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Surfing Biarritz : A Complete Guide

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

A perfect surf session followed by a 5-star meal, it doesn’t get much better than this!

Biarritz sits on the south coast of France and has been a very popular destination for years amongst celebrities and the higher class.

As of recently, this luxurious city filled with casinos, spas, and resorts has become extremely popular within the surfing community.

Surfers from all around the world fly to Biarritz to experience the extremely consistent and quality waves that this city has to offer.

So, if you are interested in ending a perfect surf session with a spa day and 5-star dining, keep reading this article to find the best places to go while you’re visiting!

What’s So Special About Surfing in Biarritz?

Waves in Biarritz

One thing that makes Biarritz so popular amongst the surf community is how consistent its waves are.

Although the size and power of the waves may fluctuate throughout the year, you are almost always guaranteed to find a wave breaking within this city.

However, from October-April is when most experienced surfers will travel here to catch the better end of the swells.

The Surf Culture in Biarritz

Over the past couple of years, Biarritz has become a more relevant surf destination for travelers all around the world.

Since this city has historically been the surfing capital of Europe, it is no surprise that the people here make a lot of their living adapting to surf culture with surf shops, rental stores, and surf schools.

Knowing this, there are many accommodations for beginner surfers who may need additional guidance in the waters, but still plenty of breaks for more skilled surfers who are confident enough to sit with locals in the lineups.

Equipment Needed to Surf in Biarritz

The average water temperature in Biarritz ranges from 58-65 degrees Fahrenheit, making the ocean relatively warm all year round. Still, the water may reach lows of 55 degrees in winter, which may mean you need a full suit.

Don't forget reef-safe sunscreen, too!

However, if you are planning on visiting during the spring or summer months, you should be all set with a spring suit or just your bathing suit.

The Best Surf Spots in Biarritz

La Grande Plage

Grande Plage is a wave that can be good for all levels of surfing. On larger swells, the waves form a bit of a steeper wall and hollow out at times.

This means that it could be a little more challenging to surf and is better suited for more experienced surfers.

You’ll find these stronger waves during North or Northwest swells which typically occur from September to March.

However, most days produce pretty manageable and consistent waves for beginner and intermediate surfers to test out.

Since this wave is so well known for being consistent and rideable by all types of surfers, the biggest thing to watch out for is the crowd.

Before paddling out, make sure you know how to avoid running into other surfers in the lineup and that you are ready to be patient with your selection of waves.

La Cote des Basques

La Cote des Basques is another wave that can be suitable for all types of surfers. On the north side of this beach, you will find a wave that is notorious for longboarding.

As the wave breaks a bit softer but still stands up, it is perfect for a longboard to glide on and walk up and back from the nose.

If you take a walk to the southern end of this beach you may notice more of a concentration of shortboarders. This break is placed around a group of rocks and typically picks up more swell.

Because of this, the crowd typically remains pretty small and consistent for intermediate to advanced surfers. If you are planning to visit here on your next trip, the best seasons range from September to November when you catch a few UV rays along with your waves.

Le Miramar

Le Miramar is a reef break that is placed just north of La Grande Plage.

Conveniently placed in front of a cliff, the peak of this wave gains a little extra protection from winds, making the conditions cleaner and more consistent all year round.

One thing to note is that this wave crashes over a combination of sandy and rocky bottoms, so ensuring that the tide is mid-high is essential so that your fins or board don’t hit any hidden rocks.

While riding this wave, you may notice that it is a bit steeper, and faster, and can even range from 5-8ft.

For this reason, it is recommended that only intermediate or advanced surfers paddle out here.


Hendaye is known to be one of the best places along France’s coast to learn how to surf.

This beach break provides a long stretch of slow crashing that help beginners find their own place in the lineup.

Since this wave is populated with beginning surfers and a plethora of surf schools, there aren’t many locals or rough conditions to look out for.

If you are looking for a beach with a fun environment, mellow waves, and even a few people to help you learn how to surf, Hendaye is the perfect place for you!

La Milady

La Milady is popular for its ability to pick up swell when no other break is.

This means that as the rest of Biarritz is flat, you can still expect a few waves to be breaking at La Milady. With that being said, this break is very susceptible to change with the tides.

During low and mid tides, you can find soft lefts peeling off the rock on the south side of the beach and more powerful rights on the north side.

However, during a high tide, the waves become powerful shore break that crashes directly onto the sand.

So, if you visit during a high tide, you may find a lineup of bodyboarders making the most out of the shore break, instead of your typical surfer sitting further out.

What To Do In Biarritz When the Waves Are Flat

Biarritz is a beautiful city that is rich in history and Spanish/French culture. So, if you find yourself in town during a rare flat spell, put on a comfortable pair of shoes and get outside.

There are plenty of famous buildings and monuments scattered throughout the city to see before your trip is over. Some notable places are the Imperial Chapel, Rocher du Vierge Chapel, Villa Belza, and Musee de la Mer.

All these places are filled with a fascinating history and surrounded by beautiful scenery for you to enjoy.

Surfing in Biarritz

It’s time to save up all your spending money for a surf trip to Biarritz! Come experience the surf culture and beauty that this city has to offer, all while reclining on the beach or in a nice hotel. But don’t forget to use this article to find some of the best breaks and ones that fit your skill level!


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