Une Petite Ville de Surf, Lacanau-Océan
Lacanau-Océan is an adorable seaside surf town on the Atlantic coast of France. The town itself is only about one square mile, but packed to the brim with tourists, beachgoers, surfers and sunbathers alike. The main street Allée Pierre Ortal has dozens of indoor/outdoor restaurants, tons of shopping and a handful of gelato shops along the pedestrian-only strip.
Of course the reason we traveled to Lacanau-Océan was for Shaun’s surf competition, the Medoc Lacanau Pro. In comparison to some of the other contests we’ve gone to, this one had a pretty huge set-up with two full concert stages, a parking lot of merchant pop-up tents, an inflatable laser-tag arena, and a bunch of chill-out lounge seating (i.e. public open container is perfectly legal in France).
On Thursday, we stepped out of the gate to our hostel Villa Zenith into an enormous open-air craft and farmers market. It was so French and so so much fun to explore. Everything you can dream of was available for sale- fabrics, sarongs, purses, new and vintage clothes, leather goods, towels, jewelry, books, swimsuits, knick knacks and home decor…
… And the food! The largest hunks of cheese I have ever laid my eyes on (below). Also, so many options of fresh meats as well as tables and tables of fresh baguettes among other baked goods. We stopped at a stand that used a super fancy and mega-sized juicer to spit out the freshest orange juice possible. Delicious!
In all, the little beach town gem of Lacanau-Océan is worth a visit to experience the French surf town culture. It’s a two-hour bus ride from Bordeaux for €2,50 which is easy enough to navigate. However, beyond Lacanau, there is not much else to explore because the area is pretty desolate for many miles. You may go a little stir-crazy if you plan too long a visit, so I recommend a sweet weekend getaway.