Mother Nature must have thought to windsurfers when it created Hyeres, because this is, undoubtedly, a great place in France for windsurfing!
Windsurfing, spot review: Hyeres (France)
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It's located just east of Toulone, and about 70 km west of Saint Tropez, in the region of Provence-Cote d' Azur (see map below).
It has features that make it perfect to begin to try windsurfing with strong winds and quite relevant waves, even if you are not very experienced. In fact, from the south-facing French coast comes off a strip of sand about 10 km long and 4 km wide (mostly occupied by pools of brackish water, which offer the spectacle of flamingos), which reaches the presqu'île de Giens (Giens peninsula), a rocky promontory that stretches from East to West.
The two sandy beaches develop to the east and to the west of the strip are fully hit by the North-East winds, and by Mistral (North-West), that, here, can also reach 50 knots or more, but that , most of the times, arrive at 30-40 knots.
The most famous beach for windsurfing on the east side of the peninsula is the "Bergerie" beach, exposed to the winds from the east/northeast. Another good exit point, which we prefer, is located in La Capte.
With these winds, although they should be intense, you will be driven to the shore, with a shallow and sandy bottom , which makes your session safe. Obviously, you have a quite a good shorebreak, which may be insidious in case of strong winds. In the case of Mistral, on this side, the water remains flat, and near the shore you have ideal conditions for beginners. You must, however, pay attention to the fact that near the shore the Mistral is less intense (though a bit gusty ), but 100-200 meters away from the shore becomes strong (no more affected by most of the obstacles on the land), and pushes offshore, so that it can be dangerous for the inexperienced.
During our holiday we stayed right at the Bergerie, at "Au Gran Sud", a residence little resigned in appearance (but the apartments are in good conditions), and that offers the great convenience to be overlooking the beach. Alternatively, there are many camping-sites (eg. there is the "Camping International"), or other residences (see at the bottom of the article for other places).
The west side of the sandy strip is exposed to winds from the West and North-West (Mistral). Here, there are beautiful sandy beaches too, with shallow water near the shore, which makes safe your sessions with these winds.
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