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where to surf in French Vendée?

surfing in vendée - wildsuits

The "Vendée" is a department in the south of "Pays de la Loire". Vendée is extremely famous in france for surfing. Easy to access, surfing in the Vendée offers a wide variety of spots and waves.

How do I get there from London?

Various means of transport are available for surfing in the Vendée from London:

  • ➢ By plane - in the direction of Nantes Within a few hours you’ll get from city to sea. Allow 2/3 hours for the flight and 1 hour by car from the airport to the closest surf spot. This option is pretty budget, starting at around €250 inc. car rental.
  • By car via the motorway The road trip will take around 8 hours. Fuel and tolls included you’re looking at between €110 - €130. Fill your car and split it between friends for the cheapest mode of transport.

Where? When? How?

The Vendée, or "Côte de lumière”, offers a multitude of surf spots, with good waves for all abilities: beach breaks, reefs, point breaks and sheltered spots...

  • Beachbreaks (Waves crashing over sandbanks)
  • Reefs (wave crashing over rocks or corals)
  • Pointbreaks (waves crashing along a bay)
  • Folding spots (spots allowing to surf in more accessible waves during big swells and storms)

Below you can find a list of the main spots in the Vendee, but don’t end your search here - you’re bound to be rewarded from venturing off the beaten track and sure to stumble across other spots bursting with Vendee charm.

To make your choices easier and to get the most our of your surf trip in France, here is a little overview of the different corners of the Vendee, from north to south.

SURF in St Jean-de-Monts

Surfing in St-Jean-de-Monts
Photo Credit: Michel Arnaud

The spots

The whole beach of St Jean de Monts is good for surf. The beach of St-Jean-de Monts is a large sandy beach (beachbreak). Its main wave breaks along the boom making it an easy paddle out. This surf spot works mainly in big swell from SW (South-West) to NW (North-West) at high tide. This is mainly a fallback spot.

Accommodation

  • Nautical Base of St Jean de Monts
  • Ocean SurfClub

After Session

  • "The Art Café", a little snack at the end of the session
  • "The HQ", for wild nights
  • "Coté Plage", eat and drink with your feet in the sand

SURF at St Gilles-Croix de Vie

Surf spot in St Gilles Croix de Vie
Photo Credit : LD Prod

The spots

The whole bay of St-Gilles-Croix-de-vie is suitable for beginners to experienced surfers. Multiple peaks on this large sandy beach (beachbreak). Waves are usually smaller towards the north end and bigger towards the south, take your pick. We suggest you to head north in heavy swell.This spot works with South-West to North-West swell. For an offshore wind, prefer North, North-East, East and South-East orientations.

Accommodation

Surfshop

Mika Surf Shop (official Wildsuits wetsuits retailer) - good vibes, good advice and quality products.

After Session

  • "Le Théo Spot", find them in front of the spotlight. Cosy lounge bar, amazing home-brewed beers...
  • "Coté Vin Coté Bière", in the town centre. Breathtaking view of St Gilles, good wine and cold beers.
  • "Mates Coffee Store", for a good coffee after a session, plus a little bit of shopping!
  • "La Petite Cale", snack on fresh and local products. Views over the surf and open all year round.
  • "La Godillette", for crazy burgers
  • "La Bonne Pâte", for a quality pizza night

SURF at Brétignolles-sur-Mer

Le spot de la Sauzaie

Spotlight on Sauzaie in Vendée
Photo credit : LD Prod

The Sauzaie spot is one of the most famous surf spots in the Vendée. It is a reef break that offer great left and right waves. This spot captures the swell extremely well and is mostly suitable for experienced surfers. Victim of its success, the Sauzaie spot is regularly overcrowded and the atmosphere is sometimes tense. This wave works on mid tide (incoming or dropping) depending on tidal coefficients. The offshore winds on this spot are when the wind blows from East and North-East sectors.

Les spots des Dunes 1 & 2

These two spots are multiple peaks beachbreaks on which there is always something to slide on. These spots operate at all tides according to the configuration of the sandbanks and are suitable for all levels of surfing (beginner to expert surfer). The best wind direction for these spots is North-East - South-East.

Accommodation

  • “Breteam Surf Club”, located at the Dunes beach
  • “Atlantic Lezard Surf School”
  • “Breti Surf School”
  • “Keep Cool Surf School”
  • “Octopus; surf school, SUP and waveski”, located at Plage des Granges

 AFTER SESSION :

  • "Le Bell's", the local surfers' spot! Great after session atmosphere guaranteed
  • "La Cabane", oyster bar and local delicacies, situated on the Auzance river (the tides of Brétignolles.)
  • "Chez Yoyo", the snack hut for after a session at the Dunes beach.

SURF at les SABLES D’OLONNES

THE BAY DES SABLES SPOT

Surfing in the bay of Les Sables d'Olonnes
Photo Credit : LD Prod

The Bay des Sables spot is a multiple peaks beachbreak very easy to access and suitable for all levels. This surf spot become a quality fallback spot in heavy swells (especially the north end of the beach.) The bay des Sables d'olonnes works all tides with a blowing winds from the North-West, North, East and South-East.

LE SPOT DE TANCHET

Surfing in Tanchet aux Sables d'Olonnes
Photo Credit : LD Prod

The spot of Tanchet is a beachbreak located between two reefs, especially known for it's right at low tide. This surf spot is a stop of the French Surfing Cup. Tanchet surf spot works on all tides during neaps. It's works operates in northeast, east, southeast swell and with south winds. This spot is for all levels. Moreover, strong currents and some rocks appear. Caution is therefore required on this spot!

THE BARN BEACH SPOT

This is a beachbreak separated by a river that flows into the ocean. It's a multi-pic spot on the right. On the left, the peaks are more concentrated. The left is long and quiet while the right is fast, powerful and of quality. This spot works with rising tide on the right and high tide on the left side with a wind from North-East, East and South-East sectors. The beach of Les Granges is not a suitable spot for beginners.

Accommodation

  • “Olonna Surf Club”, city club
  • “Institut Sport Océan”, stronghold of the BPJEPS surf training program
  • “Surf Zone”, surf school of the bay

SURF SHOP

"Extreme Surf Shop" (official Wildsuits wetsuits retailer)

AFTER SESSION

  • "MayDay Café", a nice lunch in front of the harbour
  • "Aloha Bowl", acai, smoothies and a tasty snack in front of the spotlight
  • "Le Reef", for unbelievably big and juicy burgers
  • "Bar Le Bronx", reminisce your best sessions
  • "The Cotton", for wild nights!

SURF at SAUVETERRE

THE SURF SPOT OF LA PLAGE DE SAUVETERRE

Surfing in Sauveterre
Photo credit : Olivier Brusetti

t's a beachbreak with multi-peak works on an incoming tide. This surf spot picks up swell well. It requires a little walk from the parking lot. The conditions are best with north-easterly, easterly and south-easterly winds. This spot is great for both experienced and novice surfers.

Accommodation

  • Sauveterre Surf Club
  • Ohana Surf School

SURF AT LONGEVILLE-SUR-MER

THE SURF SPOT DE LA PLAGE DU ROCHER

A beachbreak with multiple peaks that are easy to access and suitable for all levels (from beginner to expert). Depending on the sandbanks, the spot works on all tides (depending on sandbanks) and with east/north-easterly wind.

THE SPOT OF LA PLAGE DES CONCHES

Surfing at the beach of Les Conches in Longeville-sur-Mer
Photo credit : Longeville Surf Club

This long beach is a beach break with multiple peaks depending on sandbanks. This spot can offer hollow and powerful tubular waves. For optimal surfing conditions, privilege an incoming tide and northeast to east winds.

THE SPOT OF BUD BUD

Spot of Bud Bud in Vendée
Photo credit : LD Prod

 

This spot is probably the most popular spot for high quality surfing in Vendée. Hidden behind the forest and the dune, this spot offers hollow and powerful tubular waves. It's the local "Hossego" of Vendée but closer to the UK! Like the spot of the Conches, the favourable winds for this spot are North-East and East winds. Also prefer the incoming tide for surfing. This is a spot that is not suitable for beginners. Victim of its success, we often find a strong localism, beware of localism.

Accommodation  

  • “Longeville Surf Club”, city club
  • ”Manu Surf School”, surf school and surf camp
  • “Surf School of the Rock”
  • “Inside Surf School”

SURF AT LA TRANCHE-SUR-MER

THE SPOTLIGHT ON THE BEACH OF THE HIDEAWAY

Surfing at the beach of la Terrière at la Tranche-sur-Mer in Vendée

Similar to the beach of Les Conches in Longevilles-sur-Mer, the beach from la Terrière to la Tranche-sur-mer is a multiple peaks beachbreak that can offer high quality, powerful & hollow waves. La Terrière beach is good with northeast to southeast winds. Depending on the swell the spot is accessible to all surfing levels.

THE PIER SPOTLIGHT

Surfing at the Embarcadère at La Tranche-sur-Mer in Vendée

A sheltered beach break offering a right at the foot of a pier). This spot suffers from overcrowding. So watch out for localism! This spot works with strong swell and from mid-tide to high tide. Concerning the wind, the spot works with West, North-West, North, North-East and East winds.

Accommodation

  • Lobstore Surfshop & School
  • CNT (Cercle Nautique Tranchais)
  • Koa Surf School

SURF SHOP

  • Belly Spin Bodyboard Shop (official Wildsuits wetsuits retailer)
  • Lobstore Surfshop
  • Nova Fun Surfshop

AFTER SESSION

  • The Starfish & Coffee: awesmome for lunch or snacks after the session
  • The Crew: to have a drink or a snack in front of the sea

You want to book a trip, a surf camp or surf lessons in Vendée?

Our partner, Shakabay, offers many rentals, surf schools and surf camps to discover below: