The van had it’s second big trip in October when the sun and surf of Hossegor called. The plan was to get the ferry to Roscoff and slowly make our way down the coast, surfing at spots we found in the Stormrider Surf Guide to France along the way. However, when we arrived we chose one spot (Les Dunes) en route and then made a beeline for Hossegor when a friend started sending photos of how good the surf was down there. The best thing was to go for a surf on our way, it refreshed us for the drive ahead and was the perfect spot for a chilled introduction to what was to come, with one of the mellowest and cleanest waves of the entire trip – perfect for longboarders!
After fitting in a surf at Les Dunes we jumped back in the van and drove straight to Hossegor, the next week was a blur of different surf spots, French patisseries and making the most of those long autumn days.
The first place we surfed was just on the other side of Bairritz (near Anglet) it was big and messy but a lot of fun. Afterwards we went to check out another wave called Tarnos, which was super heavy and fast so I sat back and took photos watching the others getting barrelled and battered!
While we were in Hossegor we pretty much winged it in terms of where we stayed, just parking up on side roads and spots near the beach because it saved us so much money on campsites. Some friends we met out there got a cheap Airbnb and hired a car which I reckon is the better option when it comes to convenience! It was great having the van but it was a long journey from start to finish and we mainly stayed in one place so flying straight there would probably have been easier and maybe even cheaper than getting the ferry and driving. The other option would be to get the ferry to Santander instead which also cuts out some major driving and would probably have been easier in hindsight.
On our fourth day we stayed right next to La Gravière beach and woke up to sunshine and blue skies, there was a comp on at the best peak so we got in further down where it was heavy and rippy – managed to get a good wave though even if it did end in a massive bail!
In the evening we headed to Seignosse and went for the most incredible sunset surf – definitely the highlight of the trip for me – watching the sun descend amongst glassy waters, catching clean powerful waves and gazing at the dunes in the distance was pretty magical and not something I’ll be forgetting anytime soon.
While we were staying in Hossegor we ate out most evenings just finding places as we walked through the town, there was a great pizza place at the top of the road and the most amazing ice-cream shop in town. Another destination you have to make sure to visit is the surf outlet just outside the main part of town, it has all the big brands (Vissla, Billabong, Ripcurl to name a few) in massive warehouses, great if there’s no surf!
We spent our last day at Cabreton, chilling at the beach and surfing. There was a campervan campsite there so it was the first and last campsite that we stayed in before driving back to Roscoff and it was pretty much the same standard as where we’d been staying the entire time, so probably not worth forking out the money for, especially because there weren’t any working showers. Still was a lush place to stay though, the surf was heavy and I got a bit battered but it was worth it and then sat and watched the sunset.
After a relaxing lie in we hit the road to start our journey back to Roscoff, we drove all day until we reached a spot close to Roscoff for the evening. We were going to surf but after hitting traffic through Bordeux we got there a lot later than anticipated so went to sleep looking forward to a morning surf the next day before our ferry home. Unfortunately we woke up to thick fog and couldn’t even see the beach so carried on, the fog cleared as we drove so we pulled into another spot on the way but it was completely flat. The scenery was amazing though, it was almost like being on the Isles of Scilly with great big round boulders and white sands, and definitely made a good place to while away the time before our ferry.
All in all, it was a great trip filled with sun, surf and adventures that I’ll always remember. I’ve loved the freedom that owning a van gives me and have made some pretty epic memories along the road. Sadly, this chapter looks like it’s coming to a close as well as some other major chapters in my life but I wanted to make sure I posted about this trip because it was pretty exceptional and deserves to be remembered.