The Basque Country and the birthplace of surfing in France and Europe, Biarritz, is famous worldwide for its diverse surfing spots and for hosting international surfing competitions each year. Here’s our guide to finding out where you should ride in the Bay of Biscay, depending on if you are a beginner or an experienced surfer.
If you are just getting started, you should opt for beach breaks, which will give you more time to stand on your surfboard and apprehend the sea in a more gentle manner. Recommended beaches for beginners are Côtes des Basques and Grande Plage de Biarritz, and the Ciboure port in Hendaye. If you would like to take a class, you can contact Jo Moraiz, Hastea Surf School Biarritz or Biarritz Surf Training.
Large beaches are great, because they welcome all types of surfers. They might get pretty crowded at times, but it’s a nice way for beginners to watch and learn from the more advanced surfers. A recommended spot is Plage Milady – much-appreciated by the locals and with access for people with disabilities who enjoy surfing. If you would prefer a less frequented spot, you can go to the Pavillon Royal beach in Bidart, which is about 15 minutes away from Biarritz and which is also famous for its popular camping spot.
If you are a seasoned surfer, there are several spots where you can get your adrenaline pumping. Local surfers suggest Parlementia and les Alcyons in Guethary, Socoa in Ciboure, or La Gravière in Hossegor. Most of them head to Lafitenia in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, though it’s not so easy to get in.
Well known for its impressive reef break, with sessions reaching up to six meters, Parlementia beach is the spot where you’ll see a lot of local, experienced surfers… and a lot of hipsters.
If Point Break (the original, not the pointless 2015 remake) is one of your favorite movies, and if you, like Bodhi (played by the late Patrick Swayze), are in search of the perfect wave, head to Saint-Jean-de-Luz and hope to catch the Belharra reef break. Be careful though, only very experienced surfers should venture here.