Upgraded youth hostels
Open to all with no age restriction, youth hostels provide simple, straightforward and friendly accommodation. Increasingly contemporary and trendy in their styling and facilities, they offer shared rooms, as well as private en-suite rooms perfect for families. The shared areas - bars, cafés, restaurants, etc. - make for a very friendly and informal atmosphere in which to share a drink or a meal prepared using fresh produce. Many hostels organise events, activities and tours.
To stay in a youth hostel, you must join one of the two French networks: the Fédération Unie des Auberges de Jeunesse (FUAJ) or the Ligue française des Auberges de Jeunesse (LFAJ). The one-year membership card costs €7 if you’re under 26, €11 if you’re over 26, and €20 for families with children under 16.
You can find the list of Nouvelle-Aquitaine youth hostels on the FUAJ website at www.hifrance.org and the LFAJ website at www.auberges-de-jeunesse.com.
Some independent hostels are not members of these networks. You can find these by visiting www.french.hostelworld.com or www.hostels.com.
Run on the guest-house model, surf lodges are the ideal low-cost solution for experiencing the best surfing beaches of Nouvelle-Aquitaine.
They offer surfing lessons with comfortable, friendly and eco-responsible B&B accommodation, giving adults and children the opportunity to try surfing for first time or improve their technique in a 100% natural seaside environment.
After a good surf session, you can chill out in the communal rest and relaxation spaces (hammocks, lounge area, hammam, living/dining room, etc.), rent a bike or canoe for an active wind-down or drive out to explore the surrounding area.
Here are a few suggestions for surf lodges on the Nouvelle Aquitaine coast: Nature Surf Camp at Messanges, Natural Surf Lodge at Seignosse and Atlantic Surf Lodge at Vieux Boucau
A number of surf schools also offer surf camps throughout the summer (lessons with or without accommodation).
CouchSurfing is a free accommodation arrangement between individuals that allows you to stay in someone else’s home for one night or a few days. The Couchsurfing network is an excellent way of meeting local people keen to welcome travellers from all over the world and encourage them to visit their town or city.
So this type of accommodation is another low-cost option for your stay in Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Although there is no requirement to pay your host, he or she will always appreciate a small ‘thank you’ gift.