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Topic Title: Western Europe Surf
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Created On: 10/10/2017 11:12 AM
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 10/10/2017 11:12 AM
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daner

Posts: 7195
Joined: 04/20/2004

The Hossegor area has always intriqued me for a surf trip. Thinking about a trip to France with my wife. Spend a few days in Paris, then SW France for wine country and surf maybe travel south to the Portugal coast and Lisbon. Unfortunately it appears the best time to go for surf is right around now which is also our peak season. Maybe August??

Anyone ever do that trip and have advice?

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Edited: 10/10/2017 at 12:12 PM by daner
 10/10/2017 01:42 PM
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ww

Posts: 14090
Joined: 08/17/2007

I suspect half of France descends on Biarritz in August and the surf there and at Hossegor goes into hiding.  

It seems to work on North Atlantic storms.  The bathymetry of the Bay of Biscay makes for a wave lens effect--deep canyon reaches near shore.  A swell from the correct direction piles onto Hossegor.  Surfline should have an explanation feature.  

One web source is surf-prevention.com, a mishmash of stuff, but sometimes an entertaining way to pick up a bit of French before mashing the translate button. 

I've been no farther than Paris.  There was a surf/ski shop 50 meters from the hotel.

 

 

 10/10/2017 04:46 PM
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surfinwasatch

Posts: 110
Joined: 05/23/2007

Go for sure. One of my all time favorite trips. My wife and I did our honey moon there. Basque coast and northern Spain. We loved Biarritz Lacanau and of course Mundaka. Tons of waves and cool beach towns in that stretch. Great food wine and people. I'd skip Paris.
 10/10/2017 04:49 PM
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surfinwasatch

Posts: 110
Joined: 05/23/2007

August is still good with just more tourist but it's much warmer and still waves.Fall is the best though. Place gets huge. I was there the last two weeks of October and it was big the whole time.
 10/11/2017 12:42 AM
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epicsurf

Posts: 1344
Joined: 10/25/2003

I was a little further south in Biarritz/Anglet area. It was late July and the place was super fun. Beautiful coast, very nice people, and topless chicks everywhere! Hard to surf with all those hooters looking at you. San Sebastian Spain was really close and a lot of fun too. Get it!
 10/11/2017 09:50 AM
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Greensleeves

Posts: 9693
Joined: 07/22/2003

I've only been to Paris but it was incredible, your gal would probably dig it.



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 10/11/2017 10:16 AM
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ww

Posts: 14090
Joined: 08/17/2007

Crowded Biarritz YouTube.  Grosses vagues à Biarritz durant l'été indien!  YouTube.  Same beach, March 28.  Pay attention to the surf.  It's messy but probably thanks to Mark Cunningham, there's swimmers bobbing around.  YouTube.

I finally dropped into Paris for the first time in March.  I was ready for the real city to not live up to its vast reputation.  There was a bit of that.  Place de la Concorde was even more of a mess than expected.  Major tourist-avoidance zones.  But what I at first thought was a tourist zone close to Notre Dame was great for ten-Euro meals, looked like it was popular with students from the Sorbonne.  Beyond that, the perfect cheese shop.  The Middle Ages museum was a few blocks away.  Farther, Monet, Pisarro.  Rembrandt.  A city designed, somewhat successfully, as a work of art.  $35 French National Orchestra concert.  



Edited: 10/11/2017 at 10:35 AM by ww
 10/11/2017 06:53 PM
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ww

Posts: 14090
Joined: 08/17/2007

Surfline:  mechanics of Hossegor.  New.  

 10/12/2017 04:22 AM
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crnawolfman

Posts: 95
Joined: 01/06/2014

We did that exact trip in September back in 2013. 3 dqys in Paris, 2 in the wine country and 4 days at the shore. We went to a town called Lacanau. Took the train from Paris to the wine country, then drove to Lacanau. Easy drive with a gps from rental company (its in English). THe surf was big! Best place we surfed was a town called Carcans. Highly recommend the trip. Although I hear Paris is now full of immigrants in your face begging....hope not because it was an awesome trip.

 10/12/2017 05:01 PM
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ww

Posts: 14090
Joined: 08/17/2007

This spring, central Paris had heavy security, groups of police and soldiers with automatic weapons patrolling busy places and the Metro.  Checks at all the museums and such.  The military museum (including Napoleon's Tomb and the incredible collection of models of forts) had very careful wanding done by soldiers.  I went by the spot on the Champs-Elysee where,  days after my visit, a terrorist shot a police officer.  

Washington last month had similar museum security checks and wanding to enter Arlington National Cemetery.   

In London, June, the Southbank near the terrorist incident was busy anyway but there were security lines to get into theaters and you noticed security people all over.  I came home with a pile of cheese from Neal's Yard Dairy, whose big store was closed in due to the incident, so I made it to their original store.  

I was comfortable in all three cities.  Sorbonne neighborhood had lots of students, London still has nice neighborhoods and people.  Visited the Kennedy Center for the first time.  The crowd for the show was pretty young, mostly immaculately dressed.



Edited: 10/12/2017 at 05:11 PM by ww
 10/13/2017 02:21 PM
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SurfCaster

Posts: 393
Joined: 02/02/2007

Allez!

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"If I say it's safe to surf this beach, captain, then it's safe to surf this beach!"
 10/14/2017 01:24 PM
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larenyon

Posts: 197
Joined: 10/19/2009

Are there certain months you are limited to going?

 10/14/2017 06:00 PM
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daner

Posts: 7195
Joined: 04/20/2004

Summer or early fall is my window.

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Replace turf grass with native plants that don't need irrigation and synthetic fertilizers or chemicals that can go into our waterways and ocean

 10/14/2017 06:53 PM
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ww

Posts: 14090
Joined: 08/17/2007

Early fall is a nightmare for hurricane risk.  I cancelled a Pacific Northwest visit that would have been during Irma cleanup days.  Instead did Irma in Washington, which was fun in a distracted sort of way.   Felt weird to walk up to the Botanic Garden and be welcomed by a big bed of Florida Gulf coast beach sunflowers.  Still, early fall might have decent air fares and decent travel insurance costs.

Cornwall and London were fine in early June.  Newquay had decent surf.  I had an eye infection.  My sense is that European vacations (and heat waves) might be August-heavy.  Ask about UK and French school schedules?  

Versailles has a helpful online calendar predicting busy days.  I suspect you'd be visiting something other than the biggest historic theme park in France, but between them and Disney Paris, you might get some sense of crowd factor. Perhaps better yet, I think you're in the middle of a thicket of quality first-hand information on non-surf tourism in France.  

For beach-related info, the British are such inveterate surf tourists that I expect plenty in print and on video.  



Edited: 10/14/2017 at 07:24 PM by ww
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