Located south of Guéthary, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is the most Basque of the seaside resorts of the region.
They are renowned for their bay formed by three dikes erected by Vauban in the 17th century.
With its fishing port and traditional boats painted green and red, Saint Jean de Luz owes its reputation to its church where the marriage of Louis XIV and Marie Thérèse was celebrated. ‘Austria in 1660.
The summer season is full of festive events offering games of Cesta Punta in its Jai Alai, Toros de Fuego on Place Louis XIV as well as the Tuna Festivals and Sardine on the docks.
Saint Jean de Luz has different types of beaches.
The waves form there mainly on the rocks when the swell is too big to surf the beaches further north like Guéthary.
For surfers these are fallback spots.
To the north, along the dike of the same name, this wave offers a long, slow straight line.
It is now taken over by foil surfers, SUPs and longboarders.
In the south, in Socoa, this spot offers a left and right peak very easy to access and off shore by west wind.
It is therefore very popular when it works and accessible at all levels.
South of Guéthary and north of Lafiténia is the picturesque Mayarco beach.
A medium wave forms in a west / northwest swell.
It tends to close quickly and lacks power.
However, the place is ideal for beginners with relaxed surfing in beautiful surroundings.
There is a short walk to the beach. When you first look at the site, you are blown away by the beauty of the landscape.
In surfing, it is unlikely that you will find the best waves of your trip there, however the setting is worth it.
If you’re looking for a beach to spend a sunny afternoon with friends and a little surf, Mayarco is perfect for that.
To get there, head towards Acotz and follow the Route des Plages to the Tamaris Plage campsite which overlooks it. There is parking along the road behind the beach.
The Bar Restaurant Bibam, overlooking the beach, makes great burgers and cocktails.
If you surf regularly and dream of a long straight line to chain long carves and other maneuvers, Lafiténia is a must.
It is a famous wave, considered one of the most beautiful straight lines in Europe.
It works best with a west or north swell and a south wind. When the conditions are right, you can enjoy long waves with pretty sections that allow you to execute vertical tricks and good curves.
The main drawback of this place is its high attendance.
At lunchtime and at the end of the day, surfers from the European Headquarters offices of Quiksilver rush in droves to the spot.
To access it, park in the Route des Plages car park and follow the descent.
South of Lafiténia, the beach of Erromardie is frequented by tourists and surfers from neighboring campsites.
It is a superb beach, calm out of season and bordered by numerous parking lots.
Composed of a bottom of sand and rocks, the spot reveals a long left starting at the southern end of the bay until the central section of the beach, passable for all levels.
When the conditions are favorable, at the north end of the bay, there is a break point that can give huge lines. Be careful, this is not a wave for beginners!
Local surfers actively preserve the place.
The best time of the year to surf in Saint-Jean-de-Luz
The surf spots in the bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz are passable when the heavy swells from the northwest hit the harbor wall.
This most often occurs between September and April.
The beaches north of the Saint-Jean-de-Luz bay, such as Lafiténia, operate year-round. However, a swell from the northwest is preferable.
Add to a moderate southeast wind, you get exceptional surf conditions.
If you learn to surf, choose the period from May to September, the waves are softer and the water is warmer and more pleasant than in winter.
St Jean de Luz Surf Lessons
For beginners, we mainly go to Bidart beaches and Hendaye. These are sandy beaches where the conditions are ideal for learning to surf safely.
We prefer slots 3 hours before and after low tide to allow you to have:
- more suitable waves
- a larger surf area
- conditions limiting the efforts with the oar
For more experienced surfers, we offer surf lessons in Guéthary and Saint Jean de Luz in low season.
Waves form on rocks.
They allow us to have longer, surfable waves in all directions.
They require a more efficient oar and a minimum of experience.
We prefer slots 3 hours before and after high tide to allow you to have:
- enough depth for your safety
- conditions adapted to your level
- low attendance