Olivier,

surfing enthusiast
Surfing holiday in the Landes

Landes born and bred, Olivier grew up in Léon, among the pines and dunes, with the Atlantic Ocean on his doorstep. An inexhaustible explorer, with an analytical mind, he has travelled widely, learning Thai massage, Yoga and surfing around the world! Today dividing his time between France and Australia, he shares his vision of Côte Landes Nature, where he wouldn’t miss the summer months of for anything in the world.

Nearly thirty kilometres of wild beach
Contis, Cap de l'Homy, Saint Girons Plage, La Lette Blanche.
The best surf spots in the Côte Landes Nature holiday destination

Where does your passion for surfing come from?

Surfing is never far from your thoughts when you live close to the Atlantic coast. I have always loved the ocean and water sports in general and I started following friends down to the sea when I was 17 years old. I quickly fell in love with the contact with nature and its ever-changing environment, and the need to respect the power of nature in order to enjoy the waves to a maximum.

What type of waves do you prefer?

The tube, where the wave breaks in deep enough water for the surfer to have space under the curl. Very fashionable at the moment are aerial manoeuvrers but I rarely do that because I seem to break a lot of boards and hurt my ankles! Not many people know that the size of the waves is just one parameter among many — sometimes you have big, soft waves, while others are lower but much more energy intense. It depends on the undertow, and how quickly they rise.

What is the best spot in the region?

The waves depend on a lot of different factors. Each day is different and each wave is different. The wave may come from a storm offshore, which acts like a pebble thrown into a pond. This forms a swell that travels and breaks into a wave as soon as it meets coasts or sandbanks. The quality of the wave depends on the swell, so where it comes from, the frequency, the size, the shape of the ocean floor all change it – the tide determines the water level, the direction of the tide, falling or rising, and the wind. There are a lot of factors… it’s complex. All that to say that no spot is particularly better than any other because it changes all the time…

 

Are you trying to say that it’s a secret?

No!
I often go to the Lette Blanche beach in Vielle-Saint-Girons, which is less commercially developed – in fact hardly at all. There’s plenty of parking space under the pines but no bars or restaurants at the top of the dunes. Sometimes there is a super left wave but two weeks later it might be better at Contis… It changes all the time.

What would you recommend to beginner surfers?

A week-long course or occasional lessons? I think that the week-long courses are ideal for a good introduction to surfing and the ocean, in a fun, effective and safe way. There are several surf schools in Côte Landes Nature, all of which have an excellent reputation. You also have to make it your personal hobby to get good at it, or even push it towards your whole lifestyle.

 

 

Do you have any tips for the Côte Landes Nature?

Oh yes – try travelling by bike from village to village and to the beaches, the network of cycle paths is really excellent, safe and surrounded by the natural world. The amazing food and drink of the South West is always available in the restaurants. For an original way to discover Côte Landes Nature, try horse riding. There are lots of riding centres organising treks in the forests and on the wild and calm sections of beach.

Our suggestions