Best Surf Lodge France – Atlantic Surf Lodge “comfort, vegan/vegetarian food & friends”
Are you searching for a place to surf, feel comfortable and welcomed, have vegan/vegetarian food and just an alternative to big surf camps ? So were we. Read our own little story at the Atlantic Surf Lodge and get an insight into our experiences.
This is how our story begins. We had weeks of exhausting University and were just done with working. Its finally holidays and we just stormed out of the door, hopped into our restaurated VW van T5 and headed to the coasts. In the back a gas cooker, a bed, basic food, a surf board and a lot of excitement for the trip ahead of us. We had no idea what would expect us.
Learning how to surf has always been a dream of ours and to be close to the Atlantic coast in France is just the ideal place to make this dream come true. But where and especially how to combine all our wishes and needs?
We were searching for something that was not like a huge un-personal surf camp, something in which we were free to bring and sleep in our van, something sustainable, cozy and especially with vegan/vegetarian food options.
So we searched and finally came across Atlantic Surf Lodge. Its location is right next to the Spanish border, as you can see in the map below.
The Lodge is close to the famous surf spots Seignosse, Hossegor and a lot of incredible secret spots around. For us it was just important to find a spot where we could learn how to surf and regain energy and inspiration for the upcoming exams weeks.
After five hours of driving south we finally reached the camp in the early evening. Everyone was sitting on the table, digging into their filled plates, chatting and laughing. Good first impression!
We passed two of these and paid around 30€ for 5 hours of driving. If you are thinking of travelling there, these are the cheapest and easiest ways to get there. (Except when you have to fly).
Tips how to get there:
- car : definitely search for a road which is free, it takes longer but you see beautiful, untouched places on the way.
- train: take care that in France it is common to strike and trains can have delays or don’t drive at all!!
We ended up spending one week at the Atlantic Surf Lodge. The days began early. One morning we got up at 8 o’ clock in the morning to catch the best waves. The normal schedule was to have Breakfast at 10 am and dinner at 8pm. In between the days were filled by traveling around, playing games, bronzing in the garden, working on the laptop or biking along the longboard/bike lanes that are reaching along the coast line.
This place is where we spend cozy evenings together with the other guests (around 20), drinking beer, chatting about surfing, culture & everything that came to mind, playing ping-pong and having a great time. Mostly after dinner, the garden filled up with the guests and as soon as the music started everyone was high on life.
Being around surfers, and especially this unique group of people is something unique. Its something around people that life and love the ocean which is hard to explain.
After we were filled up with good conversations, beer and playing ping-pong, we headed back to the beach and slept on the coast site.
Tip: think about coming here around may. Although it is less hot and the waves can be rougher, the beache are free and not as clustered as in the summer. Also, you can part at the coast side parking spot and sleep there (actually illegal, but at this time noone really has an eye on it).
When you are staying at the Lodge – you can Rent a Bike to come to the beach which is around 7 minutes away from there.
“There are no strangers, just friends you have not met yet” – the vibe
For us, the vibe and all the people were the things that made this whole trip so special. It was not the feeling of being a guest within other guests, but really like entering a group of friends. After one day, everyone knew our names and we knew theirs. Of course, the beginners stuck a little more together as well as the intermediates group.
By the way they were taking a course on “to become a surf teacher level 1” which you can also attend there. But still we mixed up very quickly and the conversations were smart, funny and super interesting. Everyone was a character.
Overall, you could describe the vibe as alternative. This means, small, unconventional, with a lot of arty details, not fancied up but with a lot of love. Also they are giving Yoga Courses which you can book in addition.
Sustainability, awareness and conversations on eye hight were shaping the vibe around this place.
“Being free and flexible with a lot of luxery”
We instantly felt welcome by the staff and everyone involved with the Lodge. Ulli welcomed us heart-warming and introduced us to everyone. One of the members, Andy, told us what he thinks is the most special about this location:
“The special thing about the Atlantic Surf Lodge is in the name. It is a Lodge. That means you have incredible food, cozy rooms and service, a lot of intersting people, excess to all utilities to surf, bikes and everything you need. It is a rather small location, so it is really personal. Lastly, you are super flexible, meaning you can get the full package or book whatever you need and want on your personal preference”
AAAAAND: the showers are perfectly warm and easy to handle- if you are familiar with french showers you know how important that is 😀
Food – “for us the most important “
Food is with the incredible people, the atmosphere and the hot showers the absolut highlight here. Helen, the heartmother of this house is cooking fresh every day. She herself is vegan, so everything is full of colourful local fruits and veggis.
Here you can see our breakfast buffet choice. From homemade guacamole to all different kinds of cheeses and fresh veggies – everyting was possible in the breakfast choice. Today she made an incredible vegan lentil spread, which I ate all before I was able to make a photo – Upsis.
Fresh Fruits of all kinds, soy milk or greek yoghurt as toppings with a lot of cereals were the choices for muesli
Our first dinner there !! whole-grain crepes filled with goat cheese and spinach with a creamy tomato sauce, two big bowls of colourful salad and vegan panna cotta as desert! Of course there was a vegan option !! The Vegan option was a whole-grain crepe filled with spinach and a flavorful mixture of spinach with pureed almonds and herbs – simply amazing.
Helen takes so much time to cook those creative, nutritious meals. Everyday there is something different and it was always perfectly enough and the deserts that she creates super delightful and homemade as well.
For Lunch you can make yourself your own style of sandwhich from the Breakfast Buffet !
This was our final Dinner at the Atlantic Surf Lodge, which included a big BBQ. By the way, the only meat being served for the whole week. Everything was full of grilled veggis, hummus, vegan herb mayo, salads and snacks.
Super nice idea- to safe water, you could name your glass and keep it as long as you want. Also handy if you are bad with names. 😉
We had quite a long talk with Helen after a breakfast in which we shared thoughts and experiences. She already has a lot of skills of cooking in all different kinds of alternative concepts and countries. She herself is an activist and an educated person fighting for a better and diverse nutrition without animal cruelty – You can imagine what an enthusiastic talk we had with her :))
We will visit you in your home town Helen, as soon as we can. Thank you for cooking the most delightful food and being such a free minded, inspiring person.
We were total beginners so we can share our experience for the beginner’s course. When it comes to courses you never knew whether they could take place, when or where.
The first thing we have learned is that the ocean decides. The wind, the tide, the current, the waves. In our first lecture, we learned the basics to understand the Ocean.
Our surf teacher, who you can see in the picture, was a very ambitious, professional, calm, motivating person. Although not so good in ping-pong ;):P he was a great and encouraging surf teacher.
He took his time to explain us the important basics, by not overwhealming us with too much information. For security, he always had an eye on us, giving us personal feedback and tips on how to improve as well as he motivated us when it did not work so well.
The current was extremely strong, but he gave us signs and although the ocean showed its whole force, nothing happened and we felt safe and watched.
All beginner courses were on soft boards, as they are the easiest to handle and to stand on.
Of course, you can book all different kinds of courses, in all levels, the Lodge offers lectures and in-depth knowledge on everything around surfing.
By the way: Moritz stood his first wave!
Last view on the beach before heading home….
We enjoyed it so much ! Thank you for letting us feel at home, feeding us this delicious food, inspiring us, teach us how to surf, introduce us to so many incredible people, teaching us about surf board shaping and simply let us have such an incredible time. WE WILL COME BACK :)))