If you love surfing in Europe, you’ve probably already heard of Lacanau, one of the top destinations for Bordeaux surfers. The location has gained much publicity when surf contests started running in Lacanau. A popular surf spot usually means there is a high quality wave there. But it also means crowds. Still, if you compare Lacanau to SW France – Anglet, Hossegor… Lacanau is a bit off the beaten track.
Is Lacanau Suitable For Beginners?
Sure! There are many surf schools that cater to the needs of novices. Lacanau is one of the best places to be if you are a beginner surfer. The waves are not super hard (depending on the swell, like everywhere) and the bottom is sandy. You won’t risk injuring yourself in the event of a fall. Usually the areas that are meant to be used by surf beginners are marked, so you don’t have to worry about being inconvenienced by experienced surfers.
If you don’t want to travel with your favorite board, you can rent all the equipment that you need on spot. There are plenty of places to do that. Whole street that is facing the ocean is lined with surf shops where you can rent a board and restaurants where you can get your post surf grub.
Things to Do in Lacanau When You Are Not Surfing
Each august, Lacanau is home to Lacanau Pro, an event where seasoned surfers compete to earn a spot in the WSL Qualifying Series. Another great advantage of this location is the fact that it is fairly easy to get to from Bordeaux. You can reach Lacanau in about one hour by car or motorbike (btw if you are a rider, here you can find the best sportbike tires).
When to Visit and Forecast
Hands down, the best time to come to Lacanau as a surfer is in early and late summer, from may to June, or during September and October. During these periods, the beaches are considerably less crowded and the water is still warm.
In mid-summer, Lacanau is not a great location for two main reasons. Firstly, there is an influx of tourists and the beach gets pretty busy. Secondly, the swell is less consistent. If you are considering visiting this surf location during the winter, we advise that you reconsider your plans as the colder months of the year are improper for surfing.
Of course, if you are an experienced surfer, and you don’t mind the freezing cold water, you can join the other adventure seekers that surf in the area in winter. But expect huge waves and lots of blown out days.
Forecast Info and Surfing Spots to Try
Lacanau has a special website where you can find a detailed surf forecast for up to three days in advance. The data provided to interested surfers includes info about the wave direction, wave period, weather forecast, wind direction and wave height.
In total, there are around eight easily accessible surfing spots in Lacanau: l’Alexandre, la Nord, la Centrale, la Sud, l’ecureuil, Jah Point, le Lion and la Barrière.
Another big advantage of Lacanau is the fact that you can find plenty of campsites, from small ones that are perfect for recluses to bigger ones where you can find all the things that you need for an extended holiday. Apart from campsites, the area is also packed with hotels and other types of accommodation that you can book online. There is also a really cheap camper van parking in Lacanau, if you are into camper van travel and want to make a camper van trip along the French coast.
Overall, Lacanau is the typical holiday seaside resort. There are many cafes, souvenirs shops and restaurants that you can check out if you have some time to spare. The resort offers many other activities that you can try, from golfing, to horseback riding, hiking, cycling and even wine tasting, given its proximity to the Medoc region.
When compared to some of the other surf locations in France, Lacanau stands out because of the ubiquitous surf culture that defines the place. So, given all of its advantages, Lacanau is a place that is worth adding to your bucket list!