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Exploring Les Landes with the girls from Elles Surf

Elles Surf is a group of five friends, one of which is Dorothée Vial. They first got acquainted out on the water, off the coast of Seignosse, and the ocean is their playground. So what would they do if they had three days free to spend getting the absolute best from their local area? They’d make even more time for living...

Our plan for our holidays at home? To have even more fun than usual!

In the morning we’ll go grab a coffee on one of Seignosse’s beaches to scope out the waves, and then settle down to read the paper on Cenitz beach. Is one beach not the same as any other? Not at all! Seignosse is in Les Landes so it’s flat, there’s long beaches, vast pine forests, and lots of open space. Cenitz is in the Pays Basque so it’s very steep and craggy. Two completely different atmospheres, but nature is everywhere around both of them.

Exploring the pine forests.

Elles surf 1

We’ll play at being tourists by taking a leisurely bike ride along the cycle paths, and end up on La Rhune. It’s the highest point in the region, and has panoramic views, very rare in these parts! It’s so high you can admire the hills of the Pays Basque and the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees on one side, and then turn around and see the Atlantic. It’s crazy. There’s nowhere else like it!

"Then it’s time to catch the sunset..."

At lunch time, we’ll sit down for a tuna poke bowl (the latest health food trend) at Louvine’s in Hossegor, before going on a bike ride to explore the great pine forests. Les Landes is flat, so it’s easy riding. And in case you didn’t bring your bike, you can hire them all over the place!

Come evening, we’ll go to our favourite beach bar: Lou Cabana. Since you can’t walk on the dunes – they’re protected – places where you can sip on a lemonade while enjoying the ocean views are rare indeed in Les Landes. Except here. Then it’s time to catch the sunset from Estagnots, a legendary spot and Elles Surf headquarters. We surf there in the mornings, especially in winter.

Never walk on the dunes. They’re protected.

See you at Hossegor Lake.

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There’s stuff to do in the low season, too. On the Route de la Corniche, you could be in California. It’s not very long – it runs from Saint-Jean-de-Luz to Hendaye – but it’s one of the most beautiful roads in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. You can walk it, cycle it, or motorbike it. On one side you have the Atlantic and once a year, in December, Belharra: the biggest wave in France. 15-20m high, it stirs with the big winter swells. Big wave surfers come from all over the world to ride Belharra. It’s spectacular!

In fact, the only thing we’re missing... is to be on holiday!

Places to go:

Louvine’s in Seignosse for the delicious poke bowls.
Lou Cabana in Hossegor for drinks with ocean views.
Chez Jérôme for oysters on the banks of Hossegor Lake.

You can find all kinds of bike for hire (with a little motor or trailer for the kids) throughout Les Landes.

Getting to Hossegor 

Getting to Hossegor

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