Kitesurfing in France - A Complete Guide
France is a country that boasts a diverse range of landscapes and terrains, making it an ideal destination for kiteboarding enthusiasts. With a long coastline and plenty of inland waterways, France has a variety of kite spots for all levels of riders. In this guide, we will explore the wind conditions for kitesurfing in France and highlight some of the best kitesurfing spots along the French coastline.
Wind Conditions in France
France experiences a wide range of wind conditions throughout the year, offering ample opportunities for kitesurfing.
The Atlantic north coast has predominantly southwesterly winds, which are boosted by the channel (venturi effect), and create consistent wind from October to April, and even year round at spots like Sangatte and Wissant. The Atlantic south coast, also experiences predominantly westerly winds from October to April, but they become weeker the souther you go. At the south west spots there is a constent thermal wind up to 20 knots during summer months, from June to August.
The Mediterranean has the Tramontane and Mistral winds throughout the year, which can reach speeds of 30 to 40 knots or even higher, creating exhilarating conditions for experienced kiteboarders seeking high-speed rides and jumps. Sometimes these wind change to a lighter southeasterly Marin wind, ranging from 10 to 25 knots. The winds at the Mediterranean coast are most consitent from March through October and range from 15 to 35 knots average.
Kitesurfing Spots in France
Leucate, Mediterranean Coast
Leucate is a popular area located on the Mediterranean coast of France. It offers ideal kiteboarding conditions with steady winds blowing all year round. The famous Tramontane wind, which blows from the north, can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h (54 knots), providing the perfect conditions for experienced riders. In addition to the strong wind, Leucate has a shallow lagoon called "Étang de Leucate", making it an ideal spot for beginners.
Additionally, Leucate is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, including the Mediterranean sea and the Pyrenees mountains, and is a great destination for kiteboarders who want to combine their passion for the sport with a relaxing beach holiday.
Leucate Les Dosses
Leucate Les Dosses is a popular kiteboarding destination at the southeast of Leucate lagoon. It is known for its excellent wind conditions and large flat water lagoon, which make it a favorite among kiteboarders of all levels.March - October Flatwater - Choppy
Plage de la Franqui
Kitespot Plage de la Franqui is a popular kiteboarding spot located in the town of Leucate. The spot offers a large expanse of flat water, as well as chop, in the lagoon and at sea, making it ideal spot for freestyle, and speed kiting.March - October Flatwater - Choppy
Etang de La Palme
Etang de la Palme near Leucate is situated on a large saltwater lagoon, perfect for practicing new tricks and honing skills. The spot is equipped with several kite schools and rental shops, making it accessible to beginners who want to learn to kiteboard.March - October Flatwater - Choppy
Pont des Basses
Pont des Basses is a renowned kitespot located on the Mediterranean coast of France, near Leucate. It offers ideal kiteboarding conditions with best winds from April through August. The spot is popular for it's long shallow water as well as its lively atmosphere.April - August Choppy - Little waves
The northern coast of France is a kiteboarding and kitesurfing haven, offering a diverse range of kitespots with favorable wind conditions, sandy beaches, and stunning scenery. From Les Hemmes to Sangette, Wissant to La Pointe aux Oies, Le Touquet to Baie de Somme, and Merville Franceville, this region provides thrilling kiteboarding experiences for all rider levels.
Les Hemmes, located on the northern coast of France, is a hidden gem for kiteboarding and kitesurfing enthusiasts. With its wide sandy beach, flat shallow waters at high tide, and favorable wind conditions, Les Hemmes offers an ideal spot for thrilling kiteboarding sessions.October - April Flatwater - Little waves
Sangatte, a coastal town situated south of Wissant in France, is a renowned kitespot that attracts kiteboarding and kitesurfing enthusiasts. With its sandy beach and favorable wind conditions, Sangatte offers a prime location for riders of all levels to enjoy kiteboarding adventures.January - December Choppy - Little waves
Wissant is a prime kitespot with a wide sandy beach and consistent wind conditions. It offers ample space for launching and landing kites and is suitable for riders of all levels, from beginners to advanced riders.January - December Choppy - Little waves
La Pointe aux Oies
La Pointe aux Oies, located on the northern coast of France, is a hidden gem for kiteboarding and kitesurfing enthusiasts seeking a serene and picturesque spot.October - April Choppy - Little waves
Le Touquet, situated on the northern coast of France, is a popular kitespot known for its sandy beaches, shallow water at high tide and consistent wind conditions. Le Touquet is suitable for riders of all levels, from beginners to advanced riders.October - April Choppy - Little waves
Baie de Somme
Baie de Somme, located on the northern coast of France, is a unique and picturesque kitespot known for its vast sandbanks, tidal flats, shallow waters, and diverse landscape.October - April Flatwater - Choppy
Merville Franceville, situated on the coast of Normandy in France, is a popular kitespot known for its long sandy beach, shallow water at high tide, and excellent kiteboarding conditions. The wind however is not constant as other northern spots.October - April Flatwater - Choppy
Gruissan, Mediterranean Coast
Gruissan is another popular area located on the Mediterranean coast of France. The area boasts several beaches, with the main one being a long, wide strip of sand. The wind here is consistent and can get quite strong, providing excellent conditions for experienced riders. In addition to kiteboarding, Gruissan is also known for its wine, seafood, and historic castle.
Plage de la Vieille Nouvelle
Kitespot Plage de la Vieille Nouvelle is a popular kiteboarding spot located in the town of Gruissan and the Narbonne region with a large sandy beach that stretches for several kilometers.March - October Flatwater - Choppy
Etang Du Grazel
Etang Du Grazel is located in the town of Gruissan, known for its excellent wind conditions. The spot is situated on a large saltwater lagoon, providing kiteboarders with a vast expanse of flat water that is perfect for practicing new tricks and honing their skills.March - October Flatwater - Choppy
Kitesurfing in the French Alps is a unique and exhilarating experience, with stunning mountain landscapes serving as a breathtaking backdrop. While not typically known for kitesurfing, the French Alps offer good kitesurfing opportunities, such as on lakes with reliable winds during the summer months. From picturesque Serre-Ponçon Lake to the iconic Lake Geneva, there are options for kitesurfing enthusiasts to enjoy this adrenaline-pumping activity amidst the majestic Alpine scenery.
Lac de Serre-Ponçon
Lac de Serre-Ponçon is a large artificial lake located in the French Alps. The lake is surrounded by mountains, making it a picturesque spot to kiteboard. The wind here is thermal and most strong from April through July.April - July Flatwater
Lake Geneva, Excenevex
While not technically part of the French Alps, Lake Geneva (or Lac Léman) is a large lake located between France and Switzerland, close to the French Alps. The lake offers reliable thermal winds, especially during the warmer months at kitespot Excenevex.April - July Choppy - Little Waves
Monteynard Lake, located in the French Alps, is a popular kitesurfing destination. The lake is known for its thermal winds, about 18 knots, which create ideal conditions for kitesurfing during the summer months. Best spot for an afternoon sesson is at Plage de Savel.April - July Choppy - Little Waves
North Mediterranean Coast
The North Mediterranean Coast of France is a fantastic destination for kitesurfing, with its warm waters, sandy beaches, and favorable wind conditions. From the Camargue region in the west to the French Riviera in the east, this coast offers a variety of kitespots suitable for different skill levels, from beginners to advanced riders.
Saint Pierre La Mer
Saint Pierre La Mer is a popular kitespot located on the Mediterranean coast of France, known for its sandy beaches, beautiful shoreline, and favorable wind conditions for kitesurfing.March - October Flatwater - Little Waves
Etang De Thau
Etang De Thau is a picturesque kitespot located on the southern coast of France, known for its large lagoon and favorable wind conditions for kitesurfing. This spot offers flat water conditions, making it ideal for beginners and freestyle riders. Walk to the spot via the stone dam.March - October Flatwater
Port Camargue is a picturesque kitespot located on the Mediterranean coast of France, known for its wavebreakers and shallow waters for kitesurfing.March - October Flatwater - Little waves
Beauduc is a legendary kitesurfing spot located in the Camargue region of southern France. It is known for its vast, shallow waters and consistent Mistral winds up to 40 knots, which create ideal conditions for kitesurfing.March - October Choppy - Little Waves
Almanarre is a world-famous kitespot located on the Mediterranean coast of France, near the city of Hyères. The spot is popular among riders of all levels, thanks to its flat water, expansive beach, and breathtaking views of the coastline.March - October Choppy - Little Waves
Saint Aygulf is a stunning kitesurfing spot nestled along the Mediterranean coast of France. It features golden sandy beaches and turquoise waters, perfect for kitesurfing adventures with the south afternoon thermal winds in Summer.June - September Choppy - Little Waves
The west coast of France is a renowned kitesurfing destination, boasting a variety of picturesque spots that attract kite enthusiasts from around the world. From the iconic Quiberon Peninsula to the sandy shores of La Baule and the scenic beaches of La Tranche-sur-Mer, there are plenty of options for kitesurfing along the west coast. The Île de Ré is known for its pristine beaches and consistent winds, while Etang de Lacanau and Biscarrosse offer excellent opportunities for kiteboarding on tranquil freshwater lagoons. With a diverse range of spots catering to different skill levels and preferences, West France is a kitesurfing paradise for riders of all abilities.
Quiberon, located on the western coast of France in Brittany, is a renowned kitesurfing destination known for its diverse kite conditions and stunning landscapes. With its long sandy beaches and consistent winds, Quiberon offers excellent kitesurfing opportunities for riders of all levels.October - April Flatwater - Choppy
La Baule is a popular seaside resort located on the western coast of France. The beach here is wide and sandy, and the water is usually quite calm due to the sandbank, making it ideal for beginners. Possible waves with strong W/SW winds.October - April Choppy - Little Waves
La Tranche-sur-Mer, located on the western coast of France in the Pays de la Loire region, is a popular kitesurfing spot known for its wide sandy beaches and favorable wind conditions.October - April Choppy - Little Waves
Île de Ré
La Tranche-sur-Mer, located on the western coast of France in the Pays de la Loire region, is a popular kitesurfing spot known for its wide sandy beaches and favorable wind conditions.November - March Choppy - Little Waves
Etang de Lacanau
Etang de Lacanau, located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France, is a renowned kitesurfing spot known for its calm and shallow waters, making it ideal for beginners and freestyle riders. There is a nice thermal wind up to 20 knots in summer afternoons.June - August Choppy - Little Waves
Situated on the Atlantic coast, Biscarrosse is known for its consistent winds, expansive beaches, and a lagoon that provides ideal kitesurfing conditions for riders of all levels. There is a nice thermal wind up to 20 knots in summer afternoons.June - August Choppy - Little Waves
In conclusion, France is a great destination for kiteboarding enthusiasts, with a wide range of kitespots to suit all levels of riders. From the Mediterranean coast to the French Alps, there is something for everyone in France. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, be sure to check out some of these kitespots on your next trip to France.