La Palue

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[Presqu´ ile de Crozon] [the place gallery] [surf gallery] [La Palue / Lost Marc´h info board] [La Palue Surf pics 2010]

La Palue:

Situated in one of the most beautifull parts of northern Brittany, this large beach faces the open Atlantic and has a large swell window. All this means rear round consistant waves in a stunning szenery and leads to La Palue´s status as one of the most popular wave enthousiast´s spot in the area.

The place is not too difficult to find and there is a large and sheltered parking area close to the beach, as long as You don´t come with a van. Barrier mania has reached this place too and from Easter to late spring there is a bar at the beginning of the dirt track that leads down to the beach. It only allows cars lower than around 1,90 m to pass, which means a fairly long walk for the ones with vans. This is especially bitter for the windsurfing folks who face heavy work carrying back their stuff for about 400m uphill after the session. But this might have been caused by brainless people, who have abused the sheltered parking ares near the beach a bit too much.

Depending on tides the place offers either a very large beach with waves breaking over sand at low tide or a small strip of sand between cliffs and waves breaking over a mixture of sand and rocks at high tide. As said before, the swell fetch is really large but also wind exposure to directions from south over west to north is pretty big. This means fun for windsurfers and kiteboarders but frustration to surfers. But most of the times the lows pass fairly quick, which means that wind directions and forces change within hours or few days so there will be fun for everyone, as long as You´re ready to be at the right place at the right time. And if La Palue is not right, You might find better conditions at other places on the peninsula, be it Lost Marc´h just around the corner or one of the spots inside the Bay of Douarnenez. And with a little exploration of the near Cap de la Chévre You might stumle upon some real gems....

Besides some few houses to rent in the small village on the way to the beach, there are not many possibilities to stay directly at the spot. In winter You might camp at the parking lot at the beginning of the dirt track for a few days, but it´s best to stay in nearby Morgat, which offers a way better infrastructure.

surfing: waves come from westerly directions most of the time and they come very often. If there is no waves here, there is no waves anyway in this area but this happens very rarely. Even summer has surfable waves allmost every day as long as You don´t hesitate to use a longboard and with some luck You´ll score some out of season swell as lows don´t stop passing, just because it´s summer. Spring and autumn are best for some decent fun surfing, winter see the big stuff. And big can be massive here...

Waves break over sandbars most of the time, only high tide brings some reefs to work. Best wind direction is east. At hight tide You get some protection from northerly winds by the cliffs.

windsurfing: winds from the south and the north bring perfect sideshore conditions in waves with size and power. Low to mid tide is best, as with high tide the waves break very close to the cliffs and the wind gets gusty in the impact zone. Winds from westerly directions come sideon- to onshore and combined with the accompanying good sized waves it gets very difficult to sail in this conditions. Generally this place is an expert wavesailing spot as conditions can get very serious with heavy waves, very strong winds and some penetrant currents. For the ones who know their stuff, this place can offer unforgetable sessions never the less.

kiteboarding: like with windsurfing, this place is for experts only in the main wind and wave season. Only summer brings frequently easy conditions with smaller waves and lighter winds.

other sports: some guys bring their cayaks, others take their mountainbike and ride the nice tracks along the cliffs. As long as You´re ready to move, You won´t get bored.


like always, check out the info board and the galleries (the place and surf, surf pics from 2010) for more impressions on this breton beauty

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