South France

Windsurfing in this region is not dangerous (no extreme currents or killer rocks) but can be very challenging. South France has the best windsurfconditions in the spring and fall. When you visit this region in this period you shouldn't forget your small sails and spare-equipment, because when the local Mistral and Tramontane get going, the going gets tough. These winds blow from the mountains (Alpes) in the inlands creating winddirections varying from North to West, meaning off-shore or side-shore windconditions. Sometimes a wind from the South East called Marin occurs. It's hard to predict when exactly these winds appear. The Tramontane is the wind in the eastern part of this region. It can suddenly start blowing very hard and last for a very long time (without decreasing below 7 Beaufort). For predicting the appearance of the Tramontane use this phrase:

The Tramontane which wakes during the night only lasts for today, the Tramontane which wakes during the day can last for three, six or nine days.

The other wind in the eastern part is the Marin (blowing from the South East) and appears very frequent in the summer. This wind however is not as strong as the Tramontane. In the western part of this region the Mistral blows 42,7 percent of the days with wind.. This (cold) wind appears with an area of low pressure near Genua and an area of high pressure over the Atlantic.

  1. Carro
    This spot is located 35 kilometers west of Marseille. It's known as one of the best wavespots in Europe. A reef (rocks) 500 meters out of the coast creates huge waves up to 5 meters high. This makes Carro a spot for cracks only. The good thing about Carro is that the waves are always perfect, no matter what winddirection. Also with off-shore winds Carro has good windsurfconditions. Nevertheless, the best winddirections are Southeast and West. The best windconditions are in spring (march-may) and fall (september-november).

    Waves at Carro (53K)

  2. Almanarre
    This windsurfspot close to the village Hyeres consists of a number of surfspots located on the peninsula of Giens. Here the Mistral often blows, depending on the surfspot you're at, a bit onshore from the Northwest. The spot offers for almost every winddirections an alternative. Almanarre is the most famous and beloved one of the all. The Mistral can last for three, six or even nine days in a row. No wonder that 42,7 percent of all days were Mistral-days.

  3. Leucate
    In the surfscene Leucate is known as the windiest surfspot of France or even Europe, when you visit it in the right time of year. Over this lake located close to the Mediteranean can blow the most brutal winds of Europe. The local Tramontana wind can make this a real hardcore slalom-spot.

  4. Marseille
    At Plage du Prado, directly in front of the skyline of Marseille, you'll find some radical waveconditions.

  5. Cap Sicie
    On Cap Sicie will be decided if you're a real hard-core windsurfer or not. Here are the following spots located: Coudouliere, Brutal Beach (with Hookipa-conditions) and Le Brusc.