The spot of Gruissan plage is one of the most beautiful spots I've tried so far! That's why it is the one where every year in May the famous regatta Defi Wind takes place. A lot of wind, flat and emerald water, and a fantastic natural landscape.
Windsurfing, spot review: Gruissan (France)
(Podcast available, for Supporters users, in the central part of the article)
This review refers to the condition that the spot offers with Mistral or with Tramontana wind, which are the conditions in which I tested the spot. The spot also works with winds from the south, and east (it is open on all sides), but, to be honest, I prefer to speak about the conditions in which I actually tested the spot.
The area around Gruissan, if possible, is even more beautiful, with wonderful hills, vineyards, wine farms, ponds and canals everywhere (in some points, except for the milder temperatures, reminded me of certain areas of Ireland). Even the first image of Gruissan village struck me immediately, view from the road that reaches it from Narbonne: the rocky hill at the center of the village, on which the remains of Frederick Redbeard tower dominate, surrounded by the houses of the village, is really beautiful.
To reach the spot (see map below), once you get through the village of Gruissan, take the road (Avenue de la Jetée Tr) along the canal that allows the boats going out to sea from Gruissan village.
At the end of the road, on the right (looking to the sea) of the campers area, there is a small square where you can park on weekdays, during periods when the spot is not particularly crowded (we were there in June ). Otherwise, at the left side of campers area there are other parking options, even if they are less comfortable since you have to carry the equipment for a while. In front of the square, there is a small harbor, overlooked by a bar, and a windsurf shop (L'oc Surf le Cers), and the school of windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing Pole Nautique Gruissan, where you can rent or take lessons.
The first day I was in Gruissan plage for a preliminary survey in the late afternoon, it was love at first sight. I immediately noticed that there were windsurfers beyond the canal (ie, in the beach to the west of this), that were windsurfing in exceptional conditions: they were riding at ten meters from the waterline, in flat water, and with a strong and constant wind. But how to get there? Behind the beach, there are the salt-marshes, and only a few dirt and long roads reach it. These roads, moreover, end before reaching the shore, and there are at least 300-400 meters of beach to walk carring equipment.... (only some off-road vehicles reach the vicinity of the waterline).
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From the canal mouth the beach spreads westward for several kilometers ... So, if you wish, you can enjoy almost endless ride. The Defi Wind, in fact, starts from here and get to Leucate, with rides between buoys of 12 miles ....
In short, Gruissan plage is a fantastic spot, that all windsurfers dream.
With winds from the south, the spot satisfies also wavers, as you can see in the Leo Ray's video, at the bottom of the page.
We have just been there, but we can not wait to go back. Blessed are the locals who can enjoy whenever they want.
In the area we explored, but not tried also the following spots:
Leucate La Franqui: easy to reach by car and for parking, and with a beautiful beach, as usual very broad. Here, however, there was no one in the water. The measured wind was 37 knots on the gusts, and the sand when hitting arms and legs hurt you .... The wind was side-off, and the conditions there seemed to be too insidious, although downwind there is a rocky promontory that makes sessions less risky if you do not go too much off shore. We preferred to prioritize prudence. We asked the kitesurfing store at the spot, who directed us to Le Goulet, at the lake of Leucate.
Leucate The Cassoules: slightly more to the east of La Franqui. Following the signs, through a side street, you will reach a large dirt parking lot behind the beach. The beach is really wide (the day of our inspection there some guys were driving kite kart!). Bringing the equipment from the parking lot to the sea seemed tiring.
Canet en Roussillon and Saint Cyprien (along the coast to the southwest of Leucate): spots where the Tramontana blows side, and where a bit of surfable wave begins to form. The day of our inspection we saw only kiters in Canet. The spot of Saint Cyprien is situated in the north part o Saint Cyprien beach, just before entering the city (information by the local rider Frederic Bonet). These two spots must be verified and tested by me much better. I didn't have enough time yet.
To have an idea of all the spots in the area, we point out our useful map published in google map.
Hang Loose, Fabio Muriano
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To watch the all slide gallery of our holiday in Gruissan zone, and of our sessions in this and other spots, click here.
Click here, to enjoy a slidegallery taken during our holiday there in 2017.
Here below, a video of our session at the spot.
Leo Ray's video, showing how the spot works with South East wind