The Atlantic coast of France is renowned for its miles of stunning beaches and the wild Atlantic sea. Whilst some resorts in Vendee have gently sloping beaches, areas in south west France including Messanges and Hossegor boast huge waves which attract surfers from around the globe.
In these south west regions a combination of deep water canyons, ever shifting sand bars and circular lagoons of sand known as ‘baines’ combine with the natural tides to offer excellent and changing surfing conditions. If you are planning a holiday in south west France, it is possible to sign up to one of the local surf schools, where English speaking instructors can build your confidence and skills on the water.
This March, it isn’t the surfers that are flocking to see the waves off France’s West Coast. Once every 18 years the spring tide is exceptionally high and 2015 is the year when this natural spectacle can be experienced. The first high tide came on 21st February and there is expected to be regular record breaking waves over the coming month, with peaks due on 20th and 21st of March.
The forces of the moon and sun affect the seas and cause the daily tides that we are used to seeing at any point along a coast. In a spring tide, the alignment of the sun and moon leads to higher than usual gravitational pull that produces waves that are far higher than usual.
These high spring tides can be a fantastic sight to see and tourist resorts along France’s west coast have been receiving a high volume of bookings for March as tourists come to view the exhilarating sight. However, whilst these huge waves are an out-of-season boost for the tourist resorts, they could put pay to many surfers time on the water. The crashing waves are extremely dangerous and whilst experienced surfers may be tempted to challenge themselves, even getting close to the water’s edge is strongly advised against.
By May, when the air and sea temperatures are beginning to warm up and the holiday season begins, the seas will have returned to their usual levels and everyone can enjoy getting back into the water. If you are looking to include surfing in your family holiday, a stay at our Messanges or Les Conches campsites offers you direct access to excellent surfing beaches.
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