N: 43°29′ W: 1°34′
Biarritz has a long surfing history as the first place that the sport became popular in France. The surf scene here introduced Europe to the concept of riding a wave and the culture that surrounds it. To this day it remains one of the best and most sought after surf destinations in Europe. It is truly a must see for surf fanatics from across the world.
Surfing in Biarritz
The city itself is alive with and proudly represents the surfing culture it created. Because of the centrality of surfing within this regions contemporary history, there are numerous surf spots that offer incredible waves. If you have a car then you are at an instant advantage as there are variouse great beaches that surround Biarritz. However, if you don’t then you will not miss out as the beaches within Biarritz are perfect for all skill levels and are located only a short walk from the cities bustling centre.
Surfing Grande Plage
Grande Plage is perhaps the most iconic beach in Biarritz. The cobbled street of the Old Town quarter are filed wth independent surf shops, independent cafes and beautiful Basque restaurant, However, if you follow the path then the golden sands of the iconic Grande Plage will quickly pop into view. It is the best known beach in the city and can therefore become extremely busy very quickly. However, it is an incredibly long beach so a good spot can always be found.
The walk along the promenade is a stunning view of the Ocean and the pro surfers riding the waves. The waves at Grande Plage can get quite big but the break tends to be quite close to shore. The Iconic nature of the beach makes it incredibly attractive to Pro surfer’s so a good days spectating can always be had. I would compare the feeling of surfing here to something like Manly in Sydney.
Surfing Cote des Basque
This beach is relatively quiet in comparison to the shores of Grande Plage. The wave are slightly more tame but they are by far more reliable and can carry on almost indefinetly. The waves are gentle but the ride time is what makes this beach so special as the waves can travel unbroken into shore. This makes it extremely popular with longboard’s and beginners. A large amount of surf schools can be found along the shore line. It is great to see the beaches that often don’t get as much tourist attention.
Surfing Outside the City
The region that falls to the south of Biarritz has variouse locations that cater to all skill levels. Illbaritz is a quiet location that remains a favourite amongst local surfers when the swell in Biarritz becomes too intense. Further too the south in the region of Hendaye a sheltered beach with matching calm waters can be found and is a beautiful spot to soak up the summer sun. If you are looking for big wave surfing then only one place comes to mind, Guethary. Even if this kind of surfing is a bit above your pay grade then the waves are still a spectacle to witness. You will need a car in order to get there.
Surf Facilities in Biarritz
Biarritz is typically known for its luxurious shopping and its political connotations as hosting the annual G7 conference. However, as you stroll around you will discover a far much more relaxed and bohemian side to the city. Surf shops can be found in abundance. Aside to the usual tri-colon of Quicksilver, Billabong and Rip Curl, numerous local brands are represented strongly and should be prioritised at all times.
The former chic and Monte Carlo-esque character of Biarritz has increasingly made room for the popularity of surf culture. There is truly something for everyone in this magical city.
SurfaWhile in Biarritz
Our partner SurfaWhile has a partner in Biarritz which invites you with open arms to come and study French in combination with surfing. The school is located in a beautiful villa within walking distance from the beach. So in case you are looking for the true combination of French, the French lifestyle, surfing and the Basque country, this is your place.