The surf spots of the Basque Country

Biarritz
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Do you want to surf in the Basque Country ? It is a sport that allows you to enjoy the pleasures of the sea and the benefits of the ocean, with the magnificent Basque coast as a backdrop.

Here is a complete sporting activity, which combines balance and flexibility. It's a dance with the waves ! But it's not just a sport. The culture of surfing is a state of mind, an encounter with the ocean... In Europe, this culture landed in Biarritz, at the end of the 1950s. And it was a tidal wave that overwhelmed the city and change its image. Surfing fashion is flooding the shops, schools are setting up in the cabins on the beaches, tourists flock, boards under their arms… This love story between Basques and surfing will not fade over time!

It must be said that the Basque coast conceals many corners of paradise for surfers, between its reef breaks, the rocky and steep areas of the coast, and its beach breaks, its beautiful sandy beaches, and even a few point breaks. It is an idyllic and wild setting very popular with surfers. The Basque coast is a popular destination and competitions are linked there. It is not for nothing that we nickname the Basque Country, the “ French California ”.

In addition, surfing is practiced in all seasons and whatever the weather. Windy days, when the ocean rages, will give you beautiful waves and thrills. Calmer days are ideal for an initiation or to perfect your technique!

Did we make you dream? Here we go! We reveal the best surf spots in the Basque Country, from north to south, from Biarritz to Spain.


Opening photo: Surf session in front of the rhune Photo © Moibtz | Pixabay


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Surf in any season Surf in any season! Photo © Edouard Chassaigne | Pexels

Anglet beaches

North of the Basque Coast, the beaches of Anglet are very famous. Les Cavaliers, la Marinella, les Sables d'Or, la Chambre d'Amour… You will find no less than 10 spots on this part of the coast. Each has its specificities and its followers. In general, surfing is practiced there at low or intermediate tide.

The Cavaliers Beach is famous for its tubular waves. It is a competition beach where challenges regularly take place: O'Neill Surf Challenge or the Quiksilver Pro France. The O'Neill Surf Academy also sets up there during the summer. Moreover, the famous surfwear brand has taken up residence in Anglet for many years.

La Marinella is very lively with its many schools, because it is a good beach for initiations. You will also find the Anglet Surf School and the Gliding Club there. It is nestled between two dikes that protect it. After your internship, you will enjoy the bars and restaurants in the area, to stay in the mood and discuss surfing, of course!

La Chambre d'Amour is a beach very popular with tourists, so the surrounding spots are reserved for good surfers to avoid collisions. On the Plage de la Madrague, you will find the Madrague Surf School.


The beautiful waves of Anglet The beautiful waves of Anglet. Photo: © Matt Cardinal | Adobe Stock

The beaches of Biarritz

In Biarritz, you have to go to the Côte des Basques Beach. At low tide, this beach break is an easy spot. The sandy bottom allows beginners to learn to surf, while limiting the risks. At high tide, the sea reaches more protruding rocks. More experienced surfers can have fun. The locals are not mistaken! From the ocean, the view of the cliffs of Biarritz is impressive. This is THE spot not to be missed, whatever your level.

If you are more experienced, the Grande Plage de Biarritz is for you. It offers beautiful waves and surfers appreciate it in all weathers. Facing the Casino and downtown, the environment is very nice and it has all the amenities.


good ideaRead our article to enjoy a magnificent walk on the coast of Biarritz. On the program: the Côte des Basques, the Villa Belza, the Rocher de la Vierge, the small fishing port, the large beach, the impressive Biarritz lighthouse...


Surfing in Biarritz Biarritz is the spirit of surfing in the Basque Country. Photo © Lesley Williamson

The beaches of Bidart

At low and mid tide, the Plage des 100 Marches is a great spot for beginners, with waves that are easy to surf. It is nestled in lush greenery and allows you to surf in front of a postcard! However, it is not very accessible and does not have any convenience. It is therefore a little corner of paradise for nature lovers.

On the other beaches of Bidart, you will find more comfort, as well as schools:


Bidart Photo © Lamax | Adobestock

The beaches of Guéthary

You can surf on all the beaches in Guéthary, however it is the Parlementaria spot that is the most famous. It is a reef break , that is to say a rocky area, to be reserved for experienced surfers. You will surf on long waves. Some even break records and sometimes reach 250 m in length.

In general, the beaches of Guéthary are made for tube lovers. The Alcyons beach also provides big waves.


The good idea Read our article on Guéthary, a surfer's paradise, it's all about preparing your stay.


Surfing in Guéthary The ideal spot for everyone! Photo © Lesley Williamson

The beaches of Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Lafitenia beach is a point break. It is quite rare on the French Basque coast. It offers long, very regular waves. The point break ends on sand or rock, it is better to have a good level before you confront it.


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Hendaye beaches

The Grande Plage d'Hendaye is the last French spot. This very long beach has the advantage of generating small waves without great difficulty. As they are very numerous and close together, it is a good place to surf your first waves independently, when you are just starting out.

To initiate or improve your skills, here are the surf schools at your disposal:  


    Hendaye beach Hendaye Beach in calm weather © Mélanie Oliva

    The beaches of the Spanish Basque Country

    Crossing the border, the Spanish Basque coast is transformed. It is the mouth of the Bidassoa that changes the landscape. Long beaches give way to rocky cliffs falling steeply into the ocean. Surfing is therefore radically different!

    The closest to the Spanish surf spots is in San Sebastian. Beginners will appreciate the Playa de la Zurriola. It is a spot accessible to all, depending on the tide and weather conditions.

    In Sopela, Arrietara is a safe beach, with easy waves, making it a favorite spot for beginners.

    Near Bilbao, Punta Galea Beach is a spot for experienced surfers. On the other hand, the thrills are waiting for you! Beginners will stay on the beach but will take the opportunity to observe these experts and admire the prowess of these surf stars. The Punta Galea Challenge is part of the Big Wave World Tour and it is a must see sight for surf enthusiasts.

    Right next door, Mundaka Beach offers a nice point break. These perfect waves, very popular with surfers, deserve them. They require a good mastery of surfing and a high sporting level.

    Find out more: Consult our page on the beaches of the Basque Country to discover them and find out practical information.

    Here we are at the end of our journey along the Basque coast. We only have to wish you to take advantage of the Basque beach breaks, point breaks and reef breaks and to surf beautiful waves!


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