A Local Guide to Hossegor, France: Sand, Surf and the World’s Best Sunsets | french holidays

Food

Eating in Hossegor can be a surprise. With so many surfers, water sports and health fanatics living or vacationing here, it may be easier to get a nutritious acai bowl than a good steak and chips, with most places serving vegan and vegetarian dishes. That said, the Bistrot Balnéaire, overlooking the shores of the lake, offers classic and meaty Landes specialties, such as foie gras and a juicy duck breast.

The lake of Hossegor is a magnificent wet site open to the Atlantic, and a perfect place for oyster beds. This is the coolest place for an evening aperitif by the water huts, which are oyster fisherman’s huts. Order a platter of shellfish – oysters, prawns, whelks – and a chilled bottle of rosé, then enjoy the most beautiful sunset in the world. In the town center, the Les Halles indoor market is great for picnic supplies and has several fun tapas bars for lunch.

Of course, it’s good to eat right on the beach, and the perfect place for that is next to our surf school, at Lou Cabana, which is great for seafood salads and grilled mussels. It’s on Plage des Culs-Nus, a popular beach for nudist swimming – but you can come fully clothed to the restaurant.

Inspiration

I love strolling along Avenue du Golf, which runs along the ocean from the city center to the edge of the Barthes nature reserve (see below) and is lined with fabulous 19th century villas. I arrived in Hossegor 25 years ago, just a surfer, and walking along this avenue, I told myself that one day I would live there. It’s still the dream.

When friends from out of town visit me, I usually take them on mountain bike tours in the Landes Forest. This is the hidden side of Hossegor, a whole other world than the beach and the waves. And I can’t help but tell visitors to England that these famous trees were planted by Napoleon to build warships to sink the English fleet!

Piece

It might seem like life here revolves around the old town and the beach, but those in the know head a few miles out of town to the Zone Pédebert, which has grown from an impersonal industrial area to surfing HQ, a place underground meeting place for surfing. enthusiasts, with funky shops, bars, restaurants and food trucks. I opened my Chipiron workshop here in 2010 and have seen the region’s transformation first hand. In the afternoons, when the weather is not conducive to surfing, everyone comes here. I particularly like L’Ile du Malt, a brilliant craft beer bar that buzzes when live bands take the stage.

Green area

Bird hide from the Barthes de Monbardon wetland.
Bird hide from the Barthes de Monbardon wetland. Photography: [email protected]/Alamy

Les Barthes de Montbardon is a wetland that used to be the Adour delta, until the river was diverted as part of plans to drain the wider marshland and stabilize the coastline. I live near Barthes and come often recharge my batteries – recharge my batteries – because here, in the wild, the summer invasion of tourists seems a million miles away. The nature reserve is free to access and always open, with hiking trails, cycle paths and caches to observe the magnificent birdlife.

Night life

In the center of Hossegor, the wine bar L’Etiquette offers an extensive selection of wines from all over France, but the local Tursan wine comes from a vineyard located directly on the sand dunes. It also has some amazing locally produced armagnacs. The town’s main party venue is right on the main beach, Plage Centrale, and close to Place des Landais. There are plenty of bars to choose from, but don’t miss Rock Food, which has been a gathering point for surfers from around the world since the 1980s and has seen wild parties. There are also several nightclubs in town, but don’t expect Hossegor to be like a big city when it comes to clubbing.

Stay

For young surfers on a budget, I recommend a nice new address, the Hejmo Hostel (double €74, dormitory bed €26), which has its own swimming pool.

Damien Marly patterns and craftss Chipiron brand surfboards