Where we stay in South West France is close to two of my favourite towns. Hossegor is one of them and where I’d live if I could have a second house… and a few spare million in the bank.
It’s a surfer town full of the cool kids. It’s charming, and laid back, with a swag of arrogance about it too. It’s the French version of Newquay with a lot of style. Even we had to tape down our wallets to stop ourselves buying Sebby a £100 skateboard, just because it was so damn cool. There are loads of cafes, surfer shops and small independent boutiques. You won’t find tons of children’s toys or clothes here but the kids were quite happy checking out the surfboards and skateboards and choosing gelato ice cream from what seemed like over 100 flavours.
It’s a well known World Class surfing spot, hosting the Quicksilver Pro France Competition stage of the ASP World Tour. It has sandy beaches which are also good for swimming, making sandcastles and general people watching and is patrolled by lifeguards between mid May and September. Apart from the beach however, there is also a canal and a huge seawater lake (du lac) which is surrounded partly by sand and on one side, large pathways and steps perfect for walking, cycling and fishing from. You can also take out pedalos for those kids that like a little water adventure.
Plus about 50m from the lake and the shopping centre is a shaded children’s playground, with a carousel and snack bar, perfect for a break from the shops or the heat of the Summer. Cycling is one of the best ways to get around but it’s not too big to walk around the main centre and take it all in. Summer can get busy for parking although you’ll generally find a space up a side street and walk into the centre.
The houses are a real mix of traditional French and stunning contemporary creations. There are a lot of new houses which could give any design lover a lesson in successful modern architecture and this in itself is worth exploring the area for.
My tips… after going to the beach:
Buy nets and fish at the side of the lake. Especially when the weather is not that sunny. It’s a great way to pass a few hours looking for baby fishes and crabs!
My favourite homeware boutique: L’air du Sud 2 .
Our favourite eating spot with kids; Salon du the Marcot. It has a small section inside and out but a larger seating area in the middle square opposite the restaurant, which had a fantastic atmosphere. A great choice of food including burgers, Croque Monsieurs and salads. They also did a mean mojito and the service was quick and with a smile with most staff speaking some English. I will say everyone in Hossegor seemed to just have one child or maybe two. We rolled about with 6 between us and so it did seem a little like a walking school sometimes and we did get turned away from one restaurant who I think were scared of a child invasion! After finding this little gem, who were happy to accomodate us, we ate here twice.
Take or hire some bikes for getting around.
Or enjoy the people watching whilst eating gelato (that’s ice cream to you and me!)
For more details check out inhossegor. The independent guide to Hossegor, France.