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Artikel: Surf trippin in France, Spain and Portugal


Surf trippin in France, Spain and Portugal

For more than 40 years surfers from all over the world have strapped boards to roofs of cars and headed south through Europe. Dreams of surfing Coxos, Mundaka, and French beaches have taken them through France -Spain- Portugal and often down to Morocco.

Frankly its up to you how far south you want to go because there are only two factors that might stop you: money and time.

If you, like us have limited of both then the best thing to do is drop Morocco and explore our own continent instead.

We started off in Jersey (where I meet my travel companions), an Island just off the French coast. From there we caught a boat to St.Malo, and drove south through France.

4 surfers, four goals for our trip: experience French, Spanish and Portuguese chicks, along with all the waves the south of Europe could offer.

We spent the first few days in Brittany, known for its Celtic traditions, Christian girls (no good for the guys!) and powerful, uncrowded waves.

The year before one of the guys had surfed perfect waves at an island near Audierne, Brittany. Unfortunately this time it was crap. The ocean was flat, the sea freezing, and the weather reminded me about a spring day in Scandinavia (very cold). The only place to camp was in between a churchyard and a swamp, and the few girls in the area turned out to be “hard to get” The place just didn’t seem to like us, so we packed our car and drove south.

Flat Brittany surf.

Driving south along the Atlantic coast we ended up in Aquitaine. Here the Grand Cru; a 160 km long beach and huge pine forest stretch from Royan towards Biarritz.
Somewhere in this forest we found a nice little place to sleep. The next morning the police woke us up. Our perfect camping spot turned out to be a firebreak, and our trip suddenly turned very expensive!
To avoid any further problems with the local authorities we spent a few nights at Seignosse campsite, near Hossegor.
One of the Jersey guys soon made friends with a local weed growing surf guru, along with all the girls in the area. He had found his paradise. We were not quite sure if we had found ours.
Hossegor can offer endless beaches with countless surf breaks and sunny days; However it can easily corrupt even the most dedicated soul surfer, with its commercialism, and crazy parties.
The surf in this part of France is fairly consistent, and with its many world-class beach breaks it suffers from crowds during summer. Despite this, La Piste, La Graviere and Anglet are just few of many spots worth surfing in the area.

When you get tired of surfing the crowded breaks near Hossegor you can drive north towards Moilets, park your car and track through the forest. With a bit of luck you might find some waves on a quiet beach with no one else but yourself (and a couple of naked French chicks!!)

On our way to uncrowded surf

La graviere.

About 2 hours drive south of Hossegor, in the Basque country Mundaka is located.
Mundaka is a hollow left that breaks over a sand bar at the Gernika river estuary.
It needs a big swell to work, so keep an eye on the forecasts if you want to surf it. Otherwise Bakio, a beach break nearby might be an alternative.
We were lucky enough to score Mundaka breaking at the start of August. As soon as you get in you ill realize that strong currents, aggressive locals, and cleanup set waves will acquire hard work. But the second your up riding the wave you’ll realize that it’s all worth it; truly world-class!
Then again there must be a reason why the WCT is held there.


After surfing Mundaka and a few other breaks on the Basque Coast (Spain) we drove to Ericeira. Ericeira is located just north of Lisbon and is known for its many reef and point breaks.
Spots like Reef, Pedra Blanca, Ribeira d’Ilhas and Sao Lourenco (one of few beach breaks) can give you surf that you would usually see in Australia or Hawaii.


The most famous of them all is Coxos, a fun right point break that is breaking over urchin infested reef (remember reef boots). What you should be aware of is that Coxos can easily be mixed up with the wave next to it; Bay Of Coxos.

While the others were surfing what they thought was Coxos. I was surfing a wave just around the corner. Later it turned out that I had been surfing the real Coxos. And they the far less pristine “Bay Of Coxos”. This resulted in me being banned from all future trips.

The nightlife in Ericeira has a few local festivals and clubs, but nothing compared to Hossegor. Thought it’s not far to Lisbon!

We were lucky again; Our trip coincided with the Portuguese open contest along with promenading ‘Reef girls’. 25 local beauties in G-strings! The guys had the time of their life.
Unable to cope with more girls, I realized the best thing to do was to get drunk.

When it is time to move on and discover new surf you can either continue further down the Portuguese coast. Check the surf in the Med. Try Morocco’s right points. Or simply follow the next swell. Only time and money will limit you on a continent thriving with culture, women and world class waves!

Maren L Eriksen 2005

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