Beaches and Surfing
"The Big Board Eau"
Surf's up! And you thought you had to plan for the Big Sur in California or be the big Kahuna in Waikiki! If you’re a surfer, family, angler or celebrity searching for a memorable beach experience, head to the Côte d’Argent beaches. The Côte d‘ Argent is over 200 km long making this Europe’s longest beach with as many surfing opportunities to match - from beginner to competition rated waves. So, pick up your surf board, start at the top of the Côte d’ Árgent in Soulac-sur-Mer by the Gironde Estuary, and work your way down the coast to finish in fabulous Biaritz!
Surfing fans and MyDestination.com like to refer to the big Bordeaux beachs of the Côte d’Árgent as "The Big Board Eau". There’s more big board water here than you ever imagined!
On the other hand, if you’re not a surfer, you’ll enjoy the variety of beaches of the Côte d’ Argent with your beach towel and sun umbrella, just paddling and people watching through shaded specs. Once in a while meander over to one of the beach restaurants for moules and frites or oysters and chilled Crémant. C’est magnifique!
One of the most developed centres of the Côte d’ Argent is Arcachon and the Arcachon basin, directly west of Bordeaux, where there are excellent restaurants, hotels, resorts and shops and an exceptional harbour for boating and yachting enthusiasts.
Away from main resorts and excluding July and August the beaches of the Côte d’Argent see relatively few visitors and are a poetic dream of crashing surf backed by high dunes such as Dune de Pilat (the highest in all of Europe) and the largest forest in western Europe, Les Landes. But come summer, wake up little Suzie and get ready for the beach party!
There are numerous seaside resorts along the Côte d’ Argent beach including Soulac-sur-Mer in the north, then going south Lacanau-Océan and Mimizan Plage, all of which will have supervised beaches, shops, restaurants and hotels. You’ll also discover great camping locations along the Côte’d’Argent.
France has some of the best surfing beaches in the world, in fact the Atlantic coast is a surfers paradise with surfing spots ranging from gentle to championship level waves.
Here are some of the highlights but we know you’ll find more:
Soulac–sur-Mer is at the top of the Côte d’ Argent near the mouth of the Gironde Estuary and backs on to the green vineyards of the Médoc looking out to the blue sea. Activities? The trilogy of land, sea and air adventures will leave you breathless. But Soulac-sur-Mer with other great beaches nearby is truly a surfing destination. Remember to conserve some of that energy for a great nightlife of casino, bars, restaurants and discos. On the other hand just chill and find a great hotel or camp site.
Le Pin Sec is a long stretch of untouched beach with consistent big waves up to 3 meters. Locate the town of Naujac-sur-Mer just south of Soulac-sur-Mer in the Médoc of the Gironde region. There is an established surfing camp here training all level of surfing abilities. This is a place for serious surfers.
Montalivet is located 15 km south of Soulac-sur-Mer, a small sea resort in the midst of the pines forests. It is considered the French nudist centre. For surfing waves you won’t have to look too far past the parking lot or go north up the coast road for your own space.
Hourtin-Plage is a small resort destination that comes alive in the summer. Find a great beach, camping facilites and accommodation for families. For windsurfing fun go inland to Lac de Hourtin-Carcans, the largest lake in France.
Lacanau-Ocean – Discover this great seaside resort in the Médoc region, the surfing destination par excellence. The area is known for consistent big waves. Champion surfers gather here every year in August to take part in the 'Soöruz Lacanau Pro', a not to be missed stage in the world competitive surfing tour.
Cap Ferret is on the long spit of land at the mouth of the Arcachon Basin with one of the best seascape views from the lighthouse. The Cap is a very popular resort area with elegant homes and sandy beaches, reached by ferry from Arcachon or by road around the Arcachon Basin. Take the beach road north through the pines and try Cap Ferret Le Truc Vert for surfing, camping and easy access to the beach. Keep going and you’ll find even more quiet beach sites of your own to claim!
Biscarrosse-Plage south of the Arcachon Basin is a popular place for surfers and young people in the summer. After surfing the waves, for a change of pace check out sand surfing down the Dune du Pyla, Europe’s largest sand dune - http://myde.st/KEuUGs !
Mimizan Plage is just south of the Arcachon Basin and a beach resort of the Côte d’Argent. There’s camping, restaurants and good hotel accommodation. Try the large parking lot south of the town for easy access to the beach.
Contis-les-Bains is a less crowded beach for surfing and a good family area. Look for sandbars at the southern part of the beach.