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Shortly after Hyeres in the South of France, proceeding westward, there are the spots of Le Brusc (Six Four Les Plages), Bandol, and La Seyne Sur Mer (Les Plages de Sablettes), which may be of interest for those who stay in those areas; compared to Hyeres - which remains the top - they may offer the advantage of being a bit less crowded, at least in some days. Below, we propose a description.

 

Windsurf spot reviews: Le Brusc, Bandol, La Seyne Sur Mer (France) 

Le Brusc (Six Four Les Plages)


La Laguna di Brusc

 

The spot of Le brusc is located in a very beautiful landscape context (see map below), with the homonymus lagoon just to the south (windsurfing prohibited inside), which offers magnificent natural views; it is closed by L'Ile du Grand Gaou and the Ile des Embiez to the south and west, on which you can make great walks (or jogging in the morning, as we did).

You get into water at the beach (Plage des Charmettes, see photo below) just before the village of Le brusc (coming from the North), where there is also a small school of windsurfing (La Cahute), riding towards the center of the bay, in front of other two mythical spots in the area, La Coudouliere and Brutal beach, where, with strong winds and waves that become significant, you can watch the best French waver (Thomas Traversa to name one). There is a small breakwater cliff (see photo) just west of the beach where you enter into the water, to prevent shorebreak from rising with the mistral, and that simplyfies the start.

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Le Brusc - Plage des Charmettes

Parking, with a barrier with a height of 1.9 meters at the entrance, is located just in front of the beach, or you have other parkings always with the same barrier in the area just to the north or in the internal roads. Otherwise, you get the equipment discharge near the beach and park on the waterfront inside the village of Le brusc (no barrier here). The parkings are to be paid only in the summer.


The day when we tried the spot, the wind varied between 15 and 20 knots. We used a sail from 6.3 and freeride board of 125 liters. In front of Le Brusc, with the mistral wind of such intensity, water remains relatively flat( but even with higher NW winds the islands to the west cause the waves near the spot not to get very much high ) ; riding from the beach of the spot to the north , for the first 150-200 meters there are sandy beaches , except for a stretch of rocky coastline of 40-50 meters, but with shallow waters just in front of. In this first 200 meters , as mentioned, the sea remains relatively sheltered from L'Ile des Embiez, so the spot can be considered safe (however , prevent the exit if you are a beginner with very strong mistral! ) . In front of La Coudouliere , even with the wind we met , a wave of 1 meter and a half has formed, at about 100 meters from the coast, really fun to start doing some simple jumps on the way out, and to surf on the way back . La Coudouliere, and even more Brutal Beach ( the name is explicative...), on the other hand , according to friends are prohibitive for non-experts with strong mistral ( waves even of 3-4 meters , and rocky coast downwind ....).

 

Le Brusc - Scuola La Cahute

 

With mistral wind of 25/30 knots or more , just do not go, riding towards the north, too far to the center of the Bay, and so in front of La Coudouliere and Brutal Beach. How much to ride toward the center of the bay depends on your ability , and if you do not feel safe, you just have to stay in front of the beach of Le brusc , or to ride towards the lagoon in the South ( but without going inside because windsurfing, as mentioned, is forbidden there), where the water is surely flat even with strong wind ( downwind there is a marina with dock, but it is not a particular problem , because the seabed in front of it is very low) .

For beginners , the spot is also suitable with light winds from the East ( and so coming from land), because the water here after that conditions remains completely flat.

To stay in the area, we booked an apartment ( 400-600 euro for a week during Easter period) through the web site www.mediavacances.com , which offers plenty of choice, but you have also other possibility.

 

Bandol


We did not have tried the spot of Bandol, but we have only examined it one day of mistral about 20 knots. It seemed that the spot can work well only with these wind conditions, as in the North, East and South direction it is shielded from the hills behind the coast.

Bandol, Avenue de La Liberation

The exit points are: the beach in front of Avenue de la Liberation (photo at right), before an ascent to begin, ad the road to change its name in Route de Bandol (already in the town of Sanary sur mer, to say the truth). See the marker in the map below. In this case, there are limited parking facilities on the waterfront or on the opposite side of the road. Otherwise, you discharge your equipment on the beach and you go to look for parking. 

Alternatively, you can get into water from the beach further east at the end of the Avenue du Prado (photo below, here we are in Sanary actually), as shown by the other marker in the map. Even in this case, limited possibility of parking near the exit point.

Bandol/Sanary Avenue du Prado

With 20 knots of mistral , we think that you could have nice ridings between the two exit points mentioned above, in a direction parallel to the coast. Downwind, you have other beaches (not easily accessible because the road remains higher), or short stretches of cliff. Under these conditions, we judge the spot to be safe even for those not particularly experienced. We do not know to evaluate the spot with strong mistral, in particular for the wave conditions. The bay is quite open to the West, and, therefore, you should get significant waves. 

 

 

 

La Seyne sur mer (Plage de Les Sablettes) 

We did not tried also this spot, but we only scoured it, because, when we visited the place, there were no optimal conditions (unstable wind).

La Seyne sur mer, Plage de Les Sablettes (towards West)

 

Here, you get into water at Plage de Les Sablettes (see map below). In the summer, the signage on the spot means that you can only get out for windsurfing from the East and West end of the beach and not from the center. Parking is available in the surrounding streets and along the waterfront; there is also a large parking lot between Voie du Bali and Rue de St Mandrier (with usual bar at 1.9 m at the entrance). Behind the beach there is a large pubblic garden with lawn and playground. The beach and the seabed are both sandy and stretches of cliffs / rocky coast are only at the east and west of the bay, that is very large (almost a km). 

The bay is exposed to the South / Southwest. Thus, the winds that work best in the spot come from those directions. With a North-East wind, the spot should provide good conditions suitable for freestyle, as behind the beach, in this direction, the coast remains low.

 

 

La Seyne sur mer, Plage de Les Sablettes (towards East)

 

The day when we scoured the spot, however, the wind was from the East, and under these conditions the headland to the east of the bay disturbs the wind very much, causing, at least close to the shoreline, the wind to be very on-off. Off the shoreline, probably, the wind from that direction should be less disturbed and more spreaded. Mistral and Tramontana, because of coast morphology, however, can not enter here. 

More comments by surfers who have tried the spot under various conditions are welcome.

Hang Loose

Waterwind Staff

 

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