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Beach Holidays In France: Capbreton

Updated on July 12, 2015

Central Beach Of Capbreton

Central beach of Capbreton
Central beach of Capbreton | Source

Capbreton: France

Driving back from Spain to France we discovered, almost by accident, a little seaside resort called Capbreton. We were looking for a night stop to rest after crossing the Spanish-French frontier but Biarritz, the nearest city, was out of the question as it is too big and during high season it is difficult, if not impossible to find accommodation on the same day. So we just kept driving on the motorway and took the next exit pointing us towards Capbreton.

Capbreton is a seaside resort on the French Atlantic coast.

Less glamorous than its southern neighbours -Biarritz and St. Jean de Luz- Capbreton is a charming and quiet retreat. The town faces the Landes forest in the east and the sea in the west, and best of all, it is easily accessible from the main motorway.

The coast is distinguished by its many sand dunes and its long beaches of white sand where at some points the pine forest of the Landes joins the sea making it an ideal place for nudist sunbathing and water sports.

We had never been there or even heard about Capbreton, so it was a very pleasant surprise to find a small town with all the facilities such as restaurants, hotels, surfing schools, a big harbour, casinos, plenty of shops, even a tiny heliport by the beach, and of course lovely sandy beaches.

France is always surprising us. We seem to find idyllic spots even when we are not looking for them! We were only looking for a place to sleep; instead we found a new holiday retreat where we spent a couple of days and where we would like to go back. We loved the "underdeveloped" side of the coast. The hotels and houses were all low rise and there was a nostalgic feeling about the place. Ideal if you just want to enjoy the sea without the buzz of major touristic places. But if you happen to get bored of so much quietness, and feel like facing some "bling-bling"- Biarritz is just a short drive away.

Capbreton, Location

L'Estacade, a Symbol Of Capbreton.

L'Estacade, symbole de la ville de Capbreton.
L'Estacade, symbole de la ville de Capbreton. | Source

Basic Information About Capbreton

Why go to Capbreton?

For its beautiful beaches and delicious seafood.

When to go?

Although a summer resort, the beaches are visited all year round by surfers.

GETTING THERE:

By Road:

The major Motorways (autoroute) and roads are: •

  • Autoroute A63 (A10 Paris - Bordeaux, A63 down to Frontier with Spain).
  • Autoroute A64 (Bayonne - Toulouse)
  • RN 10 (Paris - Frontier with Spain) • RN 117 (Bayonne - Toulouse)

By Train :

Majot train stations with a regular bus service to Capbreton are Bayonne or Dax (TGV Atlantique) For more information on trains you can check: www.sncf.fr

By Air:

  • Biarritz airport, 20 minutes from Capbreton.
  • Bordeaux airport- 186 kms (115 Miles) North: ( 2 Hours drive by car on the Autoroute 63)

You can also fly to Spain and reach Capbreton in 1hour and a half from Bilbao airport (152 km. take autoroute 63). Even better, you can use San Sebastian's airport which is only 3 km. from the frontier Spain-France. It will take you about 35 minutes driving from San Sebastian's airport in Spain to Capbreton.

By Sea:

You can arrive directly to Capbreton pleasure boating harbour (1000 places)

Getting Around

There is a free bus service from the beach to the town centre from June to September. The rest of the year during low season, the free bus is only available on Saturday mornings. If you are driving you can count on plenty of free parking right on the beach if you arrive early or otherwise there are several underground car parks.

Best Major Attraction:

Plenty of surfing spots for all levels.

Capbreton

Capbreton
Capbreton

Freesurf Session in Capbreton

BEST SHOPPING:

Look for foie gras and wine.

Gastronomy:

The specialities are asparagus and kiwis which are among the best in Europe. They are excellent examples of the top quality produce grown in the Landes department. Also of excellent quality are the free range poultry, the beef (Chalosse cattle), and the foie gras served with grapes or apples.

Of course, do not forget to try the wine from the Landes region and the Armagnac

Surfing Spots :

The best place to learn how to be a surfer girl!

Capbreton is an ideal place for learners and beginners as its beaches do not have very strong currents. This part of the French South West coast extends under the "Gulf of Gascony" which acts to provide a security area in the sea, which means that because of its depth, waves don't break so they develop without an undertow.

There are many surfing spots to visit for all tastes and levels, some of which are:

  • Notre Dame Beach: A good surfing spot with waves ranging from 0,5m. to 2m. Best surfed during middle tide.
  • Santocha beach

  • La piste: Here you will find big tubes, strong, hollow and quick waves. Best for experienced surfers.

French Surf School In Capbreton

French Surfing school at Capbreton
French Surfing school at Capbreton
Children learning to surf in Capbreton
Children learning to surf in Capbreton

Fishing:

Fishing is done mainly near the shore and some of the most common specimens found are Bass, tuna, turbot; gurnard, lobsters and crabs.

Accommodation:

There are several hotels, one of them is the CAP CLUB HÔTEL offering rooms from 70 to 276 euros.

Capbreton Shopping Area

Shopping area
Shopping area
Shepherds in the area accustomed to watching over their flocks on stilts (around 1.40m) called "Echasses".
Shepherds in the area accustomed to watching over their flocks on stilts (around 1.40m) called "Echasses".

Curiosities of the area:

The Landes area was marshy land for hundreds of years, due to flooding from time to time when a high Atlantic tide swept across the flat plains or due to the Adour river bursting its banks with heavy rain or a fast snow melt down in the Pyrenees mountains. For these reasons the shepherds in the area grew accustomed to watching over their flocks on stilts (around 1.40m) called "Echasses".

Entrance to Port
Entrance to Port

Capbreton Beach

Capbreton Beach
Capbreton Beach

© 2008 Wendy Iturrizaga

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    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      Thank you Christoph, It is true that in France it does pay to explore new places. You can find the most amazing things in the most unexpected places :)

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      10 years ago from St. Louis

      Hi Princessa! Another lovely article with great photography that really calls to the traveler. What a great place to happen upon. We found that throughout France, Belgium and Holland, it could really pay to stray from the beaten path. You never know what charming town is just down the road, what small restaurant will serve you unbelievable food, what thrilling discoveries are just around the bend. Thanks for taking me around the bend to Capbreton!

      Christoph

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      Sixtyorso: I have just discovered Capbreton myself, but I have been before on the Atlantic French Coast and I can assure you that all along the coast is absolutely georgeous. Maybe next time you come to Europe you can visit this side of France.

      desert blondie: It is lovely, sometimes I think this is heaven! I think the best thing is the lay back attitude which gives you the opportunity to enjoy life, or as the French would say "de art de vivre".

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      10 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Ahhhh...a bit of French input for my brain to savor for a bit...French beaches, French wines, asparagus and kiwis, how un-USA it all seems...lovely!

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      Fantastic hub I love France and most of europe. It is apity that I couldn't have read this hub a few months back as i amgoing to Eurpoe on september 13 and the Itinerary is set. Budapest (for a conference) then holiday Barcelona, cruise the med Marseilles, Calcevetia, Livorno, Mykonos., Istanbul, Kardassi, Pireius, Venice (I love Venice) and home to Sunny South Africa.

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      Violet Sun: The French Atlantic coast is a beautiful area with many places to discover. The best thing is that it is not yet crowded and there is plenty of space to relax just enjoying the warmth of the sun on your skin while sipping a good glass of chilled rosé.

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 

      10 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      The pictures are beautiful, liked the shopping area and based on what you wrote, sounds like beautiful place to relax!

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      Pam Pounds: this is indeed a beautiful place, and it is very close to major cities like Biarritz (France) and San Sebastian (Spain) if you fancy a busy day. Otherwise, Capbreton is just the perfect place to relax and enjoy life.

    • Pam Pounds profile image

      Pam Pounds 

      10 years ago from So Cal Girl in the Midwest!

      This looks like an amazingly beautiful place....I love beaches and would love to go there sometime. Thank you for sharing!

    • Princessa profile imageAUTHOR

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      10 years ago from France

      glycodoc: you know all about Capbreton now, so you only need to pack and come over here to keep your wife happy :)

    • glycodoc profile image

      glycodoc 

      10 years ago

      Good article and wonderful photos - now my wife wants to visit Capbreton.

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