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The wild Atlantic coast of Southwest France is a paradise for surfers, especially beginners. The long coastline offers a mix of beach breaks and a vibrant surfing culture. The hot summers and consistent waves make this region an ideal destination for both experienced and aspiring surfers.

In this article, I’ve included the best surfing spots on the Atlantic coast. My list features beaches near Bordeaux, the Basque Country, and the Landes department, along with the top surfing schools in each location. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro surfer, this guide will help you decide where to surf in Southwest France.

Best surfing beaches on the Atlantic coast – Basque country and Les Landes

Cote de Basques in Biarrtiz

Located in the Basque Country, Biarritz is a city steeped in surfing history that offers a variety of surf spots catering to different skill levels, from the powerful waves at Grande Plage to Marbella Beach’s challenges. The ideal beach for beginners in Biarritz is Cote de Basques an iconic surf spot, bustling with surf schools in summer and offering a sheltered location and gentle waves.

Surfing lessonsLa Vague Basque School offers exceptional surfing lessons on the legendary Côte des Basques beach. Whether you’re starting or aiming to refine your skills, La this school offers a range of lesson options, including group lessons for a social experience and private lessons for personalized attention. Book your surf lessons here

Surfing in Biarritz
surfing schools in Biarritz- Lost in Bordeaux

Bidard in the French Basque county 

Located between Biarritz and Guéthary on the Basque coastal path, Bidard offers over 5 kilometers of coastline with world-famous surfing spots. Spring and autumn are ideal for beginners, with consistent waves and fewer crowds. 

Among the most popular surfing spots in Bidard is Plage de l’Uhabia. Known for its long, fun waves, accessibility, and summer lifeguard presence, this beach is a favorite spot for beginners and families. The beach’s spacious layout and gentle waves offer a welcoming environment for learning and enjoying the surf.

Plage d’Erretegia is another great spot for surfing in Bidard. Surrounded by cliffs and part of a Sensitive Natural Area, this beach provides a picturesque backdrop for surfing in tranquility and beauty. It is easily accessible by foot or bike and there’s summer supervision, which ensures a safe and enjoyable surfing experience.

Surfing school – Located at Chemin de Parlementia, Taiba Surf Club caters to all levels, from beginners to experienced surfers. Their certified instructors focus on safety, paddling techniques, and wave selection, so you can feel relaxed and safe to experiment. Book your surfing course here

Plage des Cavaliers in Anglet

Plage des Cavaliers in Anglet is a renowned surf spot for its powerful waves and international competitions. Despite its challenging waves, the beach is also suitable for beginners, especially during mid-tide. With nearby amenities and access to other surf spots along the Anglet coastline, it’s a popular choice for surfers of all levels and a must-visit destination for surf enthusiasts.

Surfing schoolGliss is a great school that offers surfing courses adapted to any individual level and includes personalized instruction, top-notch equipment, and small group sizes for focused learning. Book your course here

surfing schools for kids in the Basque country
Take surfing lessons on the Basque coast – by Lost in Bordeaux

Hossegor

Hossegor is one of the most renowned surfing spots worldwide. Known for its fast, hollow waves, vibrant après-surf scene, and acclaimed surf camps, it’s truly a surfer’s paradise. Hossegor features a three-kilometer stretch of sand and four distinctive surf spots. Among them is La Sud, the most beginner-friendly spot in Hossegor, offering good protection from big swells.

Surfing school – Surf Trip in Hossegor is a perfect place for beginners, with ideal conditions year-round and a one to six-day course for a group of up to 8 people. You’ll learn basic techniques, and surfing history, and gain confidence and autonomy. Book your surfing lessons here

Surfing in Hossegor, Southwest of France
Surfing school in Hossegor – by Lost in Bordeaux

Seignosse

Seignosse offers some of the most thrilling beach breaks in southwest France, capturing the full force of the Bay of Biscay swell. Though often overshadowed by neighboring Hossegor, Seignosse’s peaks feature wedgy, hollow waves that attract surfers of all levels.

Surfing schoolAuthentic Surf has a tailored beginner’s experience led by passionate instructors Michaël and Mikaël. You’ll receive theoretical guidance before hitting the waves, and enjoy personalized instruction in the water for rapid progress. You can book your surfing adventure in Seignosse here

Where to surf near Bordeaux and Arcachon

Lacanau Ocean

Boasting one of the oldest surf clubs in the area, Lacanau Ocean is a historic hub for surfing in France. With its sandy beaches, serene lake, and lush pine forest, It is one of the best surfing vacation destinations. Known for its quality waves, Lacanau offers safe learning conditions in shallow waters, which makes it perfect for beginners.

Where to take surfing lessons in Lacanau – BO & CO surf school offers tailored lessons to all ages and skill levels. They have advanced equipment, especially suitable for beginners, like surfboards that make learning in the water much easier. Out of your 2-hour lesson, 1.5 hours will be spent in the water! Book your surf lessons here

Lacanau Ocean is the perfect place for surfing near Bordeaux
Surfing at Lacanau Ocean – by Lost in Bordeaux

La Salie sud in Arcachon

Located near the Dune du Pilat, La Salie Sud in Arcachon offers year-round surfing with reliable conditions amidst stunning scenery. Summer is perfect for beginners, while the shoulder seasons provide punchier waves with fewer crowds. Overall, it is a great spot, ideal for both learners and experts.

Surfing lessons in Arcachon It’s On Surf School offers tailored lessons for all levels. Led by Stéphane and his certified team, enjoy this amazing surf spot with its stunning landscape, including La Salie Sud. Book your surfing lessons here

Plage Du Truc Vert in Cap Ferret

Cap Ferret offers a surfer’s paradise with 25 km of beaches and numerous surf spots, including Plage Du Truc Vert. Nestled between Arcachon Bay and the Ocean, it’s known for its unstable sandbanks, creating ideal surfing conditions for all levels, including beginners! 

If you want more info about Cap Ferret check out my articles Best things to do in Cap Ferret and The best beaches in Cap Ferret

Surfing lessons in Cap Ferret– Perfect for beginners, Cap Ferret Surf School offers a safe, dynamic intro to surfing. Choose group or private sessions, tailored to your level. With top-notch gear and expert instruction, you’ll have the best first surfing experience on this beautiful beach. Book your surfing course here

You can also join this amazing surfing campRemi’s Surf School offers an amazing opportunity to discover Cap Ferret’s surfing scene in a one-week surf camp. Their program includes a laid-back beach house stay, daily surfing lessons, and delicious meals. Perfect for social beginners and those looking to improve their skills in a warm environment. Book your place in the camp here

Surfing in Medoc - near Bordeaux
Surfing in the Bordeaux region – by Lost in Bordeaux

L’Amelie in Medoc Atlantique

Médoc Atlantique offers 124 km of beaches, 22 of which are supervised. They extend from Lacanau to Pointe de Grave and offer surfing spots for all levels. Summer welcomes beginners, while winter attracts locals with swells and empty peaks. L’Amélie Beach is a beautiful, supervised, sandy beach, located near the charming town of Soulac sur Mer. You can find reliable waves and a picturesque setting for safe swimming and family fun.

Where to take surfing lessons in Medoc AtlantiqueNouvelle Vague in Soulac-sur-Mer offers an exhilarating experience with spots suited to your abilities and expert guidance along Gironde’s Atlantic coast. Ideal for beginners, these small-group sessions ensure personalized attention from passionate instructors. There are also dedicated surf lessons for kids aged 3 to 10. You can book your surf lessons here. 

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*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in!