Overview of surfing in Hossegor
The Hossegor area of France is found on the Southern part Atlantic coast. This region is well know worldwide as one of the premier stretches of beachbreak surf. The waves here have been awing people with their intensity and hollowness for years. The area here consists of a small, French, coastal town and stretches of urban beaches that give way to dunes and more beaches as you head North and South. The town itself is family and tourist friendly, most popular in the summer, when there are good waves. But the real time to come for the surf is Autumn and Winter, when big Atlantic swells thunder over the sand. The crowds leave and the highest quality waves arrive.
Hossegor lies in the Landes region of France, which means damp, colder winters and drier, warmer summers. Spring can bring choppy, onshore winds as opposed to the fall and winter which usually urns the winds offshore for at least parts of the day.
Autumn is the best season to surf in France. The kids are back at school, the adults back at work, the water is still warm, and the waves get bigger and more consistent. The low-pressure systems start forming up in the North Atlantic and send lines of swell marching straight into France’s beachbreaks. Winter is great as well, as long as you are ready to be challenged by the freezing temperatures and heavier conditions.
In Summer, the surf is less consistent and smaller. You might even face a few flat spells if you are unlucky… Boardshorts and bikinis are acceptable attire this time of year, but a 3/2 is a safe option. But you will also need to deal with the crowd, which doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to enjoy some epic sessions, especially if you are ready to walk and explore. Spring is probably the worst time to surf here as the wind patterns pick up in the worst ways possible, tearing up incoming swell.
The spots in Hossegor, Seignosse, and Capbreton are all directly exposed to Atlantic swells from NW to SW direction, offering a large variety of world class beach breaks, with plenty of waves all year round. Be aware of massive tidal and sand changes that greatly affect the quality of each break. If you can get a local to talk about the where and whens of scoring, listen and take notes. The first ad most notable spot to touch on is La Graviere, the site for the Quicksilver Pro France for years. This spot used to be a gravel pit, but now churns out some of the shallowest, heaviest, and most perfect beach break barrels in the world. The waves here break close to shore and are known to snap boards and bones with ease. At bigger sizes it becomes a spectator spot with many surfers “lamenting” that they left their step ups at home. La Nord is another section of beach here that holds the most size out of any spot here. The outside bar is shifty but holds up to triple overhead. If you can make the paddle out through the channel on a big day you might be rewarded with the biggest pit of your life. Plenty of the other beachbreaks here are smaller and more manageable, even on bigger days elsewhere.
Access to Surf Spots
If you are in town you can walk or bike to most spots. If you are outside of town a car is nice to have. No need for long walks or hiking to get to the surf, its all quite available.
Hossegor, is about 35 minutes drive from Biarritz airport or 1.5 hour drive from Bordeaux-Mérignac airport. You can also catch a bullet train to Bayonne (30 min) or Biarritz (35 min). It can also be interesting to check the flights to Bilbao and drive from there, as you can sometimes get better deals than the French airports
Local taxis and a rental car providers operate from the airports and train stations. You can also catch a shuttle bus.
There is a large variety of options here. From high end hotels and resorts to cheaper motels or BNBs in the housing area. There is also camping outside of town for those more interested in roughing it.
Sometimes there are flat spells. Luckily there is plenty to do outside of surf. First off, the food scene is incredible here, check out the various wine bars and high end restaurants for a delicious variety of cuisine. Other activities include numerous golf courses to choose from as well as skate and water parks. In the summer there is also a big party scene if that is your vibe.