Out of all the cute towns in Europe, Hossegor, France became our favorite. It’s surfy, it’s foodie, it’s nature-y. If you are like us, this too will become your favorite place in Europe after one step into Hossegor. The combination of cobblestone streets, bike paths, french bakeries, and big name surf shops, will leave you feeling like no other surf town could possibly compare to this. It is reminiscent of Hawaii but with a modern revamp of European architecture. This under the radar town carries with some things that none of the other towns had:
Reason #1: Surf
The foremost reason you should visit Hossegor is, and always will be, for the surfing.
Along this stretch of beautiful white sand beach, there are six different surf spots, all for different levels of experience. The southernmost beach, La Sud, is a super fun, peaky wave that’s perfect for beginners and intermediates. The most famous break, La Nord, just a hundred meters further north, can be a slightly heavier wave on certain swells that only experienced surfers can handle, but on others, can be a peeling point break for intermediates.
La Gravarie, Le Culs Nus, and Les Estagnots, which all sit side by side, are all fun peaks but can get very heavy on large swells. No matter your skill level, there is sure to be a wave for you in Hossegor. Check surf forecast here.
Related surfing blogs: Best women’s wetsuits, Guide to surfing the world’s longest lefts, Surfing the california coast, Guide to surfing Bali, and Beginner and Intermediate’s guide to surf spots in Europe.
Reason #2: Pedestrian and Bike friendly
What makes the town so great is how accessible it is. From anywhere within Hossegor- the beaches, the camper-stop, your hotel room, or even in the surrounding towns, Capbreton or Seignosse, it can be accessed by a pleasant bayside walk or beachside bike ride. You will find every excuse possible to make a stop in this town, from, “Oh, I’m out of wax, I guess I should go into town” to, “Wait, I didn’t buy bread for dinner when I bought pastries this morning.”
Related Blog: 50 Things To Know Before Your First Trip To Europe
The bike paths are also wonderful for an active lifestyle and that too contributes to an awesome vibe here. Daniel, our oldest son who runs ultra marathons, said Hossegor was one of his favorite places to run in all of our travels through Europe. Even if you don’t run, the small inlet lake is perfect for walks at sunset.
Reason #3: Food (mainly chocolatine)
In case you needed another convincing reason you’d love to visit Hossegor town, not surprisingly, the food is amazing! The traditional french pastries lived up to everything we expected of them. Visits to the boulangerie for chocolatine (chocolate croissants) or glaces (ice cream) at Tante Jeanne were made after every surf sesh not to mention our daily afternoon visits to stock up on fresh bread for dinner (seriously, we ate a lot of bread in France). The fruits and vegetables are incredibly fresh in France and make sure you visit the boucherie for meat. There’s also great french cuisine restaurants to be found in all parts of the region.
Reason #4: Surf Shops
Treading on the beach or waltzing through this town, you’ll probably be surprised to find that nearly the whole population of Hossegor surfs. We haven’t been anywhere else with such a large proportion of surfers to citizens. From the full lineups down the beach to the abundance of surf shops like Quicksilver, Roxy, Ripcurl, Billabong, Hurley, Patagonia, and Oneill, as well as the numerous outlet stores, it’s evident here that surfing is on everyone’s mind.
For a surfer, it’s pretty cool to be somewhere with all these stores, not only for obvious reasons (shopping) but more that these brands create an awesome vibe through the town, especially during the pro tour when they throw signing parties for the Pro Surfers.
Reason #5: The Stoke
This place clearly lives and breathes surfing and that’s what makes Hossegor so desirable. Not because of the waves or the surf shops, but because where there is surfing there is usually ‘stoke’.
Stoke, the word surfers use to explain feelings of incomprehensible happiness or excitement; a state of bliss when you catch a perfect, cruising wave; feeling completely satisfied with something. Combine that with the French’s motto of ‘Joie De Vivre’, meaning, joy for living or, zest for life and you find some of the happiest people on earth and one of the many reasons that make Hossegor special. Despite anyone’s skills in the water, the ocean is a part of everyone here. They share the stoke, and they share the zest for life.
This energy is the ‘X’ factor in the community and it’s what keeps people coming back here instead of going to the hundred other places with great waves.
Related Blog: How To Be A Badass: 10 Lessons My Mom Taught Me
Reason #6: Events & Festivals
With such delighted people, it’s not shocking that there’s always something going on here. The most famous being the Quicksilver and Roxy Pro. During this time in October, everybody in Europe with an interest in surfing comes to visit Hossegor and the atmosphere is better than ever. One night of the three-week period, the whole town has a festival, music echoing through the village, every surf shop giving out drinks and food, and little kids skateboarding in the street.
It’s also great to be here during holidays when beach lovers from all around France make their way to this special little town.
Reason #7: Nature
Hossegor’s charm comes from its smallness, but that’s not what makes it remarkable. What differentiates Hossegor from the nearby popular surf destinations of Biarritz and Portugal, is its stunning natural features. Not only is it located one some of the best surf in the world, but it also lies within the forest, is next to a small lake, and is only an hour from the world famous, Pyrenees Mountains.
This is why it attracts, not tourists, but the adventurers, the campers, the travelers. There are so many opportunities to find peace in nearby nature. From one side of the dunes that sepertate the road from the beach you are in a very open, wave filled stretch of beach, while on the other side, you’re staring at the canopy of a lush green forest. Trees are everywhere. Even the homes around here are covered in trees making them like large fairy tale cottages. And most of all, don’t miss the incredible sunsets that grace this coastline.
Reason #8: Camping
Interestingly, only about half the people that you’ll see in Hossegor are locals. Many of the tourists who come to visit Hossegor are either surfers or nomads often traveling by motorhomes or campervans.
To reduce the number of cars parked overnight at the beach, the city has an awesome “camper stop” only a kilometer from the center of town and three kilometers from the ocean.
This makes it so much more enjoyable for us because it’s a comfortable place to hang out amongst the trees when you’re not at the beach or in town. The place is only 6 to 12 euros per night (depending on the season) and has water, sewage dump, toilets, and showers. There are also 2 other camper stops in the neighboring towns less than ten kilometers away, one of which has electricity for your camper or van.
Related Blog: How We’ve Traveled The World For 3 years With 5 Kids
Reason #9 Capbreton and Seignosse
The nearby locations of Capbreton and Seignosse are awesome. As I mentioned before, both these towns also provide their own camper stops.
They too are just as wave rich as Hossegor but with a more laid back, mellow vibe.
For a long stay in the area, we suggest hopping around from night to night between towns so you can experience all the different beaches and towns in the area. Capbreton’s camper stop reminds us a lot of California beaches with its long stretch of beach and many peaks to choose from.
On some days, the baker comes by in the morning with his van full of bread and croissants to sell to the campers. Seignosse is also a really cool place with many peaks and chill beachfront restaurants.
Comment your favorite things about Hossegor or questions you have about visiting!
Don’t forget to pin it:
Want sick deals and radical inspiration?
Join our newsletter to receive: Exclusive outdoor gear deals, Weekly words from the wild, Radical accounts to follow, Active inspiration, and news on the latest blogs and YouTube videos