Anglet, South France
Cavaliers beach , just up the coat from Biarritz. This is where to go to get your first tube.

The atmosphere in and out of the water was very chilled out; plenty of waves for all – literally if the peak you are on gets a bit too crowded just head up or down the beach to find an emptier one. And unlike much of Europe, Hossegor in particular has a spacious, roomy feel to it, far from a cramped-up coastal town it reminded me more of a resort town such as you might find on the East Coast of Australia.
I reckon a good way to hit Hossegor is to look for a offshore or light wind forecast (anything with East in it is good) and get on it at short notice. But if you want to book your South France surf trip some months in advance, get on it before 31st October and benefit from £50 off.
Been to this region and got some tips to share, or got some questions to ask us? Let us know in the comments below!

Hans van Mourik

Co-founder SurfaWhile, ♥️ tech, travel, sports & outdoors.

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